'Better Block' demonstration headed to Sulphur Saturday

'Better Block' demonstration headed to Sulphur Saturday
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Bike lanes were first introduced to Lake Charles during a demonstration last spring.

Now that idea might be catching on in Sulphur. Organizers believe the concept can not only improve the city but also help with traffic.

A temporary bike lane is coming to Sulphur.

South Huntington Street will transform into what's called a "complete street" Saturday giving cyclists their very own lane.

"Complete streets really checks off a lot of boxes," said John O'Donnell with a Healthier Southwest Louisiana.  "It improves the economy, it improves public health, it makes the streets safer, and it's one of the only things that does all of those things at once."

This isn't a new idea though. O'Donnell and others started this in Lake Charles last spring.

Now with the move to Sulphur, they say these complete streets are more than just bringing bikes to roadways.

"A lot of people think it's just about cycling, it's not," said Amanda White with the SWLA Economic Alliance. "It's a safe place to walk, it's a safe place for somebody that's in a wheelchair, it's a safe place to ride your bike, and it's a better place to drive."

Crossfit Energy gym is located on Huntington Street and, owner Scott Thompson is excited about the temporary bike lanes.

"I train for triathlons, so having some dedicated lanes is going to be helpful," said Thompson.

But he is worried about drivers in the area.

"It's bad enough, people are not keeping up with motorcycles...I mean you can hear the motorcycles," said Thompson. "You can't hear a bicycle."

Traffic is also a major concern, but organizers say complete streets would improve the problem.

"It calms the traffic down but everybody is still going at a good rate of speed," said White. "You don't have to worry about it causing massive backups."

Despite concerns, O'Donnell believes it's a concept Southwest Louisiana needs.

"We're pushing hard for it because it solves a myriad of problems with one swoop," he said. "It's a silver bullet."

The better block demonstration will take place Saturday, April 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the event, click HERE.

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