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April 26, 2018 11:30 AM, EDT

Bid to Restrict Lanes for Big Trucks in Baton Rouge Area Dies in House

David C. Worley Jr./Flickr

A bid to ease Baton Rouge traffic problems by requiring big trucks to stay in the right lane during evening rush hour died April 25.

State Rep. Steve Carter, (R-Baton Rouge), sponsor of the bill, said he knows his proposal has problems, and opposition, and he will instead turn the legislation into a study resolution.

“Every time we bring something to the table, there is opposition,” Carter told the House.

By converting his plan, House Bill 432, to a study resolution, lawmakers will review the issue after the 2018 regular legislative session.

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The bill won approval in the House Transportation Committee last week 7-5.

Critics said requiring 18-wheelers, school buses and others to stay in the right lane of Baton Rouge interstates from 4-7 p.m. would cause logistical problems.

They questioned how a truck in the right lane of Interstate 10 east could move to eastbound I-12 at the split without dangerously crossing multiple lanes of traffic.

Louisiana Motor Transit Association opposed the bill.

The restriction would have applied to about 30 miles on interstates 10, 12 and 110.

The state faces a nearly $14 billion backlog of road and bridge needs.

Carter’s bid to boost the state gasoline tax by 17 cents per gallon and raise about $500 million per year for transportation improvements, died in the Legislature last year.

Other efforts, including allowing East Baton Rouge and other area parishes to levy their own gas tax, also have failed.

Without money, he told the House, “we have to be creative.”

Carter said the Baton Rouge area legislative delegation has tried to come up with inexpensive solutions.

“We all in this body get stuck in this traffic,” he said of the Legislature.

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