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Author Topic: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)  (Read 49320 times)

jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2015, 09:48:47 AM »

Was a depressed freeway ever considered? 

Read the entire thread.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2015, 10:02:02 AM »

For the studies, did they do an Origin-Destination study for the traffic that's on the Thruway in the vicinity of "downtown"?


O/D studies were done with the original EIS process during the 1990's, and the revised EIS resulting in the current ROD, as is standard for these kind of projects.

Also, after the first EIS was killed by opposition in 1992, the Lafayette Consolidated Government MPO did their own independent study "North-South Corridor -- Path to Progress"; it compared the Evangeline Thruway corridor with three bypass corridors (1 to the west and 2 to the east), and it did include an O/D study. It concluded that only 9% of the Evangeline Thruway traffic was bypass traffic not destined from or to within Lafayette. The study has now been added to the document library over at the Connector website.

http://lafayetteconnector.com/project-library/#1442589560353-2c3e272d-2f82

Just click on the "Historical Documents" button and it will show up.

Updated traffic studies will be done as part of the Re-evaluation of the ROD that will be part of the current studies.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2015, 10:11:59 AM »

Plus, you still want access to downtown and the airport.

The Ambassador/Bertrand corridor has nothing to do with downtown or the airport. That's what the Connector is for.

Are you touting these as replacements for the Connector, or to be built along with it? If the latter, then I apologize for the misinterpretation. The same issues with converting Ambassador/Bertrand still apply, though.

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Right. A freeway upgrade of Ambassador Caffery to Bertrand Drive, followed by an interchange right in front of Cajun Field??? Really??

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The former would do a better job of getting people into the heart of Lafayette than the Connector will...

To me, downtown, the airport, and ULL are the heart of Lafayette, and the Connector serves both far better than any other alternative.

We clearly have different experiences of living in Lafayette. I come in via Amb. Caffery quite often. I almost never come in via the Thruway; I did it the other day just for ol' times sake.

For the record, I live in Opelousas, but I do have family in Lafayette, I attended UL (when it was USL) for 3 years, and I go there more than often. I know that most folks use Caffery because it accesses most of the western and southern edge of the population; but the Thruway is still the main N/S thoroughfare through Lafayette.

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Johnston St. and West Congress Street can be used to provide access to the rest, and Ambassador Caffery Parkway does a decent job for traffic coming from the west. 

Your response shows the very lack of vision that I was addressing. Congratulations, you are true Lafayette native. Apparently my spirit comes from Texas.

What lack of vision?? All I said was that Congress Street can be used as access between the Connector and the west (via the Second-Third interchange) and that Johnston Street already serves as the connection between downtown and points to the southwest. No insult to your vision at all, at least I hope.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2015, 10:24:07 AM »

Routing I-49 on the East side of Lafayette might not be very cheap or easy to build. Some of that land is swamp land or wetlands. Environmentalists might not be happy at all with a super highway going through that area.

If I was going to route I-49 on the East side of Lafayette, I'd have the southern part of the bypass start just north of the Celebrity Theaters Broussard 10-plex. US-90 is running almost due North at that point before taking a big curve off to the West. I'd just have I-49 continue North from there. It would skirt the East side of Lafayette Regional Airport and East side of Larabee and run into I-10 just East of Louisiana Ave. exit on I-10. I would be surprised if a route like this wasn't already considered as an alternative to building the Connector through the middle of Lafayette.

It will be interesting to see how this works out, but I-49 definitely has to go through somehow. It can't be a stupid Breezewood with a lot of traffic lights congesting long distance highway traffic.

Anything that runs through the Vermillion River floodplain is DOA with the Feds. Also, interchange spacing requirements would kill putting an I-10 interchange that close to Louisiana Avenue.

The two eastern bypass corridors proposed in the North-South Corridor Study broke from US 90 generally near Southpark Road (LA 89), then traversed the Cypress Swamp to the northeast up to LA 94 between Lafayette and Breaux Bridge. The two alignments then diverged: Eastern Alignment to the NW to an I-10 interchange where Louisiana Ave. now is, then W to hook up with I-49 just S of Gloria Switch Road; the Eastern Bypass continued N to meet I-10 at the St. Martin Parish line where Sawmill Highway overcrosses I-10, then curves W to meet I-49 between LA 182 N of Carencro and the LA 726 overpass.

