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'Kind of like playing Frogger' | Broken traffic lights in the CBD lead to frustration

The city estimates that repairs will cost $500,000.


If you have driven in the Central Business District then you’ve probably noticed some delays from malfunctioning traffic lights that have been out since Hurricane Ida.

It’s a big problem for pedestrians, and it's going to remain a dangerous situation for at least another month — if not longer.

"It’s a workout: kind of like playing Frogger," a pedestrian crossing the street said.

In the heart of the central business district at the intersection of Loyola and Poydras, the traffic lights still aren't working properly.

"That’s really dangerous, that’s really dangerous. I can’t bring my grandbaby out here," Gladys Harris said.

The mess is creating some longer-than-usual delays for drivers, but it is also an issue for those on foot.

"From a pedestrian standpoint, it’s definitely a little bit risky. You don’t know where you need to be looking the whole time, and you are dealing with a bunch of different variables," Matthew Rets said. 

It's not just this intersection -- at Loyola and Gravier -- the lights aren’t even blinking red. Instead, there are a few stop signs.   

“I feel like the drivers aren’t quite sure what they are doing. They are trying to focus on the other cars, and not necessarily the pedestrians at that moment," Elizabeth McCoy said.  

Rush hour traffic is a big problem here with drivers either uncertain of the rules or just disregarding them altogether.  

“It’s difficult because people don’t stop for you all the time. You have to walk and hope they will stop,” J.J. Johnson said.

The city said there is no timeline for when the lights will get fixed.

City spokesperson Beau Tidwell said Tuesday --- the emergency contract up for the bid has not been fulfilled and even when it is, it will be another four to six weeks to make the repairs. 

"So it’s going to be a minute. In the meantime, we do encourage people to be vigilant and be patient in those spots. I drive through it myself, and it can be quite nerve-racking — but there is not an easy fix. There is not a quick solution to that," Tidwell said.

With another month or more of this mess -- residents said there should at least be crossing guards or traffic cops in place.

"A traffic cop would be good. It would be safer for all,” Harris said.

For now, the intersections remain dangerous for drivers and pedestrians.

The city estimates that repairs will cost $500,000.


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