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Long-range transportation plan data released; Bike lanes, roads, bridges and more listed as concerns

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 12, 2024

Opelousas, La- After six months of research, the city of Opelousas, in collaboration with DOTD, released an 80-page document detailing data and public opinion regarding what improvements are needed in the city when it comes to daily commutes— whether that's driving a car, walking on foot or riding a bike.

“Water is a problem; we have a lot of water leaks, which have made the roads bad. So, I would like to see Opelousas work on better fixing the roads and all the water leaks. We have a big problem that would cost a lot of money, but we need to get a plan and try to fix that," said Charles Briley, a cyclist who rides around Opelousas. 

And the city is doing just that. Monday morning, the city of Opelousas released the draft of the long-range transportation plan— a plan designed to reconstruct the current system travelers use today.

Back in October, the mayor announced the first phase of the plan, requesting public opinion.

“Some of the roads are not too good, and you have to watch traffic. Usually when I ride through Opelousas, I will take Market or Court Street because it's less traffic,” said Briley. 

Briley also travels on service roads where it’s less congested. 

For the first phase of the plan, a sample of 240 people living in the city provided input on what needs the most improvement; Briley is not a part of this sample, but he couldn’t agree more with the results.

 “Well, it’s so congested on Creswell Lane, and the roads are not widened, and it’s a very dangerous place for a bicyclist,” said Briley.

48% of the public agrees that Creswell Lane is the most congested area, with Vine Street coming in at the top for lack of safety. 

Throughout the plan, most people expressed roads, road safety, and bridge repairs needed the most improvements, while participants also requested extra bike lanes and sidewalks.

"I would like to see them add bike lanes where people could ride and feel safer,” said Briley.

Some people would like to see those bikes lanes added on Creswell, in Downtown, on Hwy 182, and on Interstate I-49.

The plan also highlighted bike and pedestrian projects which involve Hwy 190, through Landry and Vine Street. 

According to the study, the addition of bike lanes come at an estimated cost of at least $25 million. That does not include other fields of research, such as roads, drainage, bridges and other improvements.

The mayor, Julius Alsandor, tells KATC that they will apply for funding as soon as funds become available.

To read the full plan, you can click here here .