Both were rejected mainly for their impacts on Cypress Swamp, and the costs.

It was probably that very reason why the Teche Ridge proposal was pushed further east and south into St. Martin Parish.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2015, 10:27:39 AM »

Routing I-49 on the East side of Lafayette might not be very cheap or easy to build. Some of that land is swamp land or wetlands. Environmentalists might not be happy at all with a super highway going through that area.


As I said earlier, I think that's why the Sierra Club and their ilk want that route. If we abandon the Connector for Teche Ridge, they'll sue to stop it. They want to kill the project altogether and force Lafayette into a "new urban" plan.

Actually, the Sierra Club was one of the original sellers of the Teche Ridge alignment as an alternative to the Connector, exactly because Teche Ridge avoids the swamplands. They were part of the lawsuit challenging the 2003 ROD for that very purpose. They are also pushing Teche Ridge hard right now as THE alternative for the Connector, too.

The new plan apparently from the Connector opponents is to combine Teche Ridge with an alternative "new urban plan" for the downtown neighborhoods; which would include "streetscaping" and possibly even reverting the Evangeline Thruway back to two-way streets rather than a one-way couplet. That would be disasterous, IMO.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:32:47 AM by Anthony_JK »
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Anthony_JK

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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2015, 10:43:01 AM »

As I said earlier, I think that's why the Sierra Club and their ilk want that route. If we abandon the Connector for Teche Ridge, they'll sue to stop it. They want to kill the project altogether and force Lafayette into a "new urban" plan.
Actually, the Sierra Club was one of the original sellers of the Teche Ridge alignment as an alternative to the Connector, exactly because Teche Ridge avoids the swamplands. They were part of the lawsuit challenging the 2003 ROD for that very purpose. They are also pushing Teche Ridge hard right now as THE alternative for the Connector, too.

It doesn't take a bleeding heart for Mother Nature to see that building it through already-developed area versus undeveloped area is "better for the environment". They want Teche Ridge so they can kill it altogether. Either that or they are getting a kickback from someone (maybe the urbanists and land developers). Either way, their support for Teche Ridge has nothing to do with responsibility to the environment.
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brownpelican

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2015, 01:02:21 PM »

Routing I-49 on the East side of Lafayette might not be very cheap or easy to build. Some of that land is swamp land or wetlands. Environmentalists might not be happy at all with a super highway going through that area.

As I said earlier, I think that's why the Sierra Club and their ilk want that route. If we abandon the Connector for Teche Ridge, they'll sue to stop it. They want to kill the project altogether and force Lafayette into a "new urban" plan.

That's my thinking also.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #58 on: December 18, 2015, 05:16:08 PM »

Earlier I wrote, "It will be interesting to see how this works out, but I-49 definitely has to go through somehow. It can't be a stupid Breezewood with a lot of traffic lights congesting long distance highway traffic."

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I-78 in Jersey City would like to have a word with you.

Having lived in the NYC area 5 years and been through that approach to the Holland Tunnel a bunch of times I would not say that's an example of a traffic light-infected Interstate that works. Lots of people who commute to and from Manhattan prefer taking NJ Transit and/or the Path train as opposed to dealing with that nonsense.

Additionally, I-78 effectively ends at Jersey Ave. There's 3 traffic lights from there to the tunnel. There's quite a bit more distance to travel with the Lafayette Connector. If they can't build an Interstate quality connector through town they're going to have to build one around town.

Breezewood, PA only has a pair of traffic lights at the intersection of I-70 and Lincoln Ave. Still, that junction with I-70 and the Penn Turnpike & I-76 is annoying and even confusing for some drivers for its backward wrap-around effect. Bedford, PA and I-99 is a little similar.

