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Mid City mom advocates for solution to dangerous intersection along bike path

Mid City mom advocates for solution to dangerous intersection along bike path
Photo provided by staff.
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POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 2:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:06am

Baton Rouge-native Kelly Francois moved her family in search of a healthier, more economical life-style.

“We lived in Oak Hills, and everywhere we wanted to go we had to get there by car,” she said. “I wanted to go down to one vehicle, so we needed to move somewhere that was more bike-friendly.”

Francois found the perfect spot in Mid City for her family of five.

“We have access to everything by bike,” she said. “We can do all of our errands on our bikes.”

Over the past three months, she’s enjoyed her new life, with one exception.

“The intersection at Capital Heights and South Foster is not safe,” she said. “As soon as we moved in I saw it was an extremely dangerous situation.”

Several years ago Capital Heights transitioned from a two lanes to being a one-way. The added a bike path, and it has served as an attraction for the area.

“I think there’s plenty of passion in Mid City to live a more sustainable lifestyle,” she said.

But that pedestrian-friendly environment is cut in half by the dangerous crossing. Yesterday, she learned about the danger first-hand.

“I was on my way home and crossing right across South Foster. A car was taking a left and crashed into me in the middle of the intersection,” she recalled. “Luckily, I have a big basket on my bike, which got mangled. I have two big bruises on my sternum. But I think the worst injury is my broken heart because it happened.”

Currently, the alternative option for cyclists and pedestrians is to cross at the stop light on Claycut. Unfortunately, that path has its own obstacles.

“It’s safer to cross at Claycut, but it’s a more dangerous road once you cross,” Francois explained. “This issue really chops up the Mid City area.”

Francois believes the problem is something that can be fixed and has addressed the issue with the Mid City Neighborhood Association. She says they have also received complaints from the running club. They agreed to hold an emergency meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

“Our bike path and walking path is relatively new,” David Johnson, president of the neighborhood association, said. “We called this meeting because it is important and it’s something we want to address quickly.”

Johnson explained that the association will discuss and petition the board to bring the issue to the Baton Rouge Metro Council.

Francois hopes a solution can be found so that Mid City can continue to improve and become a safe place for young families seeking a healthier lifestyle.

“As it is now it’s promoting outdoor exercise through a dangerous intersection,” she said. “If the biking lifestyle is going not going to work here because it’s not designed that way, I’ll move somewhere it does work. But I’m a third generation Baton Rougeian. I want to stay here. This is my home.”

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The bike lane on Goodwood between Jefferson and Foster is useless, unless you're suicidal. Whoever designated it a "sharrows" must hate bicyclists.

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