Home Opinion-Free Carlson: We’re going to have to learn to deal with traffic

Carlson: We’re going to have to learn to deal with traffic

After the past weekend of driving around Bossier City, I’m fairly certain that while we see constant work by City officials to improve traffic flow – we’re going to have to agree that traffic congestion is here to stay.

And we’re just going to have to live with it – hopefully civilly and with some care for fellow drivers.

The reasons for this abound …

We’ve all witnessed the Airline Drive corridor traffic; last Friday it was particularly stacked. But this is Bossier’s major retail district and that traffic means business is good.

A new example of observing traffic’s growth is found in south Bossier. For decades this area (south of Barksdale AFB) has been a predominately residential area of the city. New residential growth, however, has slowly extended further south as rooftops now extend south of the Jimmie Davis Bridge as new residents look to enjoy south Bossier’s slower pace.

But that slower pace is definitely speeding up as residents are seeing more of the commercial and business growth they’ve long hoped for. It doesn’t take much of a drive down Highway 71 South to see just how much change south Bossier is experiencing. Strip malls south of the bridge have brought businesses and eateries to residents, and new restaurants, like Zaxby’s, are appearing as well. A Walmart Market is under construction at the intersection of Shady Grove and Highway 71, and signs on the drive between the base’s main gate and Shady Grove announce new strip mall construction.

New growth brings new traffic, and while south Bossier is blessed to have both Highway 71 and the ART Parkway, traffic congestion is building in this part of the city. And it’s not just south Bossier traffic – part of the congestion results from traffic coming across the Jimmie Davis Bridge.

For south Bossier, it’s one of those “be careful what your wish for” situations.

The same is likely to occur along Benton Road north as the growing number of residential rooftops draw new businesses to that area and that relatively stress-free drive north of Viking Drive to Benton sees greater traffic.

For Bossier City, all of this growth is good news. New residential development is followed by business and commercial development. Bossier City government is largely funded by sales tax revenues, and this growth fuels city work – like improving traffic flow with new roads and improvement to existing roads.

But the traffic congestion will continue to grow – we just need to expect it and perhaps become more patient and thoughtful drivers, while welcoming that new growth.

And a welcome new addition, likely to draw significantly more Saturday traffic to Pierre Bossier Mall, is the Bossier City Farmer’s Market set to open August 1, 2015 in the mall’s south parking area. This market, which runs through December 19, 2015, is likely to be a popular weekend event; it will feature local farm vendors, local arts and crafts, food trucks and children’s activities.

While we enjoy local farmer’s markets in Shreveport, Benton and Haughton, the Bossier City venue will feature a nearly year-round calendar. Look for this to be a popular weekend spot … and we’ll suffer the traffic to enjoy it.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the BPT. She may be reached at martycarlson1218@gmail.com

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