Turning left risky business on Hwy. 90


April 20, 2009 at 10:51 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The opening of a McDonald’s in Paradis has highlighted the need for something to be done on Highway 90 to prevent deadly accidents from occurring in the area.

For years, the parish has been trying to get a center turn lane in Paradis to help alleviate accident concerns. It hasn’t happened and the area has become more dangerous with the influx of businesses over the years. Now, the parish is pushing the Department of Transportation and Development to put “No Left Turn” signs throughout Paradis.

“There are no plans for a turning lane because the road is not wide enough,” Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said. “What we have talked with the DOTD about doing is not allowing left turns throughout the entire stretch of the road through Paradis.”

Councilman Paul Hogan agrees that the road is not wide enough for a center lane, but said that the expense it would take to widen it would be well worth it.

“There should be a center turn lane, but that would cost money,” Hogan said. “You just need an extra three or four feet on each side to widen it enough and I don’t think dollars are a good excuse when it comes to lives.

“The parish has been trying to get a center turn lane there for 25 to 30 years.”

If a center turn lane isn’t a possibility, Hogan said that “No Left Turn” signs through Paradis should be considered and the speed limit should be lowered.

“I think we should lower the speed limit to 35 mph on Highway 90 through Paradis,” he said. “How can we have a 35 mph speed limit in Boutte, which has a center turn lane, and not in Paradis? It doesn’t make any sense.

“Something needs to be done.”

Sheriff Greg Champagne said that he is looking at increasing police presence in the area.

“It is a very dangerous intersection and I am working with the Parish Council and the DOTD to get something done,” he said. “There have already been fatalities there and everyone needs to be careful.”

Champagne said when he goes through Paradis, he gets in the right lane and goes 35 mph.

“There were fatalities in that area a few years ago, and I am concerned that more will occur,” he said.

Since the road is a state highway, DOTD will make the ultimate decision on what needs to be done.




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