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Author Topic: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)  (Read 50085 times)

jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2015, 04:32:44 PM »

Forget the tunnel. Build the elevated highway. Just don't make it an eyesore.

My hope is that they will make it the city's biggest work of art. For a city that has much so much emphasis on culture and art in recent decades, it would be a shame and a wasted opportunity to not do so.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2015, 07:24:47 PM »

I sit here thinking of the precast arch structures used on the Wilson Bridge and how attractive that could be.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2015, 09:09:03 PM »

Which, for once, is what the planners in Lafayette are actually doing..if the usual obstructionists would let them.


http://www.lafayetteconnector.com
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2015, 09:22:57 PM »

Call me crazy...or anything you want, just don't call me late for supper...but why not teach Lafayette an expensive lesson:

Start somewhere just east of Crowley and start building new interstate highway southeastward, completely bypassing Lafayette, to connect with the upgraded US 90. Welcome interstate 6!

Let several years go by with the bypassing of potential business eat into the minds of those who wished the elevated highway not be built. Allow Lafayette to continue to divide itself without the existence of an elevated highway. Let them suffer & "waller in the squaller" of horrible traffic jams created by everyone wanting to go south from the end of I-49 to the new I-6 to go to NOLA. That seems to be what they want...let 'em have it!

Then maybe...after these current NIMBYs have died and younger folks of the future see how the lack of an elevated freeway has hurt Lafayette more than helped it...they will get off their assets and get that highway built.

I don't wanna hear about how it is wrong to have a whole interstate in just 1 state...I-2, -4, & -12 have set the precedents.

Why Crowley when the proposed LRX (Lafayette Regional eXpressway) loop just west of Scott does the job much easier for less, and connects to existing I-49 near Carencro?

Actually, you could have the LRX consolidated with the US 90 upgrade just south of Youngsville, and create your I-6 that way. You'd simply extend I-49 just a little bit southward through Broussard.

And, the LRX could even be combined with Teche Ridge for a full loop around Lafayette! How's that?

Let's finish the Connector and I-49 South first, though.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2015, 09:52:59 AM »

My fantasy wish list for Lafayette has these routes:

* I-149 branching from north of or just south of Carencro to the existing Amb. Caffery Parkway, consuming existing LA 3184 to Bertrand Drive.

* I-710 following the Teche Ridge route to Broussard.

The former would do a better job of getting people into the heart of Lafayette than the Connector will, and the latter would provide the bypass for southbound travelers.

But none of these are ever going to happen because Lafayette people don't have vision and can't agree on a plan.
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noelbotevera

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2015, 06:03:19 PM »

Why not troll Lafayette by routing it around the city and making sure it does not go near the development.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2015, 09:13:39 AM »

My fantasy wish list for Lafayette has these routes:

* I-149 branching from north of or just south of Carencro to the existing Amb. Caffery Parkway, consuming existing LA 3184 to Bertrand Drive.

Right. A freeway upgrade of Ambassador Caffery to Bertrand Drive, followed by an interchange right in front of Cajun Field??? Really?? Plus, the plans are to convert Bertrand Drive from Cajun Field to Johnston St. to a Complete Streets corridor, allowing for mixed use/pedestrian/bicycle traffic. Plus, you still want access to downtown and the airport.

Quote
* I-710 following the Teche Ridge route to Broussard.

That won't work too well for the same reason the original Teche Ridge proposal won't: not enough through traffic. Plus, the connection to US 90 south of Broussard is now fully developed with oil-based businesses, increasing the displacements and the costs.

Quote
The former would do a better job of getting people into the heart of Lafayette than the Connector will, and the latter would provide the bypass for southbound travelers.

But none of these are ever going to happen because Lafayette people don't have vision and can't agree on a plan.

To me, downtown, the airport, and ULL are the heart of Lafayette, and the Connector serves both far better than any other alternative. 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.  Other than St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge, what would Teche Ridge provide access to, and how would that divert traffic from the existing I-49/Evangeline Thruway corridor?

There is a genuine plan here. Build the Connector NOW to complete I-49 South, then we get the LRX/Teche Ridge loop later.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2015, 10:16:40 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.

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

Quote
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.

