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dimebag1980

What do you HATE about your city?

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How about a little change of pace? What do you HATE (and I don't mean just dislike a little bit) about your city? Be real... don't ignore this thread because it's more negative and you don't want to think that way. We all have things we hate about our cities, as much as we love them!!

I'll begin.

I hate Shreveport's small-town way of thinking. It seems most here have no real vision. So many people fought the former mayor's plans to finance the convention center hotel without a public vote. And while I agree it did seem a little shady, I feel it was a risk worth taking. You will NEVER, EVER, EVER get anywhere in life without taking SOME risks. The stock market is risky, driving 90mph in rush hour traffic when you're late for work is risky, etc... but sometimes these things have to be done in order to get ahead in life!

People here FOUGHT the casino industry but lost. Why fight it? Because this is the "Bible belt." Translation: "I'm holier than thou because I attend Big Jim's A-1 First-Rate Megachurch and I pray in public so everyone can see me. You'll never catch me in a casino because gambling is a sin!"

People here fought DejaVu, aka Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, because it was "bad" for our "community." What? Centerfold, The Library, Red River Cabaret, and all the other strip clubs we had at the time this club came into the market weren't bad, but suddenly Larry Flynt's name is involved and it's Satan himself!? What gives? I hate the word "community" when referring to a city over 150,000 people because it gives people an excuse to act like it's a small town. And sure, compared to Dallas, Houston, etc it IS a small town... but at 150,000+ a city is actually PRETTY big. People from small towns often refer to such a city as a "big city." So cut the crap and quit using the term "community" and quit fighting STUPID things.

Why do people fight progress when restaurants which will serve alcohol want to locate within a certain proximity to a school? This is why we have a minimum drinking age and numerous laws governing these things. Kids can't LEGALLY drink, and I don't fear a reputable restaurant will want to tarnish its image by serving alcohol to underage high school students on their lunch breaks!! Sure, it's happened in the past, but it can't be a very common occurrence.

People drive slow because they're ignorant. They drive slow in the left lane because they're just plain stupid. They get pissed off when you try to make them move by flashing your lights. That's when the horn comes into play, and then full-on road rage when they continue to be stupid, ignorant REDNECKS and refuse to move out of your way. These same people need to spend a week or more living in a city like Dallas or Houston to get a feel for how people SHOULD drive. Rush hour is called that because of what it is... it's the time of day when everyone is RUSHING to get somewhere. Work, home, lunch, somewhere. But when things happen that you don't foresee and you're running late, and you get behind some retarded redneck who is CRUISING in the PASSING lane, you can't get where you want to go in a timely manner.

People need to wake up and start acting like they have some sense. Why act like you live in some small, podunk town when you live in a city with a lot to offer. In Shreveport's case, it's casinos, nightlife, parks, etc. In Baton Rouge it's nightlife, a college atmosphere, great sporting events, etc.

I hate to say it, but I feel like anymore Lafayette is the only smaller-medium city in this state that acts like a big city. The people there really think big and have some vision. Not knocking Baton Rouge, because I know they're making huge strides... but I know Richy has mentioned before the small-town thinking that Baton Rouge is trying to overcome. I don't live there, though, so I can't say I know it all. I just know how my own city seems to struggle with this.

Why can't all cities try to overcome this? Why do these small-medium cities act more like small one-horse towns than bigger cities? You have to THINK and ACT big if you ever want to go anywhere. Sometimes, however, I feel like these cities DON'T want to grow... but rather stagnate, shrivel up, and disappear!

I get tired of not seeing many young professionals on the road with me during rush hour... just Bubba in his truck on his way to his engineering firm, with his four-wheeler in the back because he's taking off early and going "muddin," or Sally-Sue on her way to her job as a legal secretary. I get tired of just mainly seeing white and black people, a few Hispanics, and only a handful of other ethnicities. Where are the all the young professionals of other ethnicities? They're in DALLAS, HOUSTON, CHICAGO, even SAINT LOUIS! They're not in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, etc. And I'm grouping Shreveport with Monroe and Alexandria, because it acts more like those MUCH SMALLER cities than cities more its size!!

Wake up, people... what are you afraid of?

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I'm glad that you started this thread. Though I have a lot of pride in my city, I have a lot of things that I don't like.

