A petition circulating online is calling for Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University officials to address pedestrian safety on Nicholson Drive near Tigerland.
The petition was started by LSU student Nikki Genova on July 29. It has a goal of 5,000 signatures. Within less than five days, the petition was within 700 signatures of its goal.
Multiple young adults in the last few years have gotten hit by cars and died. The drivers were not under the influence; there are no crosswalk signals or pedestrian lights at Nicholson and Jennifer Jean Road, so the drivers could not see the people crossing the street. Baton Rouge government and LSU needs to put in the effort to put street lights on Nicholson Dr. to keep these students safe and alive when they are walking across from the Tigerland area to get home. No more young students should lose their lives in this way.“Street Lights on Nicholson Dr. and E Boyd Dr.” petition
A spokesperson with LSU said the area is not on the university’s campus and referred the matter to Baton Rouge city-parish.
NBC Local 33 reached out to transportation and drainage director Fred Raiford, who said plans for improvements are in the works.
“Quite frankly, on Nicholson, with the railroad situation – we’re probably going to look at putting most of the improvements on the east side of Nicholson,” said Raiford. “It won’t be on the side where the railroad track is.”
“Certainly lighting could be part of this program, which it will be, particularly to Brightside and all that area which needs to be lit,” Raiford continued, “because a lot of people transverse that area and I think that if they had a sidewalk to walk and if they had an urge to ride and it was lit, I think a lot of people would do that, especially with students going back and forth to school.”
Raiford said there are about 70 projects that make up the Move EBR program and within the next few weeks, a committee made of internal and external city officials will assess each individual project and rank them on order of importance.
Once the projects are ranked, said Raiford, the list will be presented to the public and community meetings will be held allowing for residents to provide feedback.
“Let us get the list ready and see where it falls – and then if people have some concerns and want to know why it can’t be moved up,” said Raiford, “then when we have those meetings, those things can be discussed.”