Letter to the Editor of The Acadiana Advocate

Response to article: “Evangeline Thruway pedestrian safety measures to wait until I-49 Connector built” Published November 28, 2022

This Letter was published January 24, 2023, both in print and online here.

Dear Editor,

We thank Claire Taylor and The Advocate for your November 28 article documenting pedestrian deaths and exposing intentional delays in upgrading pedestrian safety on Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette. Pedestrian safety concerns can and should be addressed immediately.  If any city in the state were to build a system that killed seven people in one catastrophic event, citizens would rightly demand a better system and accountability.

The truth is that pedestrian safety measures are far more affordable than building the elevated I-49 Connector. They can also be implemented quickly on a local scale. In the unlikely case that the I-49 connector will be finished in only 15 years expect another 105 people’s lives sacrificed. Is that a responsible use of our taxpayer dollars?

We at the Louisiana 4-Corners Coalition for Transportation Planning Reform agree with the Lafayette based Protect Our Pedestrians organization’s position that crosswalks, signage, sidewalks, and lighting should all be added or improved upon now. That should be prioritized today before any more deaths occur on our streets.

The Louisiana 4-Corners Coalition for Urban Transportation Planning Reform advocates for responsible use of our taxpayer dollars, reducing auto dependence, maintaining existing infrastructure, improving community resilience, facilitating meaningful public engagement, and increasing equity across the entire state of Louisiana. Learn more about our state-wide members and methods at AllendaleStrong.com/4corners.