Lafayette is currently looking at a pretty long Breezewood for I-49 between the intersection of LA-88/Goteau Rd and I-10. Even if the connector can be built through parts of the run down area East of Downtown Lafayette, there is a lot of businesses along US-90 on the South side of Lafayette that are in the path of the future super-highway, if it's going to have continuous frontage roads flanking I-49. It's probably going to take a long time to build through that.

Meanwhile I haven't seen anything going on at the far East end of the I-49 corridor in New Orleans. They could complete the rest of the West Bank Expressway to US-90 since the ROW is already there to build it. I don't know what the plans are to get I-49 through or around Avondale, Boutte, Paradis and Des Allemands. Overall, it looks like they could get the rest of I-49 built all the way up to where the current freeway ends South of Lafayette without nearly as much trouble as it will be getting it built all the way through Lafayette itself.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2015, 05:55:12 PM »

... without nearly as much trouble as it will be getting it built all the way through Lafayette itself.

The only reason we're having trouble getting it built is because of, for lack of a better word, tradition. Lafayette has a culture befitting a city 1/3rd or less of its size. It's taken this long to get the city to the point where enough people will let them build it. And despite all of the talk and studies, we still have the small but vocal group that demands that we not build it.

It doesn't help that Louisiana has an atrocious record of preparing for transportation needs. If Lafayette were in Texas, both I-49 and the loop would have been built decades ago and the hypothetical I-149 I mentioned earlier would exist in some form, if only a ROW footprint.
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aboges26

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2015, 10:39:40 PM »

Routing I49 through Lafayette isn't the answer.

We have had close to 70 years of American freeway/highway/expressway history to know that urban elevated freeway contribute to blight, destroy neighborhoods, reduce property values and harm the areas around them.

Routing the interstate around the city is the only real answer as tunneling is too cost prohibitive / doesn't make sense for a city like Lafayette. If the Sierra club has a beef with that, then let them fight it. The environmental protections in this country have been widdled down enough for the project to be approved. Environmental legal opposition is much cheaper to fight IMHO than personal / property opposition. This is Louisiana, not California.

What do you know about the Connector route? Unless you are from Lafayette or its surrounding areas, I doubt you know much. Besides what you have read on the Internet from people who oppose it.

The Connector route is already blighted. There's almost nothing along the route to destroy. The route passes between downtown and a residential area, so it's not cutting through an existing neighborhood. The city already has a racial divide that is roughly along the Connector route anyway.

If anything, the Connector project is an opportunity to develop and revitalize the corridor.

A simple google map look shows homes and businesses in the path of this interstate. It'll divide the neighborhood to the east of it from downtown. If a racial divide already exists, it'll most likely be exacerbated by a large elevated freeway / physical barrier. Blighted or not, the people wanting the convenience of this road are not the ones most likely going to be effected by its drawbacks.

So how exactly is building a grade separated and limited access freeway through an area going to reduce blight?

Yes, you'll bulldoze the "crappy" houses in the path but that's just addressing a symptom and not the root cause of the blight. Those factors will remain with brand new road or not.

I will consider your POV if you can show me examples of how building a freeway through a residential / urban or semi-urban area has helped the neighborhood reduce blight.

A simple answer to this problem might be building a bypass while maintaining or upgrading the existing facilities as spurs to the interstate. You have the benefit of an additional north-south interstate in Lafayette, you maintain the access to it through two spurs and you didn't destroy have to destroy existing homes and businesses in the process.

Have you heard of the Marsha Sharp Freeway in Lubbock?  It has revitalized the whole area along its corridor because it was done right.  As long as you keep the access where it needs to be and it is done in an aestetically pleasing way, it will be a benefit to the community.  "Dividing" a neighborhood from downtown is not necessarily a bad thing as well if the connectivity is still there.  It all comes down to whether proper urban design is planned for.


looking at street view, it looks like the thruway was a first attempt at making an interstate go through town to begin with, except everything is at grade.  Doesn't appear to be too hard to convert most of it to an interstate.  Was a depressed freeway ever considered?  those are less dividing to a community.

