State officials respond to Lafayette concerns on pedestrian deaths

Posted at 11:28 AM, Jan 20, 2022

We're getting answers from state officials about what is being done to keep pedestrians safe on some of Lafayette's busiest roadways.

This followsour reporting Tuesday on the recent crash of pedestrian deaths across Lafayette.

DOTD says the earliest sidewalks could be seen along Carmel dr. is 2023.

The proposal would add sidewalks on Carmel dr. from Louisiana Ave. to Lake Martin road.

The state is also doing a road safety study on a part of the Evangeline Thruway between Willow St. and I-10.

DOTD secretary, DR. Shawn Wilson, says he hopes to break ground on the I-49 improvements before he leaves office.

Dr Shawn Wilson,Transportation and Development Department State Secretary

“Our plan is to advance I49 South as quickly as we can. The stretch where we’re having these deaths, and we’ve had a couple of deaths are going to be the first segments that we do so that we can provide access for those individuals who are seeking services on either side of the thruway from their residential areas or vice versa,” Wilson said.

Senator Gerald Boudreaux says he is working with DOTD... he has also spoken with Governor Edwards on the issue.

However, he says it’s up to local officials to get the ball rolling.

“As a Senator in this area my job is to make sure the Department of Transportation is engaged in all of the decisions and if there are any delays we have to find ways to move those barriers so that this project can get done when the local government decides when it’s ready to go,” Boudreaux said.

LCG spokesperson Jamie Angelle says the Guillory administration is doing what it can, but can only do so much on a state highway.

“There's a lot of talk about adding sidewalks and adding cross walks. Well at this point if there is actively going to be an interstate built through that stretch of roadway it would be financially irresponsible to spend the millions of dollars it would take to put sidewalks and crosswalks to have it ultimately removed in a few years once work begins on putting in the I49 corridor. But at this point it is a state controlled piece of roadway and they are ultimately responsible for it,” Angelle said.

Officials continue to ask everyone to use crosswalks.

and be aware of your surroundings when driving or walking along roads.

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