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mr. bernham

Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

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I was going to start this thread a few day's ago with a blog post I'm making, but the advocate beat me to it: http://theadvocate.com/news/12196033-123/baton-rouge-new-orleans-business

 

Essentially the BRAC and GNOI want to create a Baton Rouge - New Orleans super region through rail and joint economic partnerships to create a regional identity and eventually one of America's largest cities. Personally I'm against this because I think that while the rail is a good idea it does not have enough benefits for Baton Rouge and that BR and NOLA should naturally grow into each other.

 

Another thing to note is that I think this is a New Orleans death bed request, BR is outpacing it in terms of growth and expansion while New Orleans is more in a restoration mode rather than growth. Now all of the sudden they want to make one massive metropolitan region in which Baton Rouge would be gobbled up in (or maybe I should say that BR would still outgrow NOLA, but NOLA would take credit for it) and connected loosely by a 79 mph train by NOLA. Instead BR should stay independent and keep growing...maybe even make a super region with Lafayette. Still what are your thoughts and any other news to add to this interesting idea and topic? 

 

BTW I'll post my blog post here when it's complete. 

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Sounds like a nice buzzword to put in a brochure, but I don't know if many would be fooled or impressed.

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I think the main goal of this is so Louisiana has something to compete with Houston, but that is what I see Baton Rouge being capable of doing in the future. There is no need to go and create some big metro just so New Orleans can feel like they are still important.

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I think rail would better service an East/West line From Lafayette to BR to Hammond/Covington/North Shore areas. There is more developable land (East of BR) unlike the swamps between BR and NO. Although from an O&G and chem industry standpoint you will always have a need for sites with river & rail access. Lots of NO Money and power players live on the North Shore as well. 

 

From an economic standpoint a joint endeavor might be a good idea. Even if it's just a surface, marketing gimmick you could combine efforts to pull a major global company, but still compete for the small to mid-sized fish...I agree though that this may not work in our favor. I want NO to thrive as well, but I would like to see us focus more on our assets here and stop looking south for an identity.

 

Metro NO is growing more diversified economically (especially in the creative, tourism and tech industries) and is very much indeed a major competitor with BR for this business. If Baton Rouge doesn't start thinking bigger, taking the lead and behaving like we know what we are doing we will always be seen as the little brother to NO.  

 

Just my 2¢.

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Another thing that bothers me is that this train route would effectively kill BR's airport. Many Baton Rouge leaders have voiced this, but the opinion in New Orleans is "The Baton Rouge airport simply cannot compete with the New Orleans regional airport because it offers more destinations at cheaper price points." With this type of elitist attitude f*** New Orleans. This is exactly how they would deal with BR concerns, they would disregard BR as the smaller city and put New Orleans goals above this cities. Well BR and New Orleans have the same damn population (47,000 difference) so it should be an equal relationship. 

 

The best thing to do would be to construct a new airport between the two cities to provide as a connection between Baton Rouge and New Orleans sprawl, but in that case it would become part of BR rather than New Orleans. 

 

 


I think rail would better service an East/West line From Lafayette to BR to Hammond/Covington/North Shore areas. There is more developable land (East of BR) unlike the swamps between BR and NO. Although from an O&G and chem industry standpoint you will always have a need for sites with river & rail access. Lots of NO Money and power players live on the North Shore as well. 

 

From an economic standpoint a joint endeavor might be a good idea. Even if it's just a surface, marketing gimmick you could combine efforts to pull a major global company, but still compete for the small to mid-sized fish...I agree though that this may not work in our favor. I want NO to thrive as well, but I would like to see us focus more on our assets here and stop looking south for an identity.

 

Metro NO is growing more diversified economically (especially in the creative, tourism and tech industries) and is very much indeed a major competitor with BR for this business. If Baton Rouge doesn't start thinking bigger, taking the lead and behaving like we know what we are doing we will always be seen as the little brother to NO.  

 

Just my 2¢.

Yes. This. 

 

But where would that big company go? New Orleans. And given IBM's decision, BR is already attracting big global companies without New Orleans. But a BR-Hammond metro makes so much more sense, hell even a BR-Lafayette metro makes more sense. But I like what you said about BR needing to grow a pair and start leading and acting like it knows what it is doing. 