It's in Louisiana near the coast so their water table is probably high.  A depressed freeway was most likely never an option here.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #61 on: December 19, 2015, 09:52:04 AM »

Isn't the Marsha Sharp Freeway mostly at-grade w/ depressed interchanges, though? I will say that TXDOT did a great job there of integrating the freeway with the neighborhoods. That's pretty much what Lafayette is shooting for with the Connector freeway.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2015, 02:59:40 PM »

looking at street view, it looks like the thruway was a first attempt at making an interstate go through town to begin with, except everything is at grade.  Doesn't appear to be too hard to convert most of it to an interstate.  Was a depressed freeway ever considered?  those are less dividing to a community.

Yes, the Evangeline Thruway was originally built to ultimately support a freeway facility. The wide median at the Willow Street intersection, the one-block separation, and the ROW of both US 167 to the north and US 90 to the south were all created to support an ultimate elevated freeway within the median or be upgradable to freeway. The only constraint was the sharp turn of the north-bound roadway at Simcoe Street to avoid impacting St. Genevive Catholic Church, which did constrain the median at that point. The proposed Connector avoids that constraint by shifting westward and realigning the ground level Thruway to a brief "boulevard" effect at Simcoe Street, and by depressing Simcoe a bit to allow for clearance under the Second/Third Sts. interchange ramps.

Weren't it not for the coulee ditch that traverses the Thruway just near the L&DRR spur crossing, an depressed freeway would have been more feasible. As it is, though, it's a moot point.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2015, 08:01:46 PM »

The Connector has a Facebook page. If you feel strongly about the project, participate in the discussion. Don't just through out the same old trite oppositions and arguments.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2015, 08:20:07 PM »

Maybe the "same old trite oppositions and arguments" is all the ammunition project opponents have.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2015, 10:59:05 AM »

The Connector has a Facebook page. If you feel strongly about the project, participate in the discussion. Don't just through out the same old trite oppositions and arguments.

Broken link....here's the fixed one:  https://www.facebook.com/LafayetteConnector

There's also a Twitter timeline (https://twitter.com/LafConnector ).
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2015, 12:50:55 PM »

To add some context to the discussion here, this is a rough outline of what the Teche Ridge alternative would look like (courtesy of the Acadiana Advocate):



From reading the map, it appears that the Teche Ridge southern connection with US 90 would be at the intersection of Young Street (LA 92/LA 92-1) and US 90. That segment is filled with development, plus, how would you place direct flyover ramps without affecting US 90 or the connection to Young Street?


(I had earlier posted that the connection would be at the Ambassador Caffery South extension intersection/future interchange with US 90. Sorry..I misread the map.)

The most logical location for a Teche Ridge connection with US 90/Future I-49 South would be somewhere midway between LA 92/LA 92-1 (Young St./future Youngsville Parkway) and the LA 88 (Coteau Road) interchange. Problem is, the best area for that connection has now been built up as an arterial (Petroleum Parkway), and is loaded up with residential and commercial development, so you will have some displacements....maybe even as much as or more than you would with the Connector/Evangeline Thruway alignment.


I really fail to see how this will attract enough traffic from the Evangeline Thruway corridor to be cost effective.


The other issue is what you would do with the segment of existing I-49 between the northern terminus of Teche Ridge and I-10. Return it to US 167? Make it an I-x49 spur? Create Louisiana's first Interstate business route? Downgrade that portion back to expressway standards?


Bottom line, this turkey bird isn't flying. Not with LCG, not with LADOTD...and most certainly not with FHWA.


Now, after the Connector is completed, we can seriously talk about integrating Teche Ridge into the LRX outer toll loop. THAT would be something real.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:00:43 PM by Anthony_JK »
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DNAguy

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2015, 05:50:47 PM »

Maybe the "same old trite oppositions and arguments" is all the ammunition project opponents have.

How is building an elevated freeway through an existing neighborhood not "old" or "trite" when it comes to a solution to traffic?

Look, I understand this isn't a new urbanism forum. I'm not some kind of hippy-dippy no-roads person either.

I just know in most cities I've visited or lived in that an elevated interstate / highway does the following:

A) Provides a hang out for the homeless and panderers
B) No one seems to want to live near them and most actively seek to move away from them
C) They allow for motorists to bypass areas and therefore allow $$$ to bypass areas
D) They act as a barrier for development
E) They provide nice shaded parking if built by an existing dense place

The bypass has its environmental drawbacks as well and maybe this coalition of folks can make an elevated freeway work.
Count me as skeptical, though.


