Residents say dangerous intersection needs traffic light

Real people speak out

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 4:54pm

Addis, LA (FOX44) — A dangerous intersection has Addis residents demanding a change. That after a tragic accident claimed the life of LSU coach Les Miles’ sister.

Fifty-four-year-old Anne Hope Browne was trying to cross busy Highway 1 at Sugar Plantation Parkway when another car slammed into her. Six people were injured. Browne was pronounced dead on the scene. Addis resident say a traffic light at that intersection might have saved her life.

Michael Jones saw the accident happen. “All you hear is this noise. Bam! And then the care ran up into the truck.”

It’s not the first time he’s witnessed a wreck at the intersection. He’s been living in the neighborhood off of Sugar Plantation Parkway for four years. He says traffic is bad all the time.

“It’s just a sign that a red light is needed and they need it now,” he says. “Not next year. Now!”

Police say Browne’s accident was the first fatal wreck since the busy intersection was incorporated into the town of Addis, but residents fear it won’t be the last.

“How many more wrecks or how many more people are going to have to lose their lives before something gets done?” asks Aimee Riviere. She works at Bendetto’s Market at the shopping center in front of the intersection.

Right now, to cross the highway, drivers have to sit in a narrow median between cars flying by at 55 mph. People in the community say a traffic light might fix that problem.

“Red lights make people pay attention,” says Riviere.

“Sometimes it don’t stop everything, but it will slow things down,” says Addis resident Benny Walters.

As the community continues to grow, residents say the need for a light grows with it. “They have houses back here and they have these apartments over here,” says Jones, pointing to residential neighborhoods up and down the highway. “Whatever it takes for this community here to get this light up, we need to get busy.”

Residents say their requests have fallen on deaf ears. Many say they’ve been asking for a light for months. “They should have had a light before something bad happened,” says Walters. “It’s a little too late. It should have been sooner.”

The Department of Transportation says there’s a reason the intersection doesn’t have a light. A signal study done in the past showed that it doesn’t nee one. They say there’s not enough traffic through the area, at least not right now. Still, the department plans to keep a close eye on it. If a need does become evident, a spokesperson said it would cost about $150,000 to install a light at that particular intersection.

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