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The Atchafalaya Basin is a big geographical obstacle for making any connection with Lafayette. I think the culture is also different.

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Another thing that bothers me is that this train route would effectively kill BR's airport. Many Baton Rouge leaders have voiced this, but the opinion in New Orleans is "The Baton Rouge airport simply cannot compete with the New Orleans regional airport because it offers more destinations at cheaper price points." With this type of elitist attitude f*** New Orleans. This is exactly how they would deal with BR concerns, they would disregard BR as the smaller city and put New Orleans goals above this cities. Well BR and New Orleans have the same damn population (47,000 difference) so it should be an equal relationship. 

 

The best thing to do would be to construct a new airport between the two cities to provide as a connection between Baton Rouge and New Orleans sprawl, but in that case it would become part of BR rather than New Orleans. 

 

 

 

I have been saying the samething only way it work if both airports work together.

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The Atchafalaya Basin is a big geographical obstacle for making any connection with Lafayette. I think the culture is also different.

Correct, but a rail link with Lafayette would be useful although I don't think the funding would be as readily available as a line to NO.  

 

Honestly, I found the culture in Laffy wasn't very different from BR and largely overrated.

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Correct, but a rail link with Lafayette would be useful although I don't think the funding would be as readily available as a line to NO.  

 

Honestly, I found the culture in Laffy wasn't very different from BR and largely overrated.

The Atchafalaya Basin is a big geographical obstacle for making any connection with Lafayette. I think the culture is also different.

Lafayette could still expand up to Henderson and Baton Rouge to Rosedale which is about a thirty minute drive and the distance between Lafayette and BR is exactly one hour, but probably thirty or so minutes with rail.

 

In terms of culture, Baton Rouge would probably stand to gain more merging with Lafayette than New Orleans which has a very distinct and established culture, Baton Rouge's culture is more of a statewide mix, but it would become more rich with more Cajun French influence.  

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Baton Rouge could be dubbed as the Cultural Crossroads of Louisiana...and should be able to stand alone...time for lil' brother to start making a name for himself...been on mother's tit for too long!

 

Have mixed feelings on the "Regionalism thing".....Dallas-Fort Worth are only 35 miles apart...with the DFW International Airport perfectly in the middle...while BR/NOLA are close to 80 miles apart....& Louie Armstrong is far enough west(Kenner) to make an International airport in between extremely difficult...NOLA's Metro area has abt 400,000 more than BR's. 

 

A BR to Lafayette rail-link probably would not be totally direct as it would follow Hwy 190 to Opelousas first..then south 20 miles...They won't cut thru the Atchafayala Basin any other way(now designated a National Heritage Area) by Federal Gov.

 

>A few months ago Hammond/Tangipahoa just became "it's own" Metro area....i'll make a new thread on this shortly...meant to do this months ago

 

The Gulf Coast mini Megalopolis is kind of cool...from mighty "H town" aka Houston/Golden Triangle(Beaumont/Port Arthur Orange); Lake Charles; Lafayette/Acadiana; BR; Hammond; Northshore; Miss Gulf Coast; Mobile/Gulf Shores to the Emerald Coast of Florida!

Edited by richyb83

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Baton Rouge could be dubbed as the Cultural Crossroads of Louisiana...and should be able to stand alone...time for lil' brother to start making a name for himself...been on mother's tit for too long!

Yes, I completely agree. Baton Rouge needs to start exploiting its culture and assets and grow up. 

 

Have mixed feelings on the "Regionalism thing".....Dallas-Fort Worth are only 35 miles apart...with the DFW International Airport perfectly in the middle...while BR/NOLA are close to 80 miles apart....& Louie Armstrong is far enough west(Kenner) to make an International airport in between extremely difficult...NOLA's Metro area has abt 400,000 more than BR's. 