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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2015, 06:07:29 PM »

Then what is your solution?
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2015, 02:22:41 AM »

Maybe the "same old trite oppositions and arguments" is all the ammunition project opponents have.

How is building an elevated freeway through an existing neighborhood not "old" or "trite" when it comes to a solution to traffic?

Except that the proposed Connector freeway does not "plow through" existing neighborhoods. Other than the segment within the Evangeline Thruway median between the L&DRR spur crossing and Mudd Avenue, and the segment of ROW which diverges from the Thruway to parallel the BNSF railroad line near Jefferson Street, there are very few displacements of neighborhoods or homes. North of the railroad and south of Fourteenth/Taft Streets, the Connector uses the existing Evangeline Thruway ROW, and between the Jefferson Street underpass and Fourteenth St., there are only isolated homes, commercial property, or simply vacant land due to the prior use of the railroad yard.

As for the neighborhoods themselves? Only Ballard Addition on the west side of the Thruway and Sterling Grove on the east side can say that they would be directly affected by residential displacements or noise/visual impacts. Freetown-Port Rico is located on the other side of the BNSF tracks from the Connector ROW, and would be indirectly impacted only through the underpass of the railroad that would be required for the Johnston St. interchange. McComb-Veazey would be somewhat more impacted by the small bit of ROW that would be required along the Evangeline Thruway between Fourteenth Street and Pinhook Road necessitated by the need to fit the freeway structure between the surface one-way local access roadway system...but even that would not necessarily be that great an impact to that neighborhood. The Thruway is only the western boundary of McComb-Veazey, so that would not count as "ramming through the neighborhood" at all.

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Look, I understand this isn't a new urbanism forum. I'm not some kind of hippy-dippy no-roads person either.

I'm no "plow freeways through neighborhoods with no foresight or concern for the people living there" person myself...and there are even some forms of New Urbanism that I can support when the situation supports it. The problem is when some of them get trapped in the mentality of "Cars suck, and freeways suck even more; so lets make it so hard for cars that people will be forced to dump them for our vision of light rail and boulevards!"  Alternatives to automobiles for transport are justified; simply ignoring the issue of people not readily giving up their cars and trucks, though, is ignorant.

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I just know in most cities I've visited or lived in that an elevated interstate / highway does the following:

A) Provides a hang out for the homeless and panderers
B) No one seems to want to live near them and most actively seek to move away from them
C) They allow for motorists to bypass areas and therefore allow $$$ to bypass areas
D) They act as a barrier for development
E) They provide nice shaded parking if built by an existing dense place

That is exactly the kind of non-development that the Corridor Connectivity Study is attempting to prevent through creative concepts of greenspace, mixed use, and connecting all of the surrounding neighborhoods together to better synch with the proposed Connector project.

And as for the arguments about the homeless?? Gee as if the efforts already ongoing to discourage homeless people through spiking benches, harassment, and other means, isn't enough to discourage transients from using the space underneath elevated freeways? Here's a quaint idea: how about we provide real places for the homeless to reside safely so that they don't have to use the freeway to begin with?

Motorists will bypass the Evangeline Thruway area? Really? Only 9% of traffic using the existing Thruway are there to bypass it; the remainder use it to access the main critical destinations nearby (downtown, ULL, Lafayette Regional Airport). Trust me on this, the people using the Thruway are not going to just ignore the businesses that have been there; and the idea behind the Corridor Connectivity Plan is to revitalize the corridor (especially the portion not directly covered under the Connector) to become a hotbed for community-based businesses.


Quote
The bypass has its environmental drawbacks as well and maybe this coalition of folks can make an elevated freeway work.
Count me as skeptical, though.

