Ask Livingston Parish residents what they consider their biggest peeve, and most likely they will tell you it’s the roads.

Public officials have been well aware of the road problems for years. They remain a constant struggle for our local delegation at the State Capitol, who vie for highway funds along with lawmakers from the 63 other parishes.

Livingston Parish residents will have the opportunity to voice their wants and needs during an open house hosted by the Capital Region Planning Commission. The forum will run from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at L.M. Lockhart Community Center on Martin Luther King Drive.

The residents who drive the roads every day know well about the congestion, the bottlenecks and potholes. Lawmakers who represent our area also know those areas, but it takes an active voice of the people to tell them which areas rank as the top priority.

Livingston Parish residents obviously are not alone. Throughout the state, motorists endure some of the worst roadways in the United States, in terms of road quality and congestion.

It’s also a matter of safety. Post-flood repairs on Burgess Avenue, Arnold Road and U.S. 190 – all along West Colyell Creek – severely hampered east-west traffic. It also blocked traffic for many residents who rely on the route to avoid much heavier congestion on Interstate 12.

In the event of a wreck on Interstate 12, it would have made the routine daily commute a much bigger hassle because of extended delays.

The hardships it created for motorists brought to the forefront the need for new routes in the event on delays on both arteries. Imagine an emergency which would have made it much more difficult for evacuation or for transportation to a nearby hospital.

It’s an example of the hardships residents have endured for years in Livingston Parish, one of the fastest growing areas in the state. It’s time to bring our roadways to the 21st century.

If people do not step up and offer their thoughts in terms of infrastructure, public officials will not worry. Constituents must come forward and address the issue, which will more times than not draw response from the legislative delegates.

The state does not have the money in the budget to address every problem, but it helps create a priority list.

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