Personally I think that "regionalism" works really well when done right (EX: Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa Metro, and even Houston to extents), but what is being proposed for BR/NOLA is not going to work well, in part because the two areas can not grow into each other and the added elitist attitude of New Orleans. Baton Rouge needs to work with a city that they can grow into and one that shares a similar culture, attitude, and customs. I think the only city that fits that bill is truly Hammond. Now, while NOLA metro has more people than BR that metro includes Hammond which is now its own and NOLA proper has only 42,000 more people than BR Proper (with St. George added). I also think it would be easier to construct an International Airport between Hammond and BR, something to really compete with Armstrong. In a merger with New Orleans our airport would probably have to shutter because it would become even more isolated than it is now, but something along I-12 would work much better, and a rail between Hammond and BR could be expanded to go along the Gulf Coast and hit Covington, Slidell, Gulf Shores, Mobile, and Pensacola then extend further into Florida and hit Tampa and then go to Orlando then Miami. Still, a separate link to New Orleans should be constructed.

 

A BR to Lafayette rail-link probably would not be totally direct as it would follow Hwy 190 to Opelousas first..then south 20 miles...They won't cut thru the Atchafayala Basin any other way(now designated a National Heritage Area) by Federal Gov.

It cannot follow the interstate? That seems a little stupid, but I'm sure they could bypass that, especially given that the Lafayette link would eventually extend to connect Houston and Baton Rouge. 

 

>A few months ago Hammond/Tangipahoa just became "it's own" Metro area....i'll make a new thread on this shortly...meant to do this months ago

That would just make merging with BR even easier because we wouldn't be taking from New Orleans. Not to mention all the growth along I-12 is going to result in the cities growing into each other anyways, why not speed up that growth and increase the regions competitiveness by merging with it?

 

The Gulf Coast mini Megalopolis is kind of cool...from mighty "H town" aka Houston/Golden Triangle(Beaumont/Port Arthur Orange); Lake Charles; Lafayette/Acadiana; BR; Hammond; Northshore; Miss Gulf Coast; Mobile/Gulf Shores to the Emerald Coast of Florida!

It really is. I'm not sure if you have seen the maps, but it would flow really well. The Miss Gulf Coast and Mobile/Gulf Shores to Pensacola would be the longest track of developed land, it would spread from Slidell and go all the way down to Tampa. Buckle up America because the South is back  ;)

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Also, Lafayette is now the states third largest city due to MSA increments: http://theadvocate.com/news/business/11326452-123/lafayette-orleans-metros-adding-parishes

 

Which gets me thinking, if I-49 is completed then is it possible that Lafayette could overtake BR in the future? 

I think New Orleans Metro area will help Baton Rouge it would be 2 million and something people. That means it could help in getting MLB or NBA franchise and also forced us to update our infrastructure. 

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I think New Orleans Metro area will help Baton Rouge it would be 2 million and something people. That means it could help in getting MLB or NBA franchise and also forced us to update our infrastructure. 

But Baton Rouge wouldn't get anything. Everything will go to New Orleans do you not get that? Baton Rouge could reach 2 million if not more if we were willing to take on a more leading role, we don't need New Orleans to achieve that.

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But Baton Rouge wouldn't get anything. Everything will go to New Orleans do you not get that? Baton Rouge could reach 2 million if not more if we were willing to take on a more leading role, we don't need New Orleans to achievNew

New Orleans not getting another NBA team Not if a new Pro Franchises come to Louisiana its coming to Baton Rouge. Companies been leaving New Orleans and coming to Baton Rouge. It will benefit us more than New Orleans you may not believe that but I do. Lafayette ain't going to do that for us they hurt us more than helping us. The BRNO Metro area is going to happen it just about getting right before it happen.

Edited by greg225

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Unsure if I support this.

I would like to see more connections between the two cities to encourage commuting. I know a lot of couples that live in Gonzales or Hammond and one commutes to BR, the other to the NO metro.

A new passenger rail line and enhanced highway infrastructure (including new bridges) between the two cities are critical. I think it will eventually happen. I would need some kind of certainty that this would result in collaboration and not just New Orleans trying to claim Baton Rouge and Hammond as part of their metro.

Edited by cajun
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New Orleans trying to claim Baton Rouge and Hammond as part of their metro.

That is exactly what's going to happen and in fact that is what the tone of the New Orleans guy in the article is.

