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cajun last won the day on February 17 2014

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About cajun

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  1. cajun

    Baton Rouge Transportation

    Supposedly a record crowd at LSU for that amazing Georgia game - hotels were all booked out. Lots of surge pricing with Uber and some very busy hotels and restaurants. Downtown is usually pretty busy during those weekends. I'm sure the new Marriott had quite the crowd - and BTR had a few extra Delta flights into and out of ATL on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Really makes you wonder why Baton Rouge leadership doesn't make a bigger effort in attracting regional conventions and other things that could help drive retail, hospitality, and air travel in the area.
  2. cajun

    Louisiana State University

    I'm very impressed. I think LSU leased the land to private developers who put this all together with the condition that it serves LSU students.
  3. cajun

    Baton Rouge City Profile

    IBM and DXC are a decent start. But our historically stupid state government and craptastic infrastructure hold us back "bigly".
  4. cajun

    Perkins Road Overpass Corridor

    I've heard the same platitude spouted by people that oppose infrastructure investment in a number of places and I disagree with even considering it as a problem here. Opposition to these projects tend to projects tend to fall under3 major categories. 1. New Routes (Highway or rail) creates more traffic Building new road and highway infrastructure (such as the many beltways under construction around some Texas cities or around Memphis) is that it tends to attract more economic development, which itself more freight movements, residential development, retail build outs, and commuter traffic. I think everyone can agree that Baton Rouge could be so much more if it wasn't saddled with crappy infrastructure. Economic development isn't a bad thing, but I would prefer that we actually plan for new highways (including acquiring land) while allowing the area around them to be built out on existing road network limitations before adding a major new road. That way the traffic impact is minimal and there's a limited amount of available land to develop after the fact. Example: A new freeway is built out in an area with ample room for new private development. The plots of land along exits near I-12 in eastern Livingston Parish are not already developed. We (the taxpayers) are widening that section from 4 to 6 lanes today because of the increased commuter traffic between Hammond and Baton Rouge, but the likelyhood that more major traffic generators are built out in that area is VERY high, and a lot of that future development should be built out on other corridors and away from I-12. Many plots are open and undeveloped today in this area, and building out a super-efficient means to reach them would only encourage more density farther away from the existing street grids. Widening this section from 6 to 8 lanes today would be a huge mistake, as it would impact the degree of sprawl that will occur in the future there. Not really a problem we have to worry about in Louisiana because infrastructure development of all kinds seems to be on the back burner. We usually get new infrastructure decades after it should have been built, if at all. We actually do this one half-correct by sheer accident, although we don't really plan for anything. Ever. 2. Capacity Enhancement won't solve gridlock. Enhancing existing routes that already have congestion (in particular, Airline Highway and I-10) and are fully developed already are one of two major textbook cases of exactly when adding lanes are effective and actually produce results. The other is making increased connections to add routes within an existing and fully developed street grid. Baton Rouge desperately needs a lot of this, as the street grid sucks and many of the existing arteries are fully (or nearly fully) developed and have NEVER been enhanced. An example of my logic: While there is a lot of room for investment, there will never been substantially more traffic generators on Airline Highway in North Baton Rouge than there are today. Most of the plots are already developed. The nature of the businesses may change if the area's fortunes improve or decline, but there just isn't enough available land for a major increase in residential or commercial traffic generators. Thus, this area's congestion problems would respond greatly to additional lanes and more capacity. Cases like Airline Highway or I-10 through Baton Rouge are EXACTLY when we should be enhancing road infrastructure and adding lane capacity. Keep in mind that I say this as someone who believes that if a 2 lane road with a center turn lane can't handle the traffic demand, we've f-cked something up.......but there are several textbook cases of enhancements in Baton Rouge that fit this category of being exactly when an where it's appropriate to invest in new lanes or capacity. Airline Highway and I-10 are two MASSIVE examples of existing routes whose enhancement is 100% and completely appropriate. 3. New highways and connections can contribute to sprawl. Adding new routes, such as a new bridge over the Amite and Hooper Road could actually help direct economic development away from existing congested routes while providing system redundancy critical to sustaining commerce as the area grows. I consider sprawl as something we can't really stop. I believe that city leaders should actually at least influence where it goes, as that impacts the city's infrastructure directly. In Baton Rouge's case, more of that "flow" of sprawl should be directed north and west, where access to major job centers is relatively close today as the crow flies. It's beneficial that said sprawl be as close to the city center as possible if not within the same taxing district (East Baton Rouge). So my answer to this one is to build away with the criteria that these new alternative routes actually make areas closer to the city center more attractive for development. So build out Central and Zachary and build a connection from Baton Rouge into Watson on Hooper or between the major industrial employers on the west bank and East Baton Rouge/Ascension. Those routes can at least direct sprawl into a better place than farther down I-10 and I-12 while providing alternative routes to congestion or emergency circumstances on I-10 or I-12. Example: Baton Rouge is sprawling down I-12 and I-10 because those are the most efficient highways in the area and because sprawl is inevitable and will continue until it's no longer economically viable to do. Places like Watson, northern EBR, or Brusly are already very close (as the crow flies) to downtown Baton Rouge or the major employers along the river relative to Gonzales or Walker, but they take more time to reach because the highway or road network can't support their development. It's beneficial to Baton Rouge that the inevitable sprawl and development occurs closer to the city center rather than 15-25 miles down I-10 or I-12. Therefore, the pragmatic solution is for the city of Baton Rouge to actually support infrastructure investments that can help make those areas more attractive to development. In this case, the new infrastructure doesn't have to be a superhighway or a direct rail just needs to be slightly faster and more efficient than taking I-10 or I-12 out to Walker or Gonzales at peak hours. It's a very low bar, and there are at least 3 major examples of projects like this that I can think of that would have a huge and immediate impact on keeping sprawl more Baton Rouge-centric while also providing alternative routes to the existing highway network.
  5. cajun

