Kaare Johnson: Traffic Congestion is a Good Thing

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We haven’t had to deal with this type of problem since the 70’s but its rearing its ugly head again, 40 years later, and that’s a good thing.  I’m talking about traffic congestion problems in metro New Orleans.  Have you noticed lately that many streets, highways, and interstate in the metro area have become crowded and clogged with traffic, especially during peak travel times?  We are finally a growing community again.

For the first time in nearly half a century, people are moving here again and our outdated infrastructure can’t keep up.  We desperately need a plan now to widen and enlarge some of our key roadways and highways in and around New Orleans.  Most of our interstate is the original build, and in the places it has been expanded, its usually obsolete before it’s finished or was poorly engineered to begin with.  Many surface streets in New Orleans have been reduced by a lane to add bicycle paths.  I’m all for bike paths in the city but at the cost of a much needed vehicular traffic lane is absurd.

The state department of transportation and development wants to add stop lights to entrance and exit ramps on I-10 to ease congestion.  How about adding a few more lanes of interstate to ease congestion, you know, like other cities do.  Always on the cheap in Louisiana and usually with little to no effect.  We deserve better.  As our population grows for the first time in decades, the time is now to evaluate our road, highway, and interstate system and make the necessary upgrades and expansion that will carry us into future.