People of Central Must Speak Now on BR Loop or Forever Hold Their Peace

With the Loop, The Central We Know and Love Will Become Just a Memory

by Woody Jenkins

CENTRAL — The next three weeks could be your last opportunity to express your views on the Baton Rouge Loop in any meaningful way that could make a difference.  Most people in Central think the Loop is dead.  How wrong they are!  The Loop is very much alive and in fact it is very near approval from the Federal Highway Administration.

Once the FHWA gives the okay, the Loop commission, led by Mayor-President Kip Holden, will have the authority to move full speed ahead with the Loop — more studies, engineering plans, financing plans, and, ultimately, construction.

It would be a $4.5 to 6 billion project.

All Holden has to do is get his friends in the Obama Administration to include the Loop in Obama’s next stimulus program.  A grant of $100 million or more would put the project in high gear.

Holden’s Loop commission has full authority to expropriate property, issue contracts, and build highways.

The construction of the Baton Rouge Loop across Central would forever change this community for the worse.

The Loop would bring all the problems of the Interstate Highway system into the heart of Central — criminals passing through, illegal aliens, drugs, prostitution, pollution, and noise.  It would also be unsightly and completely contrary to the theme of Central as “Country Living in the City.”

There would be a lot of development, not necessarily good, such as public housing and multi-family units.  A single 500 or 1,000-unit apartment complex could destroy our new school system and bring in loads of problems.

Central is known for low crime, good schools, and country living.  The Baton Rouge Loop would endanger all of those things.

If you love Central and want to preserve the things that make this community great, please take the time to express your opinion about the Loop and send it to the Loop Commission, with a copy to the Central City News.

The Loop will close out public comments on Jan. 9, 2012.  So please act now!  Send your comment to the Loop at the address or fax below and please send a copy to the Central City News.  We will organize these comments and submit them in bound form to the Loop.  This could be our last chance.  Please send your views today!


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