 

New Orleans not getting another NBA team Not if a new Pro Franchises come to Louisiana its coming to Baton Rouge. Companies been leaving New Orleans and coming to Baton Rouge. It will benefit us more than New Orleans you may not believe that but I do. Lafayette ain't going to do that for us they hurt us more than helping us. The BRNO Metro area is going to happen it just about getting right before it happen.

You have no idea what you are talking about. I may not be from here, but it doesn't take a genius to know that New Orleans is a much more attractive city than Baton Rouge in terms of tourism and culture. New Orleans would not work with BR, but treat us like crap. 

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That is exactly what's going to happen and in fact that is what the tone of the New Orleans guy in the article is.

 

You have no idea what you are talking about. I may not be from here, but it doesn't take a genius to know that New Orleans is a much more attractive city than Baton Rouge in terms of tourism and culture. New Orleans would not work with BR, but treat us like crap. 

So you do? You have your opinion I have mine just because you have different opinion don't mean I have to. I think it can work in our favor you may believe what you want that don't make it true.

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Let's simmer down!

 

Mr. Bernham, where do you get the idea that New Orleans is economically and demographically idle? It's outpacing Baton Rouge in every metric available. Baton Rouge will likely never be larger than New Orleans, and if so, we'll be old men. There are no statistics that back up your claims at all. You haven't been here long enough to make all these claims. New Orleans is more like New York or LA, loved by millions, hated by more. Baton Rouge is more like Houston, far from a polarizing city like New Orleans.

 

Baton Rouge is the seat of state government, so with a multi-parish authority, the state would probably have the last word.

 

I'm in favor of this idea. We even came up with a regional name dubbed The Pontraplex. Baton Rouge can certainly stand on it's own and has forever but eventually the metro areas will get closer and closer, this is inevitable. The current 70-mph rail proposal is an absolute joke though, it's not difficult enough to drive to New Orleans to take a slower form of transit. Traffic is getting heavier by the day on I-10, infrastructure improvements are badly needed.

 

Rail going to Lafayette or Hammond would probably be useless unless it goes to at least Houston and Pensacola.

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Let's simmer down!

 

Mr. Bernham, where do you get the idea that New Orleans is economically and demographically idle? It's outpacing Baton Rouge in every metric available. Baton Rouge will likely never be larger than New Orleans, and if so, we'll be old men. There are no statistics that back up your claims at all. You haven't been here long enough to make all these claims. New Orleans is more like New York or LA, loved by millions, hated by more. Baton Rouge is more like Houston, far from a polarizing city like New Orleans.

 

Baton Rouge is the seat of state government, so with a multi-parish authority, the state would probably have the last word.

 

I'm in favor of this idea. We even came up with a regional name dubbed The Pontraplex. Baton Rouge can certainly stand on it's own and has forever but eventually the metro areas will get closer and closer, this is inevitable. The current 70-mph rail proposal is an absolute joke though, it's not difficult enough to drive to New Orleans to take a slower form of transit. Traffic is getting heavier by the day on I-10, infrastructure improvements are badly needed.

 

Rail going to Lafayette or Hammond would probably be useless unless it goes to at least Houston and Pensacola.

Your argument is well written, my response is below, but I highlight your last sentence because I completely agree. The only reason for a rail link to Lafayette and Hammond is so it can be expanded to eventually become a piece of a transcontinental line and at least a trans-regional line.  

 

Based on what I have read through the Advocate, and Times Picayune New Orleans out paces Baton Rouge by narrow margins, and based on what I have personally observed Baton Rouge is spreading out towards Hammond and other metros more than New Orleans. I would also like to note that there is a difference between metro growth and city proper growth. The BR metro is catching up to New Orleans, but BR proper is much closer to equaling New Orleans proper (population wise) than you and many others think. Though I will admit that New Orleans is still (slowly) humming along. 
 