You are entitled to your skepticism, just as I am entitled to my opinion that the Connector is the best alignment, and the people of Lafayette will do their best to make it work because this is the one chance they have to, as they say, "get it right the first time". Mitigating the impacts of an elevated freeway has never been offered in this way, which is way LCG was able to score that TIGER grant for this study. That's a big investment that can't go to waste, and I'm positive and optimistic that ultimately, they will get it right.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 10:50:09 AM by Anthony_JK »
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2015, 08:54:52 AM »

Quote from: DNAguy
[snip]

Then what is your solution?

We know what his solutions are. They are the same solutions that have been discussed and rejected for good reason. There's very little to discuss in terms of alternatives to the elevated Connector. People are beating the dead horses in hopes of killing the project.

Now, designing the Connector and putting the corridor back to good use... that is worth discussing.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #71 on: December 22, 2015, 05:12:44 PM »

Maybe once the highway is built, they could paint trees on it like they did on Interstate 10 in New Orleans. As an alternative, maybe they could put other things on the roadway that represent Lafayette.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #72 on: December 22, 2015, 05:17:43 PM »

Maybe once the highway is built, they could paint trees on it like they did on Interstate 10 in New Orleans. As an alternative, maybe they could put other things on the roadway that represent Lafayette.

My personal idea: Make the supports look like crawfish. So we would have a row of crawfish holding up the highway.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #73 on: December 23, 2015, 04:44:23 PM »

That might work.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #74 on: January 01, 2016, 03:17:58 AM »

Isn't the Marsha Sharp Freeway mostly at-grade w/ depressed interchanges, though? I will say that TXDOT did a great job there of integrating the freeway with the neighborhoods. That's pretty much what Lafayette is shooting for with the Connector freeway.

The Marsha Sharp is not at-grade at all, Milwaukee Ave was an at-grade intersection that served as the ending of the Marsha Sharp and where the Brownfield Highway started, but now that the Milwaukee overpass has opened up the Marsha Sharp designation continues to Upland Ave, where there is currently an overpass and frontage roads being built.  After that overpass is built, then the Marsha Sharp Freeway name will be extended along the current Wolfforth bypass to Loop 193 where another overpass/interchange is about to be built.

As for the depressed portion of the freeway, it is only from just west of Ave Q to just southwest of 19th St.  It is only depressed there because it goes right by Jones Stadium and through the Texas Tech campus, and as far as I know, the University had wanted the Brownfield Highway/Tech "Freeway" to be upgraded to a depressed corridor to not be an eyesore.  By depressing the freeway, they purposely cut Indiana Ave, which is a major north-south street, in order to stop traffic from crossing through the center of campus.  To balance things, they created Tech Parkway to route the traffic west then north to go through the west side of campus and provide better connections to the UMC hospital.  3 pedestrian bridges were built to span the depressed freeway to facilitate movement across the corridor to the off campus student housing, museum, and hospital on the north side of the freeway.

Depressing the Connector in Lafayette would be more aesthetically pleasing option if done like the Marsha Sharp, but as it has been said, that is not an ideal method due to how much it rains in Louisiana.  The depressed portion of the Marsha Sharp has flooded with many feet of water, many times, and this is in semi-arid west Texas where we barely get any rain.  No amount of water pumps can keep up with torrential rains.

Maybe once the highway is built, they could paint trees on it like they did on Interstate 10 in New Orleans. As an alternative, maybe they could put other things on the roadway that represent Lafayette.

My personal idea: Make the supports look like crawfish. So we would have a row of crawfish holding up the highway.

I really like this option and see the potential for it to be a work of art for the city that means something to it.  There is a viaduct on the Marsha Sharp that goes from just east of Ave Q to just west of I-27 on the north-side of downtown and its burgeoning Arts District that has been painted up and has sculptural art in-between the eastbound frontage road and the embankment for the western start of the viaduct.  I think that the elevated option, if done correctly with some artful design, could be the best option for Lafayette purely because of what I have seen in Lubbock with its consistently expanding economy.

The question is, if the connector was built through the center of Lafayette, would the city be able to design an aesthetically pleasing elevated structure and redevelop the land around it to integrate it into the fabric of the city positively?  I know most of the fears surrounding an elevated freeway are that it will divide and be an eyesore, but that would not be true with the proper planning and development.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 03:20:34 AM by aboges26 »
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