12 October 2008

Auto-related death on Bayou Liberty Road

Times-Picayune - Slidell man killed in one-vehicle crash

You'd figure it would have to happen one of these days, sadly. I'll paint a picture for you of this road. It's extremely narrow, narrower than some of the side streets that intersect it. It's so narrow that all it has is a compact double-yellow centerline. No outer white lines denoting the edge of the road. No shoulders to speak of, just ditches at the end of the pavement. It's got lots of twists and turns, poor sightlines and heavy amounts of truck traffic. Not 18-wheelers, mind you, but smaller trucks with trailers, as that route is one heavily favored by construction cleanup drivers due it its proximity to the dump on nearby Howze Beach Road. In addition, there is a lot of truck+trailer+boat traffic as well, due to Bayou Liberty itself.

As well, the ability to upgrade it is nil for the time being, due to a severely limited right-of-way and running through an area loaded with wetlands. It shouldn't have a highway designation until it gets upgraded, but it's still designated. Truthfully, the only reason it's designated right now (according to me, anyway) is because it connects two otherwise-discontiguous sections of LA 433, and because it serves a hotspot for fishermen.

It carries a 40mph speed limit, which may regrettably be too high for the road. Honestly, I don't know how any sane person would give it a limit over 30mph. Despite all that, people still speed. You can often find idiots doing upwards of 60mph along the road. Its twists and turns in rapid succession make for an adrenaline-junkie's wet dream.

And yet, now we hear about someone dying along the road due to crashing out. It's long overdue. I also don't see what more we can do about it for the time being, other than a total rebuild, and even if that were in the cards it would take time.

The other option is to reduce the speed limit to 30mph, making it less attractive to all the through traffic that uses it.

No comments: