Baton Rouge “Complete Streets” Project Features Work By Landscape Architecture Students

Two landscape architecture students’ project work was featured in the “Complete Streets Toolkit,” an initiative by the Baton Rouge Sustainable Transportation Action Committee to propose improvements to the Baton Rouge community. The Baton Rouge Sustainable Transportation Action Committee (STAC) is a joint initiative of AARP Louisiana and the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), established in 2012 as a coalition of local volunteer partners engaged in making Baton Rouge streets safer and more accessible for all travelers.

The “Complete Streets” proposal features project work by Hagan Doyle (BLA ‘18) and Matt Poche (BLA ‘18) from the LA 5001 Urban Design course, providing a visualization of infrastructure improvement opportunities in Baton Rouge Mid City.

“I always enjoy the opportunity to work on a project with the potential to have a real impact,” said Hagan Doyle, a fifth year landscape architecture student and research assistant in the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio. “The North Baton Rouge community is such a strong community but has been historically disenfranchised. When designing for this project I wanted to focus on the current needs of the community by developing a sustainable, accessible, and safe corridor for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation.”

Complete Streets is a growing movement in Louisiana and across the nation, according to the “Complete Streets Toolkit.” A “Complete Street” is designed to accommodate all users – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and physical abilities. Unfortunately, many of Baton Rouge’s streets are not considered “complete” because the communities were designed with a focus on the movement of cars, without considering the movement of people using other forms of transportation.

“The result has been transportation infrastructure that often makes active transportation – such a walking, biking, and transit – inconvenient, unpleasant, and unsafe,” according to the “Complete Streets Toolkit.” Complete Streets include features such as sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, ADA accessibility, wayfinding signage, and transit stopes designed to bring comfort and safety for users.

The initial study area focused on Baton Rouge Mid City, taking into account pedestrian access, high-use bus stops, safety considerations, and traffic volume. The landscape architecture students’ images provided a visual representation of the proposed improvements to the area along the North Foster Drive corridor.

“The project is an example of how our students’ work is being used for service to the Baton Rouge community,” said Kathleen Bogaski, a professional in residence at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, who taught the Urban Design course.

“I was humbled to have my work featured as an example for what could be done in the future to help this community,” Hagan said.

The toolkit is intended as a resource for advocates and communities that may be interested in enhancing their neighborhoods. The overarching goal of the Complete Streets project is to bring positive changes to the Baton Rouge community design.