First off lets talk about the city of Central. Though I don't mind that they decided to become a city, I have a problem with why and what they did to become a city. Each year the Baton Rouge School Board sends numerous students from low performing schools and school where they are the majority to the schools in Central with higher performance scores where they would be in the minority. We all know that Central is a majority white area and in order to stop their schools from being overpopulated by students, who are usually black, from underperforming schools they thought it would be best to become a city so they could control who gets into their schools. Also while developing the plans to become a city there was some obvious discrimination. When coming up with what would be Central and what would not, the boundaries stopped directly before places like Monte Celo and Park Forest, where middle class black families live. I believe that their way of doing this was so wrong in some many ways.

Secondly, I believe that north Baton Rouge is being forgotten while south Baton Rouge is progressing. You may always here me saying that Baton Rouge is a progressive city, but that's only if you are talking about the areas of downtown, south, and east. North Baton Rouge is really deteriorating, and besides from the Howell Place development there is really nothing going on there. The city keeps the exits ramps clean in places like Siegen Ln and Bluebonnet, while the grass is overgrown and filled with litter in north Baton Rouge. I feell that in order for Baton Rouge to become a legit mid sized city, it needs to take care of the things that it has been forgetting or ignoring. It seems to only want to revitalize Old South Baton Rouge because its between downtown and LSU, and not because it just simply needed to be.

Yeah SBC you are right, Lafayette is very different then the rest of the state, and while Baton Rouge has been making strides it has a long way to go. As stated in the business report, Baton Rouge has a problem with tolerance and if it doesn't change the way it treats people it will continue to loose it's young, innovative people. I myself don't really know if I want to start my life in Baton Rouge after college because I want to live somewhere everyone is accepted and has equal opportunity.

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EXCELLENT post, Bobby!! I really appreciate you opening up like that. Like I said, obviously we all love our cities and do our best to help their images, but no matter how much we fight it there are always issues that get under our skin and stay there. Eventually they just have to be spoken about, and hopefully changed.

I am a city boy and I get tired of people saying "small town" when referring to Shreveport. It's not a small town, but it does ACT like one... and that lends a lot to the overall attitude. More pride, more big-city thinking, and more big-city acting can go a long way.

A successful city has its problems as well... all cities have their problems. But why can't cities strive to be larger, more cultural, etc? Sure, more people means more traffic... but is that not truly a GOOD problem to have? I think it is! Look at Bossier City. While Shreveport implodes, Bossier City is exploding with new growth and gaining culture. But still, while it's making such huge strides they still have to face the fact that it's a small city that is still severely lacking in culture. And aside from being a busy gambling city with booming suburban areas, Bossier City no longer has a true image. No matter how hard they try, it's still "East Shreveport." Its image back in the 50s and 60s was of a rough place, with bar-lined streets... hookers, illegal casinos, underage drinking, etc. But today what is it? It's an average city. Shoot for ABOVE average, don't settle for average!

:)

BY the way, Bobby, where is the city of Central located exactly?

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^It's basically a large communtiy on the northeastern edge of Baton Rouge

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There are several things I don't like about Baton Rouge, but all can think of right now is traffic and the transportation system.

As you all probaby know traffic in Baton Rouge is HORRIBLE! I recently started taking driver's ed and I get out at 5:15 . It takes nearly 45 minutes to an hour to get home what is usually a 15 minute drive. I think its been said the reason is because of the city's poor layout. It's the only sizable LA city to not have a grid system. After the Garden District it gets crazy :wacko: .

The public transportation system is on its knees tryng to get a hold of things. We had a very progressive transortation CEO,we were going to have rapid transit buses and everything,but he had to go back to San Diego and that meant :good: (turn finger upside down). I read in the paper that they opporate on 11 million, but revenue is only 1 million. -_- A few things I think they need to do is put up definitely recognizable stations, with maps of routes and a timetable and make bus routes in low income areas(there the ones that really need it). And I know this is a ridiculous idea for Baton Rouge, but I think a good idea would be a commuter rail that starts downtown and goes to Livingston city, or Albany, or even Hammond. But that's kind of like saying I want a $55,000 car with a pretty girl and $1,000,000 inside to fall out of the sky.

