BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– The City-Parish is rolling out a new plan to welcome electric vehicles. The goal is to bring more transportation opportunities to areas that see a lot of visitors.
“We need to accommodate all modes of transportation that people want in a community,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Communications Officer, Mark Armstrong.
Electric vehicles have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation. In fact, statistics indicate the number of electric vehicles on U.S. roadways more than doubled in the first quarter of 2022.
JC Collins, a Baton Rouge resident who supports the use of electric vehicles, told BRProud, “I’m interested in the Tesla myself because I see that more. So, I mean, it would be a great situation, especially down here when we’re actually parked and we don’t have any gas stations.”
But not everyone shares this view.
For example, Baton Rouge resident Charleen White-Bhatia said, “I’m seeing electric buses drive by just now. And I thought, oh, how nice. They’re really quiet. But on the other hand, if something happens and we don’t have electricity, then what are those buses going to do?”
Despite mixed feelings, the city-parish is planning to create more transportation options for citizens and visitors.
“Some people want to have electric vehicles. Some people want to have traditional vehicles,” Armstrong said.
He added that officials are able to roll out more charging stations thanks to funds from the federal infrastructure bill.
“So people who are driving down the interstate and are stopping off in our community, they have plenty of options in order to charge their vehicles, particularly also in parking locations,” Armstrong said.
The Mayor’s Office has already been looking at potential projects. One development is scheduled for downtown Baton Rouge, and it’s already made some progress.
“We’re building a new surface parking right next to the River Center garage, that is going to have 20 of these charging stations in it,” Armstrong said.
Some residents have an enthusiastic response to this news.
Collins, mentioned earlier, said, “It’s more economical and it’s more without the smog like California. We’re inhaling all these fumes and we have all these chemical plants around, so we want to make sure that we are moving forward, advancing into the future.”
White-Bhatia offered a different perspective on the upcoming project, saying, “It’s hard enough to already to find a place to park your car, so to hear that they’re going to put in 20 electric car places will not be very fair for the people that have to have parking in regular spots.”
The city hopes to see the project approved and completed by the end of the year.
Click here for more information on the strategic plan.