BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The recent deaths of a 71-year-old woman and an LSU student on Burbank Drive has raised safety concerns for those who walk along the roadways at night.
Two people were killed weeks apart, both on Burbank Drive. Ethel Wesley and Madison Brooks were killed after cars hit them while they were walking. The speed limit is 55 miles per hour, but most who drive along Burbank know cars go much faster, and there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. “It’s actually quite concerning being a female and a student here at LSU,” expressed Cyler Parker, an LSU student.
Parker says students are putting safety first by walking instead of drinking and driving. But without lights, it makes it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians. “There should be safer options here in Baton Rouge for students,” she continued.
Chief Communication Officer for the city of Baton Rouge, Mark Armstrong, says they are having conversations about making Burbank a priority. “Putting a mixed-use path on the side of the road for pedestrians and bicyclists. We are also looking at already in the planning phases of putting a traffic signal at the intersection of Burbank and Pelican Lake that will add street lighting right at that intersection,” he claimed.
However, adding more lights and traffic stops is not an easy task. “This involves a partnership with the Metropolitan Council and the property owners along that corridor who would be paying for the installation of that infrastructure,” Armstrong explained.
He says in the long term they would like to see property owners along Burbank pay a fee to light the road. And working with the Capitol Area Transit System to add crosswalks.