And one extra thing A little while ago the proposed a bike path between here and New Orleans for 30 millions dollars. I sorry to everyone likes this, but I think it's dumb. Why spend that when for 2.3 times more on health unconscience Louisiana, when you could start up a commuter rail for 70 million.

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I represent New Orleans to the fullest, but I'm not gonna lie and say there are some aspects of N.O. I don't like because there are. Through it all, I'm New Orleans only hope so i'm gonna hold it down.

1.Education-New Orleans' public school system is a flat-out joke. You have more teachers going on strike than students learning, it shouldn't be like that. Granted there are some top-notch quality schools in New Orleans but they get little to no recognition, and they are mostly in Jefferson Parish.

2.Poverty-It's not rocket science that poverty and crime go hand in hand. If New Orleans wants to eliminate crime, get rid of the poverty. In order to get rid of poverty, you have to change the inner-city mentality. Contrary to popular belief many hustlers and thugs want to do right, but to a degree it's difficult when you were brought up poor and the hustlers/drug dealers are living better than you.

3.Gun & Drug Overflow-It cannot be denied there are an overflow of guns and easy access to them. Being that the Port Of New Orleans is one of the big-time ports, the guns gotta come through here. Once the guns arrive they make their way to the streets. The weapon of choice here is an AK-47 and M-16. There are guns coming through New Orleans that even the military doesn't have access to. It's insane that you can get a gun with the quickness here. That's how "Chopper City" came about, because of the AK-47 overflow.

4.Murder Rate-In '93, New Orleans' murder rate was the highest in the country, 43 per 100,000. Then it doubled in '94. 12 years later it shoots up to 96 per 100,000. Before Hurricane Katrina our murder rate was 65 per 100,000 and was projected to move into the 70s, possibly the low 80s. Because the population constantly fluctuates it's difficult to pinpoint an exact murder rate. For right now, N.O.'s murder rate is 12-15 times the national average. I don't want New Orleans murder rate to reach the 100s and chances are it won't, but it wouldn't surprise me if the rate got that high. Unlike Los Angeles and Chicago, gangs don't account for a percentage of our murders because they're non-existent here. Our murders are retaliatory and drug-related. Gangs would never work in New Orleans because it's every man for himself.

5.Crooked Cops-In the mid-90s, New Orleans ranked #1 in police corruption. It wasn't that long ago where some of the police were caught serving drugs. A year ago in the Quarter, a 64-year old man got beat Rodney King style by 3 New Orleans cops. Incidences like the ones I described are the reason why the criminals have no fear of the police.

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This is a nice topic Brian, thanks for starting this :thumbsup: You hit the nail on the head; as much as we love our cities, there are some things that could use some work.

Like you mentioned...some around here refuse to give-up the small town mentality. But I think that's slowly changing, they are begining to accept that Baton Rouge is a city whether they like it or not. That's part of the reason why Livingston, Ascension, and Zachary(northern EBR) are growing at such a rapid pace. They like the small town feel, but the bigger reason is the schools systems that bobby255BR mentioned.

I know exactly what you are talking about Brian, I can relate. When a visionary developer comes up with a nice new condo tower project on the river, some ignorant people ask "why" or "what for"?? What really eerks me is they asked "why so tall". Because the tract of land is not that big+ you want to bring more residential density to downtown!!! That's why!!! Small town mentality.

Central was recently incorporated as a city a year or two ago. The population is approx. 24,000-27,000??? Alot of the reason is the schools. I understand what bobbyBR255 is talking about with Monticello; but the Comite River made a natural geographic boundry for Central's city limits. I never considered Monticello as part of Central even beforre it became a city. Park Forest is in the BR city limits.

"Crime"...I am about sick of it!!! Check out this sick crap! They just caught this loser tonight. http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=6437869 I know as much as anybody that crime occurs everywhere but this is why people flee the inner city;and it's not just white flight. Many black hard-working middle class citizens are moving out to Monticello, Park Forest, Villa del Rey, etc. to get away from this crap. Too many people living and dying by the gun. And it aint just the young people either. Men in their 40's, 50's, and even 70's killing each other too recently.

Crime seems to be take up the majority of newscast. <_< Just way too much shootings.

The schools are just hanging on; hopefully the new charter school programs will soon be making an impact.

