Capitol Security Project begins: locals scared about future traffic and parking issues

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 5:09pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 9:06am

Traffic and parking are already a pain for those who are frequent to the downtown area near the Capitol and its going to get much worse before it gets better. That's thanks to a new project near the State Capitol.

It’s called the State Capitol Park Security Project. It's been in the works for awhile now and it’s finally kicking off.

Basically it’s a plan to beef up security around the capitol. But between now and the final product locals in the Spanish Town area are worried about all the traffic and parking problems this project will cause.

When the capital is in session it's busy in her and out here.

“During the session, Spanish Town road becomes a racetrack with people leaving the capitol,” said Spanish Town resident, Maryanne.

“Spanish Town road in the afternoon can become a raceway,” said Darryl Gissel, another Spanish Town resident.

People who live around here say this road is already a problem.

“If they divert the traffic any further and send more traffic down Spanish Town, which is a neighborhood, then we increase the volume of traffic and the people are still speeding down the street and that's a problem for a neighborhood."

Maryanne is talking about what could happen when the State Capitol Park Security Project kicks off. It'll basically change the flow of traffic around the capitol.

“We’re always concerned about increased traffic in the neighborhood,” said Gissel.

Darryel Gissel lives in the area too. He’s also a landlord and a real estate agent around there. So he understands the need for this change but he's worried about what these changes could mean for the area as a whole, now and in the long run.

“Huey Long built the capitol to be a building of the people and with all the work the state has done the grounds are beautiful and people are pouring into use it. It’s kind of sad to think that because of security we have to fortify things but we understand that’s the fact of life today."

The parking lot in front of the capitol will eventually be closed off and according to the plans; most of the parking will be moved to the rear.

It’s a little but sad and I think the state has done what they can to make sure it remains as people friendly as possible."

But he thinks this project could change that and that makes him worry, what's next for the historic part of town he calls home?

The project will cost roughly 4 million dollars and you really won’t see an impact until the New Year. NBC33 reached out to the project managers but have yet to hear back. We will keep you updated as the project takes shape.

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