Neighborhood speeders called threat to walkers

Monsanto Ave. residents say they stop speeders, hold them for police

During the summer, children and teens hoping to beat the heat or soothe a growling stomach lace up their tennis shoes or hop on a bike for a short trek to the Sonic in Luling for a frozen concoction or a burger.

But residents on Monsanto Avenue are worried that speeding cars could hit kids while they travel to and from the restaurant.

During a Parish Council meeting on Monday, about ten residents from the area asked the parish to place three-way stop signs at the intersection of St. Maria Street and Monsanto Avenue.

The residents hoped that the signs would slow down drivers and make the street safer for commuting children.

Councilman Dennis Nuss said that even more residents had contacted him about the speeding problems on Monsanto Avenue.

“There have been a number of issues in the area as well as complaints,” Nuss said.

John Cooley, who has lived on Monsanto Avenue since 1976, stood in front of the council to support the signs.

“(The road) has become more and more of a quarter-mile drag strip…I myself was out mowing the lawn and an SUV went by me and I guess that much more and I’d have been a statistic down there at the morgue because these vehicles do not slow down,” Cooley said.

Cooley said that he and other neighbors have called the Sheriff’s Office to report speeders before and have even stopped cars in the road and held them there until officers arrived to issue tickets.

“I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to go out there and continue harassing our neighbors to slow down,” Cooley said. “These vehicles are becoming now dump trucks and cement trucks…I’ll put up the $150 for a stop sign.

“I don’t want to see one of my grandchildren or anyone else in the neighborhood be run over.”

Despite an overall concern for speeding on the road, some residents do not want the signs put up.

“If you put up a stop sign it’s going to be abutting my driveway, so therefore I’m really against it,” said Wayne Breaux, who lives on the corner of St. Maria and Monsanto. “We do have speed problems on that road, but the stop sign is going to give me issues…and I think it’s really going to be a hassle for the two houses (on that corner).”

Denise Breaux also spoke at the meeting and suggested alternative ways to deal with the speeding, such as speed bumps, lowering the speed limit and adding children-at-play signs.

Councilman Shelley Tastet agreed with the Breauxs, saying, “speeders are going to speed no matter what.”

Councilman Paul Hogan effectively put an end to the debate by citing a rule that says stop signs are not to be used as a speed control device.

“To approve this request would send a message to our citizens that they need to obey our rules and regulations but we do not,” Hogan said.

The issue was tabled until the next meeting. In the meantime, Nuss said that more research will be done to determine what method will be the most effective to stop speeding on Monsanto Avenue.

Also approved at the meeting was the rezoning of some land in Fairview Plantation to allow for a Waffle House to be built.

The land, located on Airline Highway near the driving range, was rezoned from a light industrial to highway commercial classification.

While council members said they had heard complaints about the possible rezoning from another business owner on Airline Highway, the rezone was granted.

Parish President V.J. St. Pierre was excited about the new business moving to the area and wondered why other similar businesses are not coming in as readily.

“For two years, our Economic Development Director, Corey Faucheux, has been trying to get franchise restaurants (to come to St. Charles Parish),” St. Pierre said.

Waffle House representative Butch Bauer said that the area just “felt good” to the company as a new location for their restaurant.

“We really felt like…this was a good area to expand into,” Bauer said.

Bauer said that the proximity to the airport and the lack of 24-hour restaurants in the area contributed to the decision to open a new Waffle House.

 

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