    Baton Rouge City Profile

    It's already under construction from what I understand. They are trying to hire people to staff it now. We aren't getting that money either way. Without those tax breaks, those companies that receive them wouldn't invest here. So we can either provide tax breaks and have jobs for our citizens, or not provide them and not have the jobs. Either way, we aren't getting revenue directly from those new companies. At least in providing tax breaks and attracting the investment, we would at least get ancillary tax revenue as the employees earn and spend money in Louisiana. So eliminating tax breaks to pay for infrastructure doesn't make sense at all because eliminating them won't result in new tax revenue. The companies would just go to Texas or to some other state.
  6. cajun

    Baton Rouge Transportation

    I think there is some real opportunity for commercial and retail developments along Braddock near Washington once this I-10 project is done. Obviously nothing with a massive footprint could go there, but Braddock will essentially a feeder road with bike lanes (yes, they are connecting downtown and Dalrymple with bike lanes along this new route). Traffic counts will be higher and the potential for visibility on I-10 is excellent. Washington does at least provide a decent east/west route and and will get on/off ramps at every direction. I could easily see smaller hotels and restaurants opening there one day if the property along Braddock was re-zoned. Maybe even smaller 2-4 story office buildings depending on how the design and zoning restrictions are. That would also mean that the residential areas west of Braddock could be a real opportunity for small investors looking to renovate and own rental property. That area would be a few minutes from downtown and LSU with amazingly simple access to I-10. This could also be a good thing for the little retail strip on Delpit. If we let another billboard get built there, I’m going to be upset. There’s some actual potential there.
  7. cajun

    Baton Rouge Growth and Development

    Very interesting news. That puts the metro population between 860,000 and 865,000 people by 2017 estimates. Your link is broken though. Could you fix it? I would love to read up on this.
  8. cajun

    Plan Baton Rouge

    I agree that Regions tower would have been awesome. But those Brownstones would have been nice too. I'm just not sure that it was the appropriate spot for them.
  9. cajun

