Itís time to plan the future and rebuild Louisiana
Louisiana Speaks is looking for a regional vision to steer the restoration and rebuilding of storm ravaged south Louisiana.
There are several possible scenarios presented and it appears to us that the one to choose is a no-brainer.
It would focus on development of existing cities and towns. It would concentrate on building mainly condos, apartments and townshouses for expansion housing, all connected by public trtansit such as buses and commuter trains.
The major cities where this development would be concentrated would be New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette and Lake Charles and cities in between.
The west bank of St. Charles Parish would be on a transit line between Houma and New Orleans and the east bank would be on the line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The western part of the state would be on a line extending from Baton Rouge and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain by lines out of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Of course housing would continue to be developed in country areas but these would be restricted to land not severely threatened by storm surges and flooding.
Thereís no need to build subdivisions in wetland areas.
Letís keep them for the wildlife and fish and let them help protect us from storm surges.
The trend today is toward smaller living quarters which is more attractive to older people and young couples just starting out. Living and travel expenses would be less.
Though the added public transportation facilities would be expensive, it would be more than offset by savings from putting more money into improving and repairing highways. And the environment would benefit by having fewer noxious fumes for us to breathe..
People could live their lives in smaller quarters with less upkeep and not have to load up on fuel every day to get where they have to go. Towns would be concentrated with shopping districts they can walk to for their needs.
Most of our fabulous outdoors in south Louisiana would be left for all to enjoy as natural habitats.
And it would all come at less cost to our pocketbook and environment.
The alternatives to this plan would be to continue developing as we have in the past with single family homes in outlying suburbs or go halfway into the other plan by building more condos and townshouses as well as single-family dwellings with some new public transit and road improvements.
It seems if Louisiana is to come back strong, we should adopt the first plan which would make it easier to restore our deteriorating coast and preserve the wetlands that have been so good to us in the past.
You can learn more about the possibilities by going to www.LouisianaSpeaks.org.
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