This brings me to my main point. Just because New Orleans has always been the larger city and is still narrowly edging out Baton Rouge does not mean Baton Rouge should or will have to live in their shadow and never aim or become larger. Look at Tampa and Orlando, who would of thought Orlando would become the city it is today before Disney World? Before the city realized it can be a leader in the state and in the world? Today Orlando is the 26th largest city in the US. Who’s to say Baton Rouge cannot aim for that? Heck I even think they should and while the construction of a high speed rail link between New Orleans and Baton Rouge needs to happen, I also think that Baton Rouge should try and get a line that would stretch from Houston to Slidell with stops in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Hammond. Then in the future extend the line with New Orleans up to Jackson on to Memphis. Baton Rouge should merge metros with Hammond (you would have a population closer to 1 million and let’s face it; growth along I-12 will eventually result in Denham, Walker, Livingston, and Hammond all growing into one another. To me that seems a lot more realistic than us expanding into New Orleans. With the right mindset and steps Baton Rouge can outpace and perform New Orleans. 
 
I would also like to note another thing. Lets look at Baton Rouges metro and some realistic growth patterns based in sprawl. Baton Rouge annexes St. George adding 104,000 people to the cities population officially making New Orleans proper and Baton Rouge proper separated by 42,000 people. Rail link constructed between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is constructed and results in the further growth of Sorrento and Gonzales into one another. Prairieville and Gonzales continue to grow and eventually grow into Baton Rouge. Along I-12 Denham Springs fully grows into Baton Rouge and merges with Walker and Walker and Livingston into one another. Eventually Baton Rouge and Hammond grow towards one another through Albany and a rail link is constructed between the two. This line is expanded for Hammond to connect to Slidell and Baton Rouge expands it to connect to Lafayette. I-49 is completed and brings more growth to Lafayette. Projected completion of this 2030’s-2040’s. It is possible for Baton Rouge to grow larger than New Orleans without having to merge into its metro, a merger that would all but ruin the cities chances of ever becoming larger than New Orleans.

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I don't think its realistic to assume Baton Rouge will ever annex or be allowed to St. George.

Also I know the towns in Livingston look close on a map, but there's actually a decent bit of space between them that I think will take more the 15-25 years to bridge with solid development.

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Your argument is well written, my response is below, but I highlight your last sentence because I completely agree. The only reason for a rail link to Lafayette and Hammond is so it can be expanded to eventually become a piece of a transcontinental line and at least a trans-regional line.  

 

Based on what I have read through the Advocate, and Times Picayune New Orleans out paces Baton Rouge by narrow margins, and based on what I have personally observed Baton Rouge is spreading out towards Hammond and other metros more than New Orleans. I would also like to note that there is a difference between metro growth and city proper growth. The BR metro is catching up to New Orleans, but BR proper is much closer to equaling New Orleans proper (population wise) than you and many others think. Though I will admit that New Orleans is still (slowly) humming along. 
 
This brings me to my main point. Just because New Orleans has always been the larger city and is still narrowly edging out Baton Rouge does not mean Baton Rouge should or will have to live in their shadow and never aim or become larger. Look at Tampa and Orlando, who would of thought Orlando would become the city it is today before Disney World? Before the city realized it can be a leader in the state and in the world? Today Orlando is the 26th largest city in the US. Who’s to say Baton Rouge cannot aim for that? Heck I even think they should and while the construction of a high speed rail link between New Orleans and Baton Rouge needs to happen, I also think that Baton Rouge should try and get a line that would stretch from Houston to Slidell with stops in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Hammond. Then in the future extend the line with New Orleans up to Jackson on to Memphis. Baton Rouge should merge metros with Hammond (you would have a population closer to 1 million and let’s face it; growth along I-12 will eventually result in Denham, Walker, Livingston, and Hammond all growing into one another. To me that seems a lot more realistic than us expanding into New Orleans. With the right mindset and steps Baton Rouge can outpace and perform New Orleans. 
 
I would also like to note another thing. Lets look at Baton Rouges metro and some realistic growth patterns based in sprawl. Baton Rouge annexes St. George adding 104,000 people to the cities population officially making New Orleans proper and Baton Rouge proper separated by 42,000 people. Rail link constructed between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is constructed and results in the further growth of Sorrento and Gonzales into one another. Prairieville and Gonzales continue to grow and eventually grow into Baton Rouge. Along I-12 Denham Springs fully grows into Baton Rouge and merges with Walker and Walker and Livingston into one another. Eventually Baton Rouge and Hammond grow towards one another through Albany and a rail link is constructed between the two. This line is expanded for Hammond to connect to Slidell and Baton Rouge expands it to connect to Lafayette. I-49 is completed and brings more growth to Lafayette. Projected completion of this 2030’s-2040’s. It is possible for Baton Rouge to grow larger than New Orleans without having to merge into its metro, a merger that would all but ruin the cities chances of ever becoming larger than New Orleans.

