Opinion: Traffic is a sign of progress

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At a Bossier City Council meeting several weeks ago, the Bossier City Council voted to move  forward with the northern extension of Bossier City’s Arthur Ray Teague Parkway (ARTP). The northern extension of ARTP will go up and over intersecting railroad tracks with  overpasses in a couple of locations along the proposed route.  The ARTP northern extension will terminate (for now, in my opinion) somewhere in the approximate area of Montgomery Lane and Benton Road. After completion, Bossier City will have a true north-south thoroughfare with no railroad track interference for the first time ever! Having a true north-south traffic route unobstructed by train tracks is huge! The increased traffic flow and the resulting expediency of travel will be major factors in propelling our city forward.

RandyThe northern extension of the ARTP is another component of the City of Bossier City’s 2007 Transportation Improvement Plan. Many Components of this plan have already been completed such as: the Benton Road Overpass, the extension of the ARTP north from Diamond Jack’s (Hamilton Rd.) to I-20 (Riverside Dr.) and the extension of the ARTP south from Jimmie Davis Highway (LA 511) to Sligo Road. Also, the recent widening of Swan Lake Road between Industrial Drive and I-220, and the soon-to-oc me extension of Swan Lake Road north with Bossier Parish taking over and extending Swan Lake Road eventually all of the way up to Crouch Road in Benton. And now, we have all of the new development in north Bossier surrounding the new Kroger Marketplace Center development (between Wal-Mart and Home Depot on Airline Drive). The soon-to-come George Dement Boulevard and other access roads associated with the new SDI Realty Kroger Marketplace Center development will relieve traffic on an already much overcrowded Airline Drive. Rumors are also beginning to circulate as to the potential widening of Viking Drive between Airline Drive and Swan Lake Road. Though nothing has been announced or even appears to be a part of the official plan in this regard at this time, the widening of Viking Drive could definitely prove to be a much needed traffic artery in the very near future.

As I have noted so many times before in this column, it is obvious that our city is growing exponentially.  Bossier City and Parish continue to be one of the fastest growing cities and parishes in the entire state of Louisiana. No doubt, increased traffic is a sign of growth.

As I sit stalled in ultra-slow traffic on Airline Drive or Benton Road, it is easy for frustrations to escalate quickly, but then I think of the obvious signs of growth surrounding me with each slow moving vehicle and,  it becomes quite obvious that Bossier is the place to be!

So, I applaud our city’s leadership in progressively addressing the growing pains associated with our transportation arteries. Essentially, I see this as a perpetually increasing situation over many years to come. What a hassle, but what a GREAT situation in which we find ourselves….what a true blessing! And,  as our city leaders and political officials, our Chamber of Commerce officials and our Economic Development officials all work to grow our city and move things forward by bringing new business and industry to our city (parish), the benefits of the ease of access and travel both to and from our city’s major hubs will serve us all well into the future.

Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com