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.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 10:25:00 AM by jbnv »
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longhorn

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2015, 11:14:49 AM »

Why not troll Lafayette by routing it around the city and making sure it does not go near the development.

That's what I am thinking. I have been through Lafayette many times, just build to the east of Lafayette. It "should" pacify the rabid NIMBYs.
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silverback1065

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2015, 11:38:19 AM »

I don't get it, what is wrong with just building it to hug the eastern boarder of the city? wouldn't this have the same economic benefits to the city?  It doesn't seem necessary to build it straight through the city when an eastern bypass doesn't seem to be such a bad idea.  I don't live in the area, but I've read the articles and it doesn't seem like it makes sense to build it through the city.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2015, 11:47:20 AM »

Why not troll Lafayette by routing it around the city and making sure it does not go near the development.

That's what I am thinking. I have been through Lafayette many times, just build to the east of Lafayette. It "should" pacify the rabid NIMBYs.

Either they have a financial stake in the eastern route, or they truly are environmentalists and want to kill the project altogether. Either way, giving up on going through the city is exactly what they want.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2015, 03:23:52 PM »

How should we pacify the NIMBYs? Just run them over with the road. Of course, that won't happen, but it was a fun idea while it lasted.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2015, 12:23:53 AM »

Why not troll Lafayette by routing it around the city and making sure it does not go near the development.

That's what I am thinking. I have been through Lafayette many times, just build to the east of Lafayette. It "should" pacify the rabid NIMBYs.

Either they have a financial stake in the eastern route, or they truly are environmentalists and want to kill the project altogether. Either way, giving up on going through the city is exactly what they want.


Ummm....that's what most of the Connector opponents and NIMBY's actually would prefer. They are the ones who have been pushing Teche Ridge since it was created. Also, some fools in St. Martin Parish who think that they will get casino traffic going to Breaux Bridge or St. Martinville if Teche Ridge is built as the bypass for I-49.

I don't think there's so much financial stake; it's simply they don't want it going through the Evangeline Thruway corridor; and they want to "preserve" their neighborhoods". Or, they are New Urbanists who want to impose their "no freeway, especially not an elevated one" and "boulevards over freeways" myopia.
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silverback1065

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2015, 07:38:00 AM »

Why not troll Lafayette by routing it around the city and making sure it does not go near the development.

That's what I am thinking. I have been through Lafayette many times, just build to the east of Lafayette. It "should" pacify the rabid NIMBYs.

Either they have a financial stake in the eastern route, or they truly are environmentalists and want to kill the project altogether. Either way, giving up on going through the city is exactly what they want.


Ummm....that's what most of the Connector opponents and NIMBY's actually would prefer. They are the ones who have been pushing Teche Ridge since it was created. Also, some fools in St. Martin Parish who think that they will get casino traffic going to Breaux Bridge or St. Martinville if Teche Ridge is built as the bypass for I-49.

I don't think there's so much financial stake; it's simply they don't want it going through the Evangeline Thruway corridor; and they want to "preserve" their neighborhoods". Or, they are New Urbanists who want to impose their "no freeway, especially not an elevated one" and "boulevards over freeways" myopia.

people who prefer boulevards over freeways must love sitting in traffic and stop light filled sprawl.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2015, 11:00:46 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.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2015, 11:37:35 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.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2015, 11:51:32 AM »

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

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2015, 01:21:36 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.

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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2015, 01:36:34 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.
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DNAguy

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2015, 04:14:09 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.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2015, 04:25:40 PM »

Do you know what blight looks like from the ground? It looks like houses and businesses.

It helps to ask people who have actually lived there. Like I did, for most of my childhood and a good part of my adulthood.

I know you are going to find this hard to believe, but there is an Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team working on those matters. They released their vision statement yesterday.

Quote
Vision Statement:
 
WE ENVISION AN I-49 CORRIDOR THAT:
Repairs the division caused by the Evangeline Thruway.
 
Restores connections between neighborhoods and people throughout the corridor, including Downtown and the surrounding areas.

Reverses the decades of disinvestment in Lafayette’s urban core, stimulates urban revitalization and drives investment along the corridor and in adjoining neighborhoods through smart design, careful planning, and best practices.
 
Establishes a new standard for excellence nationwide for the design and implementation of a context-sensitive urban interstate, and “gets it right the first time.”
 