 

New Orleans city population is growing far more than Baton Rouge, which is showing little in migration and mainly natural growth. The only way Baton Rouge city population grows enough to even challenge New Orleans' is if we experience extreme gentrification and an influx of jobs. So, no Baton Rouge really isn't close to catching up. From 2010 to the 2013 estimate, Baton Rouge posted a -0.1% loss in population. New Orleans estimates an 11.% increase in population. Baton Rouge has about 230k yet New Orleans about 385k, I'm not sure why you think the two are close.

 

What is your beef with New Orleans?! This type of thinking is regressive for both cities. Hammond was part of New Orleans MSA at one small point in time, and it's in their media market. Tangipahoa Parish would likely join the association anyway. New Orleans can't grow east or west like Baton Rouge can, it's geographically impossible. Sprawl happens on the northshore. Useless sprawl is not what we need anyway. Eventually Hammond and Baton Rouge will grow much closer to one another. But the true growth would come from the whole region joining as one.

You have no idea what the new MSA would do for either city. Baton Rouge actually controls what goes on in New Orleans on a state level.

 

I don't think its realistic to assume Baton Rouge will ever annex or be allowed to St. George.

Also I know the towns in Livingston look close on a map, but there's actually a decent bit of space between them that I think will take more the 15-25 years to bridge with solid development.

Yeah with solid development but with sparse suburban development it will all seem like Baton Rouge suburbs all the way to Hammond/Covington. Soon South Satsuma Rd will resemble less of a rural road and more of a suburban one, those apartments sure help. There's only a handful of exits between the two and I'm very familiar with the Livingston/Albany/Springfield areas now. Spent a good bit of time out there.

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New Orleans city population is growing far more than Baton Rouge, which is showing little in migration and mainly natural growth. The only way Baton Rouge city population grows enough to even challenge New Orleans' is if we experience extreme gentrification and an influx of jobs. So, no Baton Rouge really isn't close to catching up. From 2010 to the 2013 estimate, Baton Rouge posted a -0.1% loss in population. New Orleans estimates an 11.% increase in population. Baton Rouge has about 230k yet New Orleans about 385k, I'm not sure why you think the two are close.

The real population of Baton Rouge is 334k, but sense St, George is unincorporated it is not included in the official numbers, but if you were to add them together you would have a population number much closer to New Orleans. And I think one can make the argument that St.George practically is in Baton Rouge and that the population of St. George utilizes the same city services and such as the 'official' population. 

 

I would also recommend you take a look at the numbers from the state rather than the numbers on Google. The state has wonderful spreadsheets available depicting the gradual rise and falls in population, based on their projections New Orleans population will fall, while Baton Rouges will rise. 

 

Not to mention, whose to say we cannot gentrify and bring in new jobs? Your mindset seems to be that Baton Rouge can never be anything more than what it is now and that attitude is very negative to harbor growth in any city. Now correct me if I'm wrong because I may be reading your comment wrong, if so I apologize. 

 

What is your beef with New Orleans?! This type of thinking is regressive for both cities. Hammond was part of New Orleans MSA at one small point in time, and it's in their media market. Tangipahoa Parish would likely join the association anyway. New Orleans can't grow east or west like Baton Rouge can, it's geographically impossible. Sprawl happens on the northshore. Useless sprawl is not what we need anyway. Eventually Hammond and Baton Rouge will grow much closer to one another. But the true growth would come from the whole region joining as one.

You have no idea what the new MSA would do for either city. Baton Rouge actually controls what goes on in New Orleans on a state level.