Some kind of Interstate by-pass or loop would be nice. Traffic gridlock, bottlenecks are the norm now! The giant Mississippi River make the $ price of bridges hard to deal with. The Green Light program started for BR major surface streets a a great start. I see the transition happening. It show's BR becoming a more progressive city.

The lack of a nice true high-rise hotel downtown along the riverfront. Whether from it's from one of the cheezy casino's or not.

And Arts & Entertainment District where alcohol consumption is the main topic.

Other southern capital city's like Austin, Nashville, and now Raleigh took that next step. I think BR is seriously trying to take that next step; but it still has a way to go. But it looks promising! But even the cities mentioned are not without problems. I realize no city is perfect.

I love my home state Louisiana...but they tick me-off with this. Blank-o or somebody need to step up the proper $funding for LSU, the "flagship" university AND >>> the "world renown" Pennington BioMedical Research Center not getting enough support or $funding from the state for expansion. With the record surplus happening now, if it doesn't happen now, it never will!! If a state like North Carolina had a research center like this!!! They would take care of them better than this. It's why Texas and Alabama beat us out for things.

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Interesting stuff from everyone, and an interesting topic, Brian!

I've got plenty of things to say about New Orleans and the entire state, but I'm still caught up in the NFL Draft at the moment! :lol:

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You guys have all brought up some interesting points. I guess for me, it would be the lack of a reliable public transit system. This is a problem for many cities across the US. I would love to be able to take a train downtown for work or take a train to LSU or SU's campus for a ball game. Taking the train to the airport in BR or NO would be awesome.

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Something that I always notice when we have threads or topics like this...

Everyone, whether they're from New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, or Monroe, notes that their respective cities could be so much better with just some basic attitude and leadership changes. And really, it's because our entire state could be so much better with those same basic changes. Louisiana as a whole has so much potential that frankly, it's ridiculous and embarrasing that we're not up there with Southern states like North Carolina or Tennessee that are really turning the corner. You look at all of the resources that this state possesses, from the largest port in the Western Hemisphere, to nearly 30% of this nation's oil, and then you take a look at the newest lists highlighting business, industry, or population growth, and you see Louisiana at #47 and #48.

I've said it before, I think way more people in this state need to realize where we could be with some serious leadership and some effort, instead of just saying "well, at least we're above Mississippi!" with a smile.

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Something that I always notice when we have threads or topics like this...

Everyone, whether they're from New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, or Monroe, notes that their respective cities could be so much better with just some basic attitude and leadership changes. And really, it's because our entire state could be so much better with those same basic changes. Louisiana as a whole has so much potential that frankly, it's ridiculous and embarrasing that we're not up there with Southern states like North Carolina or Tennessee that are really turning the corner. You look at all of the resources that this state possesses, from the largest port in the Western Hemisphere, to nearly 30% of this nation's oil, and then you take a look at the newest lists highlighting business, industry, or population growth, and you see Louisiana at #47 and #48.

I've said it before, I think way more people in this state need to realize where we could be with some serious leadership and some effort, instead of just saying "well, at least we're above Mississippi!" with a smile.

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^Its sad how many kids want to leave Louisana. I rememeber I told one of my friends I wanted to stay in Baton Rouge and she said "(gasp!)You're the only person I've ever talked to that's said that!". And sure enough when I talk to other people, they say they want to move to Texas or California or Georgia. :(

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^ Exactly. I wanted to live in a Big city. But call me bias, Louisiana is very unique. After Living in Dallas for years, I'm bored with the conformity. Dallas may have a worldwide image as a cowtown, but personally to me its very bland, and lacks authenticity. I believe even Baton Rouge has this raw feel, but it has yet to be refined. New Orleans is a no brainer. Its simply my favorite city period. Imagine Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans all having a poulation over 400K in the city limits. They would be big city's but with a lot of heart and culture. I feel like alot of these other cities blowing up around the country don't have soul to them. To me Louisiana is a state that was meant for greatness. Look at california. Its known for beaches, new thinkers, diveristy, hollywood, and so many other things that make it intersting. It has a wow factor. Everybody want to go to california. So many wanna be there, live it breateh it smell it. I truly think Louisiana has a similar potential. A very unique state that could be branded as that getaway place, or the ideal place to live, similar to florida but of course minus the beaches. Louisiana has that, we just don't wanna make things happen.

