Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Volunteer Cleanup Day at the Overpass, Saturday 4/16


More than 100 local volunteers from across Baton Rouge turned out in force Saturday morning, April 16, picking up trash, mowing grass, and removing brush around the Perkins Overpass area, in preparation for the upcoming weekend's Better Block demonstration.

More than 60 student volunteers from LSU’s city-wide “GEAUX Big” volunteer day were joined by members of Varsity Sports’ Running Club, City Year Baton Rouge, Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS, residents of the adjacent Poets Corner neighborhood, and other community volunteers, totaling more than 100 Baton Rouge residents.

In addition to cleaning up the area visible from the road, the “underpass” area beneath I-10, which was home to discarded furniture, trash, and overgrown vegetation, got a major facelift. Making this area accessible and safe for pedestrian and bike traffic was of particular interest to area neighbors and road users alike, who do not feel safe accessing Perkins Road via the Overpass itself.

Here are some photos of the volunteers in action, and some before and after shots of their handiwork in the Underpass.

Join us Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th to see their results, interact with the Better Block demonstration, and leave your feedback!














Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Perkins Overpass Better Block map now available!


Click here to view the proposed demonstrations and upcoming improvements you will see during the Better Block BR project April 23-24.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6ynOJNbi0I-ZHpPaWlsMFNWa3c/view?usp=sharing

We look forward to seeing you then!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Announcing Better Block BR: Perkins Overpass



Better Block BR: Government Street, 2013

Hosts of Better Block BR Perkins Overpass, a two-day demonstration project that will transform two blocks of  Perkins Road into a more pedestrian-friendly destination, including landscaping, parking, crosswalks, interactive artwork, and a pop-up park created by BREC, invite the public to experience the improvements and give their feedback. The event will take place on April 23 and 24, 2016, with activities planned throughout the weekend.

Hosted by the Office of the Mayor-President, City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge, the city-parish Department of Transportation and Drainage, Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, and Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), Better Block BR Perkins Overpass is a way to test ideas for multi-modal transportation infrastructure and business access.

Perkins Road was identified in the FutureBR Comprehensive Plan for East Baton Rouge Parish as one of the first corridors that should apply a Complete Streets approach, which encourages streets designed for all users and all kinds of transportation. The installation will take place on Perkins Road between Christian Street and Ferndale Avenue.

“We are excited to build on the momentum from our previous Better Block   demonstration and model these and other concepts in the Perkins Overpass area,” said Stephen Bonnette, Director of the Department of Transportation and Drainage. “Demonstrations like the Better Block allow us to really gauge priority projects and provide proper emphasis for future transportation improvements in line with Mayor Holden’s vision for Baton Rouge, by seeing them in action. Beyond modeling Complete Street concepts for the public, Better Block projects provide invaluable community feedback so that we can see which elements work that we can use to shape our planning, engineering and construction decisions going forward.”

The Overpass area is already a popular destination for Baton Rougeans. However, as many Better Block events around the country have shown, including the 2013 Better Block demonstration here in Baton Rouge, improving safety and access for all kinds of transportation can increase the "Better Block BR will be a chance to try out on-street parking, comfortable gathering spaces, pedestrian crossings and other Complete Streets elements, while adding space for businesses," said Camille Manning-Broome, Senior Vice President at CPEX. "By improving infrastructure for other modes of transportation, you are introducing new customers to local businesses, you are creating a safer experience by creating defined areas for vehicles and other users, and you are giving people the option to get out of their cars to interact with their neighborhood and local retailers.”

Preliminary meetings with nearby residents and merchants helped shape the demonstration design, and the public will have various opportunities to give feedback on what works best. People can see the ideas in action by walking, biking, or driving through the area and participating in events over the weekend. Area businesses are invited to extend their business out the front door, host events, or just enjoy the increased patronage.

“Supporting this project is a perfect fit for our membership,” said Herb Gomez, Executive Vice President of the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®. “Quality streets and public spaces play an important role in the strength of a neighborhood, and strong neighborhoods benefit everyone, including residents and businesspeople.” Volunteer and financial support for the Better Block BR Perkins Overpass demonstrations are being provided by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, the National Association of REALTORS®, and the Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation,. The growing list of partners helping create the demonstrations include Baton Rouge Gallery, BREC, the BR Walls Project, elbow/room, LSU’s Geaux BIG Volunteer effort, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, and Varsity Sports.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Safe Streets Act

This is a great article from Grist about the Safe Streets Act recently introduced in the Senate. Making streets safe for all users is a good idea, whether you're urban or rural, Republican or Democrat!

http://grist.org/cities/people-friendly-streets-theyre-not-just-for-big-cities-anymore/

Safe places for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles at Better Block BR, April 2013.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Better Block BR Video

Better Block BR is excited to present our wrap-up video!




Better Block BR Report

We've been working over the past several months to maintain the momentum of Better Block BR, and have created a wrap-up report showing the progress made. The report details how demonstrations like Better Block BR prove that transportation improvements can connect neighborhoods with downtown, and strategic public investment can be a catalyst for revitalization. Click below to download the report in PDF.