I love New Orleans, the city is lovely and I enjoy visiting it, and I think that there will be a point where Baton Rouge and New Orleans grow into one another, but I think that Baton Rouge should still try and become as big, powerful, and large as it can be. My beef is with the idea that Baton Rouge can never be anything more than what it is now, I don't think it is true and personally I think a new MSA would only result in New Orleans taking all large companies and opprtunities away from Baton Rouge, no mater if it's the state capital or not (which by these terms wouldn't the capital also be New Orleans? :P ) I'm sure that if this was being done at a different time both cities would benefit, but I don't buy into the illusion that this would be an equal relationship. 

 

Yeah with solid development but with sparse suburban development it will all seem like Baton Rouge suburbs all the way to Hammond/Covington. Soon South Satsuma Rd will resemble less of a rural road and more of a suburban one, those apartments sure help. There's only a handful of exits between the two and I'm very familiar with the Livingston/Albany/Springfield areas now. Spent a good bit of time out there.

My grandparents live near Hammond so I have a bit of experience here, but I would also like to note that Baton Rouge is sprawling more naturally towards Hammond than to New Orleans. This sprawl will link Baton Rouge with the Gulf Coast megaregion more than New Orleans centered growth would. 

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New Orleans city population is growing far more than Baton Rouge, which is showing little in migration and mainly natural growth. The only way Baton Rouge city population grows enough to even challenge New Orleans' is if we experience extreme gentrification and an influx of jobs. So, no Baton Rouge really isn't close to catching up. From 2010 to the 2013 estimate, Baton Rouge posted a -0.1% loss in population. New Orleans estimates an 11.% increase in population. Baton Rouge has about 230k yet New Orleans about 385k, I'm not sure why you think the two are close.

 

Yeah with solid development but with sparse suburban development it will all seem like Baton Rouge suburbs all the way to Hammond/Covington. Soon South Satsuma Rd will resemble less of a rural road and more of a suburban one, those apartments sure help. There's only a handful of exits between the two and I'm very familiar with the Livingston/Albany/Springfield areas now. Spent a good bit of time out there.

 

I would counter that New Orleans is CURRENTLY experiencing growth. But, that city is going to get prohibitively expensive in the relative short term (20 years or less). Parking, housing, land is already getting there...There isn't much land that can be developed between BR and NO until you get to the outskirts of Gonzales (which is a suburb of BR basically).  

 

Also, and it's been a while, but the potential for future damaging hurricanes & flooding, will catch up with NO.  A lot of the influx of young professionals and new businesses have yet to experience the full force of nature and the economic & lifestyle hit that comes with that. Certainly BR get's it's share as well, but we aren't one of the oldest and most congested major cities in the US boxed into a narrow strip of land between a major river to the south, huge lake (connected to the gulf) to the north and swamps to the east and west. Plus I still question whether the culture of corruption isn't still very much alive and well there.

 

If anything I could see continued growth in and around Hammond, Covington, Slidell and see those cities merge, but none of those has the potential (large population base & existing major companies & political pull) that Metro BR has in my opinion. Does that mean we shouldn't coordinate economic planning with NO? Of course we should, but, we need to prioritize our own goals first. We have not done as well as we could have since no one seems to be on the same page at times. There are still too many small thinkers in BR, even those boutiques people think are sooo cool are just carbon copies of stuff people did in other towns years ago...New Orleans on the other hand seems to be hitting on all cylinders in many areas. Props to them.  

 

I can easily see Baton Rouge catching and surpassing New Orleans in terms of attractiveness to larger companies with differing priorities than the cool crowd moving into and gentrifying parts of NO. Will we surpass NO in terms of population anytime soon? Probably not, but I don't think that really matters since metropolitan statistical area populations are relatively the same.  

Edited by caballero
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If you're going to give BR St. George then you have to give NOLA Metairie, plus I could make a solid argument for Kenner, Gretna, Harvey, Terrytown, Harahan, and Marrero. I think if you add those all up you'll be at around 900K for NOLA. With just Metairie it's close to 500k.

 

NOLA metra is significantly larger and I would argue more important than BR. There's nothing wrong with that. When you go out of state, ask people what city comes to mind when they think of Louisiana and almost always NOLA is the only one they can name. If they know their state capitals they might get to BR.

Edited by all2neat

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