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Very well said BRPJ. Thanks for sharing from your interesting perspective. I hear that term alot "more opportunity" in Texas, Georgia, etc. I think I know what you mean, but could you give me an example of this??

This is now becoming more of a "State" topic instead of city. That's exactly how I ended my reply above; alot of this is bigger than just our city's...it's the state too. Louisiana needs to treat LSU like other states do with their "flagship" universities. The world class nutritional facilities at Pennington Biomedical Research Center have been self sustaining it's entire 20+ years of existance now needs to expand but needs $tate help desperately. This would not even be an issue in a state like North Carolina. Louisiana has record amounts of $urplu$; if Pennington does not get the help now, it never will. <Sorry I already stated this.

This is just one example of how to keep the young creative professionals with high paying jobs in this state. It's sad that people leave Louisiana for better opportunities.

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Seriously, what can anyone hate about Baton Rouge? But if I had unlimited dollars and influence I would start with a few improvements.

First, I would like to see BR continue to define itself outside of LSU. We have a lot more to offer than a September Saturday in Tiger Stadium [though that's hard to top]. Nurturing our assets and minimizing our liabilities is a must, but we should also make it known how we are different from other cities, and why those differences make BR the place to be for young professionals already out of college. Downtown is catching on and I'd like to see it spread to other parts of the city.

Second, like bobbyBR mentioned, I wish North BR and South BR were more integrated. North BR is too much a part of the city physically and population-wise to be so removed from BR's growth.

Third, street-scape/landscape improvements. Baton Rouge is naturally a very green and lively city, and I think that alone makes people a little more laid back, in their attitudes and the way they greet the day. As mentioned before, this is definitely an asset. I often look at otherwise beautiful, lush, only-in-Baton Rouge neighborhoods and see gravel driveways or lawns unbuffered by curbs or sidewalks. I feel like if there were a long-term, city-wide effort to put in adequately-sized , landscaped sidewalks on most Baton Rouge streets, you would literally be able to see the changes unfold. Sidewalks let people know the street was meant to be enjoyed by motorists and pedestrians alike. And when the natural beauty of Baton Rouge is experienced more and more in the open air by pedestrians and cyclists, you will find more and more residents simply unable pack up and move...quality of life. Also, with BR's comfortable year-round climate [or almost year-round] and its fairly dense arrangement of residential neighborhoods around retail corridors, you would logically see an increase in sidewalk activity [less gas, less traffic--makes sense, at least to some].

But overall, judging from my experiences in Baton Rouge and Memphis, the small town mentality seems like the biggest obstacle. Some people just don't realize that they live in an actual city that must grow and evolve in order to survive. Government initiatives like public transportation should not be something to fear or scoff at, and private developments that include taller buildings should not be automatically deemed intrusive or unnecessary. When it comes to competing mid-size cities like Baton Rouge, Shreveport, or Little Rock, long run success is going to be largely influenced by each city's ability to get passed the rural conservative attitudes that always seem to get in the way, and I think that statement really applies to almost every city in the south.

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Very well said BRPJ. Thanks for sharing from your interesting perspective. I hear that term alot "more opportunity" in Texas, Georgia, etc. I think I know what you mean, but could you give me an example of this??

This is just one example of how to keep the young creative professionals with high paying jobs in this state. It's sad that people leave Louisiana for better opportunities.

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Memphis, Dallas & Houston are where my family resides and although those cities are a 2nd home to me, I couldn't see myself leaving N.O. even if I was offered a good-paying job in those respective places. If I were to leave New Orleans, Memphis would be my first choice due to the similarities between the two. New Orleans is unique, it doesn't try to be any other city. We haven't sold our souls for the sake of growth. I want New Orleans to grow but not at the expense of our history and culture. N.O. has potential to be #1 but it sickens me that the leaders don't see it that way.

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There are far much more job opportunites In Texas. and just in general, I have a lot of personal goals that I am trying to reach, and Louisiana is missing Key industries right now to get what I want while living there. Ultimately it is my goal to bring various business and what not to our state. But I am young and and the time is now, i can't wait around for Louisiana to catch up. The cost of living where I live is very similar to that of Louisiana. Maybe a tad bit higher, but not much. And after Katrina, Some aspects of the COL have matched that of Dallas.

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