A bill that would require 18-wheelers to be in the right lane while traveling on interstates through Baton Rouge from 4 to 7 PM on weekdays passed the House Transportation Committee. Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter says he’s trying to do something about the daily back-ups that happen in the capital city.
"I'll bring a bill to help solve our traffic problems anytime anywhere," said Carter.
Lobbyist Maria Bowen representing the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, is against the measure. She says even though forcing truck drivers into the right lane may have some benefits, the poor infrastructure in place in Baton Rouge negates any positives. She cited a 2008 study.
"In order for it to work efficiently, interchanges must be spaced more than two miles apart with low ramp volumes. I don't believe we have that anywhere in East Baton Rouge Parish."
Bowen says Interstates were designed to handle heavy transport traffic, not commuters to and from work, which leaves too many drivers and not enough interstates.
"In Louisiana we have begun to use it for commuting rather than for commerce. In a lot of states the interstates tend to bypass major towns."
Carter acknowledged an infrastructure improvement to I-10 from the Mississippi River bridge to the 10/12 split, but is afraid it’s too little too late.
"I don't know whether this would work or not because I know do have some problems with coming off of I-10 into I-12 with the trucks would cross the interstate to get into the right hand lane. I'm willing to try anything."
The bill now moves to the full House.