Rally for red-light at deadly intersection

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POSTED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:07pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:20pm

After the deadly intersection of LA 1 and Plantation Parkway in Addis claimed another life this past weekend, everybody from the parish president to the chief of police came to rally for traffic light to be installed.

"Very different to get across," said Riley Berthelot, West Baton Rouge Parish President. "The safest way to do it is with a red light."

DOTD officials plan to install what's called a "J-Turn," forcing all vehicles to turn right onto LA 1. If you need to go north, the cars have to cross over the travel lanes and make a U-turn further down.

The new plans have neighbors just as nervous.

"I'm not going to do the J-Turn," said Kim Blanchard, who lives nearby. "I'll go all the way down to the red light. I'm not going to take chances."

Another concern for neighbors is slow moving vehicles coming out of the intersection.

"Buses leaving from here won't be able to accelerate on the highway, i just don't think it's going to work," said Joshua Hinton, who lives nearby.

"it's very difficult for a 45 foot bus to make a turn at the j-turn. clearly we have to go down a mile and a half turn and make the u-turn."

DOTD said because of the number of vehicles daily at the intersection, a traffic light will not be installed and plans for the J-turn remain in place.

Some good news for the residents is that with the neighborhood continuing to grow, the developer said he has plans to add a northern exit out of the neighborhood that connects to a stop light. Those extension should come within one to two years. Construction on the J-turn will start in the spring, and last about six months.

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