The City of Bossier City has created a district meant to beautify portions of south Bossier City.
According to an ordinance, the Barksdale Boulevard Redevelopment Overlay District will seek to enhance swaths of south Bossier along Barksdale Boulevard to “strengthen its economic vitality, preserve its commercial character, enhance visual appeal, improve motorist and pedestrian safety, and encourage new investment and redevelopment.”
Included in the ordinance is an incentive for existing developed sites to install or provide cross-access easements as a way to reduce parking requirements and that new driveways along Barksdale Boulevard are limited to a maximum width of 35 feet, subject to all requirements and approvals of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
The proposed $5 million worth of upgrades are the result of a 2012 lawsuit settlement between U.L. Coleman Companies and the City of Bossier City. The 2008 lawsuit stemmed from the city denying access to the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway for the company’s Walker Place mixed use development.
Due to the creation of the district being part of ongoing litigation, Bossier City officials declined to comment.
Some of the proposed improvements include a new entry monument at Mike Wood Memorial Park, pedestrian/bicycle trails and drainage improvement, $200,000 in landscaping improvements for Mike Wood Park, and streetscape upgrades on Barksdale Boulevard, Panther Drive, Shady Grove, and Bellaire Boulevard.
As of May 1, renovations at Mike Wood Memorial Park are nearly complete.
Improvement projects include a new sign at the entry way and 13 exercise stations along the walking trail. A large canopy area was also constructed for visitors to host picnics, birthday parties and other events. The park already has a walkway, Frisbee golf course, swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts.
The upgrades cost approximately $300,000 and were done to improve the park’s aesthetics and quality of life for local residents.
“By providing the exercise stations, we’re anticipating more people utilizing the walking trail in the park whether it’s for health benefits or just enjoying a day out,” said Mark Natale, Public Information Officer for the City of Bossier City. “The sign at the entry way improves the look of the park and makes it more pleasing to the eye.”
South Bossier has also seen $3 million worth of improvements in the form of Walker Place Park off the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway near the CenturyLink Center. That included a walking path, public restrooms, and a foot bridge that spans the parkway to link the park with the riverfront walking path.