Improves local and regional traffic safety, increases access to transit, provides meaningful recreational opportunities, and implements crime prevention through environmental design strategies.
 
Encourages civic and commercial activity in people-friendly, desirable spaces below the elevated spans and along the footprint of the Connector.
 
Provides creative, three-dimensional solutions for an alternative Connector design that the entire community can embrace.

Apparently these people didn't get the memo from Google Maps and are imagining that the area already is divided.

It helps to remember that we're not in the 1950s. Nobody is talking about bulldozing the area clean, putting in the structure and leaving it to be. The community is actually working on this issue.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2015, 11:42:16 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.



Ummm, no. Not really. Actually, not even close.

It's not as simple as merely just drawing lines on a map or on Google Maps and pontificating about all the sins of elevated highways.

The Evangeline Thruway isn't just a local arterial. It is the MAIN north-south corridor through Lafayette that carries traffic to and from significant designations (such as ULL, downtown, and Lafayette Regional Airport). It also is the northern terminus of the only main 4-lane hurricane evacuation route for most of South and Southeast Louisiana. That in and of itself makes it quite divisive on its own, and actual evidence and traffic data back up the fundamental fact that 90% of the traffic on the Thruway is destined within the core of Lafayette, not bypass traffic.

Sure, you could build a bypass to make the hurricane evac traffic miss Lafayette...but what would that do otherwise? You're not going to ban truck or heavy vehicle traffic on the Thruway, since it is on the National Highway System, and it carries both US 167 and US 90. Are you going to move those highways over to the bypass?

The idea of "spur" routes to connect downtown along with bypasses is essentially a non-starter anyway, since the state and the Feds are fully committed to funding I-49 South through Lafayette, and with the interchanges already either under construction or planned to begin along US 90 south of Lafayette, it's a moot point whether a bypass could defer traffic away from the main US 90/Evangeline Thruway corridor.

As for this "elevated highways suck because blight and neighborhoods destroyed" meme? Yeah, there's plenty of examples of freeways (elevated, at grade, and depressed) carelessly rammed through neighborhoods without even the mildest concern for asthetics or for the neighborhoods devastated. But guess what? As bad as those highways are, and as costly they were to those neighborhoods, they still serve their main purpose of getting people where they need to go with the least impact. Sorry, but boulevards just won't cut it for moving 40,000+ vph. Sometimes you go with the best choice of bad choices, not necessarily the most desired choice.

And I can clearly say that none of those highways have the intensive study that the Connector is getting; nor are any getting the kind of treatment with CSS design and corridor development that the Connector is getting. TIGER Grants don't just fall from the nearest tree; they are precious stipends that are only given to proposed projects that have the potential for changing the game regarding elevated highways and development. The city of Lafayette just got a $500K bet handed to them that they can handle the Connector freeway and make it work. I don't think that they will just waste that money.

The Sierra Club and the opponents of the Connector had their day in court to make their challenges, and they lost. If they want to try again this time, I can't stop them; but I can sure as all hell make the facts plain to all that this proposal is the best for Lafayette, for Louisiana, and for the country. St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge does NOT need a N-S freeway. Lafayette DOES.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2015, 11:57:54 PM »

Also...it should be noted that along the Connector ROW, the only areas where there would be major residential/business displacements would be the one-block median of the Evangeline Thruway couplet from the L&DRR to near Mudd Avenue, and the segment from Mudd Avenue to Jefferson Street. The remaining areas are either abandoned, heavy industrial, or within the existing Evangeline Thruway median.

Divisive?? Really?? An elevated highway which will allow all the major cross streets to remain open underneath, and even add grade separations at the main BNSF/UP rail crossings at Second/Third and Johnston Streets? Which will allow the space underneath the structures to be used to its fullest extent by the neighborhoods on both sides? Which would add amenities such as a farmer's market, an continuous greenspace, parks, and other "streetscape" improvements?

No. Divisive would mean continuing with the same problems of traffic choking the existing Thruway and the railroad being the main "divider" of the city.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2015, 08:55:08 AM »

For the studies, did they do an Origin-Destination study for the traffic that's on the Thruway in the vicinity of "downtown"?
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2015, 09:47:17 AM »

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. 
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