    Baton Rouge Transportation

    Here are layouts and preliminary design sketches from DOTD's website on the new I-10 widening. As I've said, these are actually really good concepts, and they are pretty transparent where they intend to install new sound walls, which are sorely needed in many areas on that stretch. This project will ultimately solve the biggest traffic bottleneck in the entire region. With this project, traffic congestion in 2035 (including the expected growth) will be less than it is today in 2018. This is a textbook example of when a capacity enhancement is justified, appropriate, and required. In fact, this should have taken priority over widening I-12 and I-10 in the suburban parishes, as the need for additional capacity is higher, more immediate, already exists, and would be highly instrumental in supporting economic growth nearby business and industrial districts. The layout plans: Washington Street area (note the new Terrace off ramp under construction that is shaded in black): Dalrymple Drive (now including a way to go eastbound on I-10 from Dalrymple) Perkins Road area (the on and off ramp will become new parking areas and green spaces) Spandrel arch concept for the updated bridge over the City Park Lakes (note that this is a conceptual drawing only): Narin Drive Overpass, which will have to be replaced with a wider span. This will include more adequate pedestrian accommodations and a more attractive, modern design: They also included a new flyover for the College Drive exit from westbound I-10 so that I-10 W traffic doesn't have to cross over 4 lanes of I-12 to exit. They also have pretty standard conceptual drawings of I-10 between LA415 and LA1 in West Baton Rouge. It's a simple widening from 4 to 6 lanes - possibly the easiest and least costly part of the project. They aren't really interesting enough to post here. There's also the possibility of the Washington Street interchange being updated with roundabouts. I'm very encouraged by this effort to widen I-10. I'm a little skeptical that they can actually accomplish it with the $380 million or so they have budgeted without additional federal grants and outlays, but those are also extremely possible for this particular project.
  10. cajun

    Baton Rouge Growth and Development

    Not a huge loss, especially with BRCC expanding their offerings. Well, I guess it's a loss to Cortana, but that place should not be a mall anymore. It's ideal for a distribution center setup with light retail on the periphery.
  11. cajun


    That's on Ivanhoe backing up to Corporation Canal between State and Carlotta. That's an extremely narrow street for what is approximately 50-60 new bedrooms, but it would be an awesome location to stay for school. Honestly I hope it gets built. I'm okay with increased density there. If LSU students are going to continue to live off campus, they should stay as close to school as possible to reduce traffic. That area is walking distance to everything on the north gates and there's good bus service there.
  12. cajun

    Northern EBR Parish Development

    Interesting place to develop that. Those neighborhoods are usually very nice, but the proximity to the rail road makes this a head-scratcher. There's real potential for a bold plan if the plot stayed dry in 2016.
  13. cajun

    Perkins Road Overpass Corridor

    I don't think so. I'll post some proposes layouts later when I have time BTW. They are going as far as they can while taking a minimum amount of space. With 12' shoulders inside and out, they could re-stripe and add an extra lane later if they felt it was appropriate (but they'd lose the inside shoulder) They are taking as much space from the gap in between the spans as they can to minimize the impact on the surrounding area. They also mapped out where federally funded sound walls will be built and where existing sound walls will be relocated. There's also a section that doesn't qualify for federal funds but can support (and benefit from) shorter sound walls that the state can fund at a future date. They actually did a really good job with the Washington-Dalrymple area IMO. The preliminaries for the new spans over the lake look very nice as well.
  14. cajun

    Perkins Road Overpass Corridor

    I read through the plans carefully and I came away with an entirely different opinion. Assuming they can actually build what's in the design, I think it's excellent work and will be a huge relief for Baton Rouge, and the upgrade in aesthetics will be welcome especially around Narin drive, as will the new sound walls in the old south area. This is projected to reduce congestion even at the predicted traffic levels in 2035 and increase capacity overall by 33%. So 33% more vehicles can pass through even if traffic speed doesn't increase. It's a great plan, but it is NOT a replacement for a new bridge. I can't stress that enough. The sad fact is that this is desperately needed along with more alternative routes.
  15. cajun

    Louisiana missed the boat again

    The national economy is booming, recent changes to federal tax law have sparked a flood of CapEx spending, and oil prices have largely recovered. Louisiana is still just surviving. It’s not living. The budget is still a mess, taxes are increasing, and there is still nowhere near enough investment into infrastructure or higher ed. What gives?