On election day the parishes that use the Crescent City Connection will be asked to vote on if the tolls should be extended. I say vote yes. And I do not even need you to listen to the commercial that discusses the maintenance of the bridge that might suffer if it has to compete with the Department of Transportation for funds.
First of all, to all the people who live in those parishes that do not use the bridge regularly, why would you vote to push the cost of that bridge on yourself? That doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever.
Now, if you do use the bridge, I have a question to ask you. Do you remember Isaac? Do you remember the traffic getting back into the city in the morning when tolls were not being collected and the ferries were not working? Yeah, that huge mess was not pretty. Even more traffic being pushed onto the bridge because the ferries could not take some of the cars and the HOV lane was closed as well. You want that every day?
Don’t worry, you won’t get that everyday. It will get worse. Why? Well, do you think it is safe for 12 lanes of 50 mph traffic to merge down to 4? Some of the entrances, for safety sake, will have to be shut down. This will mean more clogged arteries on the West Bank for traffic going to the expressway. This will make everyone’s commute even worse, even people trying to make it to the expressway who are going the other way.
That doesn’t even take into consideration any accidents that happen on the bridge. You think NOPD or the JPSO will be able to more quickly react to accidents that take place on the bridge? If you think that is true, well, I have a bridge crossing the Mississippi to sell you.
Can the bridge be run better? Absolutely. Legislation should be passed to require that. Could the tolls be reduced since we no longer have to pay for a bridge and to allow it to be run more efficiently? It is worth looking into. But it makes perfect sense to ask the people who use the bridge to pay for the upkeep, maintenance, and law enforcement for the bridge.