In following up on behalf of the neighbohood group, LOOP-IT, I called the state FHWA to understand what should happen with the complaint filed by LOOP-IT members that were mistreated during the stage one public meetings held in December of 2012. After a phone conversation 1.28.13 with state FHWA representatives Robert Mahoney and Charles Harkless I followed up with the email below. I have not recieved a response and the question bolded in the email still deserves an answer. Who is behind promoting this destructive project after it was twice turned down by the community?
Bob & Charles,
Thank you for taking time today to provide information about the status of the complaint from 3 members of a newly formed Allendale Neighborhood Group in Shreveport, Loop It, LLC. As I mentioned during our conversation I am working for the Allendale residents on a probono basis as a planner advocate. I was asked to provide information to neighborhood residents when their engagement in the NLCOG process left them confused and hopeless.
During our conversation I mentioned a web site about US interstates http://www.interstate-guide.com/i-049.html. In the text concerning I-49 there are references to the loop, no inner city extension and renaming the current inner city. The following is the section text when I began collecting information for the neighborhood over a year ago:
“Louisiana: Interstate 49 North
Presently Interstate 49 terminates at Interstate 20 near downtown Shreveport. Interstate 49 will shift to Louisiana 3132/Inner Loop Expressway and the western portion of Interstate 220 upon completion of the Interstate 49 corridor between Shreveport and Arkansas. There will be no continuation of the in-city routing of Interstate 49 northward as the highway will bypass the city to the west. The existing segment of Interstate 49 between the symmetrical stack interchange at Louisiana 3132 to Interstate 20 will have to be renumbered. It is possible that this may become Interstate 149. Interstate 49 will depart Interstate 220 from a new interchange one mile to the west of the current U.S. 71/Louisiana 1 interchange (Exit 7).1”
The current language at that web site http://www.interstate-guide.com/i-049.html has been modified to reflect the current studies underway:
“Louisiana: Interstate 49 North
Presently Interstate 49 terminates at Interstate 20 near downtown Shreveport. Interstate 49 will shift to Louisiana 3132 (Inner Loop Expressway) and the western portion of Interstate 220 upon completion of the Interstate 49 corridor between Shreveport and Arkansas. It was originally thought that there will be no continuation of the in-city routing of Interstate 49 northward as the route will bypass the city to the west. However new efforts have emerged by the city of Shreveport and local officials to build the I-49 Inner City Connector. The Connector is approximately 3.6 miles in length, leading north from I-20 along Peter Harris Drive to Ford Street and then northwesterly along Twelve mile Bayou to I-220. A Feasibility Study and Environmental Inventory was completed in 2010 and currently an Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared.
Otherwise if I-49 shifts to the bypass, the existing segment of Interstate 49 between the symmetrical stack interchange at Louisiana 3132 to Interstate 20 will have to be renumbered. It is possible that this may become Interstate 149. Continuation of I-49 North from Interstate 220 will occur at a new interchange one mile to the west of the current U.S. 71/Louisiana 1 interchange (Exit 7).1”
I do not understand the motivations for the current initiative or if there is something more than a state legislator who promotes the connector requesting the study. I would appreciate any details of the history of how this very expensive proposal was revived. [emphasis added]
Thanks again for talking with me and listening to my advocacy for inner city transportation solutions that reduce vehicle miles traveled, reduce the unsustainable footprint of the city and promote more open conversations about smart transportation alternatives. I mentioned a web site where the progress of the Allendale residents and Loop It are posted along with stories of other communities and organizations and new policy proposals for transportation investing. I know you can Google “Loop It” as you stated but here is a link to the I-49 Connector posts.
I appreciate your consideration of the position of the neighborhood residents and to helping us improve public process in Shreveport.