Lafayette residents planning their future

Ever wonder what infrastructure in Lafayette Parish will look like in 10 years? How about in 17 years?

Hundreds of Lafayette residents curious about the future came to view four different scenarios for the parish that residents will be voting on in coming days.

“The intent with all the scenarios is to get Lafayette to a point where the community is more sustainable in a fiscal sense. It's just not sustainable if it continues to grow; the parish is going to go broke,” says consultant Silvia Vargas, who is involved in the comprehensive plan.

According Carlee Alm-LaBar, assistant to Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel, last year's $3.5 million shortfall in Lafayette's general fund was a big concern for residents Wednesday afternoon, but wasn't the only concern.

“I think traffic is a really common concern. I think people are also worried long-term, they want to make sure we're on good financial footing as a city and a parish. A lot of people are interested in sidewalks and bike facilities as well and people put those hand in hand with pedestrian facilities,” says Alm-LaBar.

All four of the scenarios are taking into account the additional 90,000 people expected to be living in Lafayette by 2030 and are offering residents something different like mixed development, status quo and even a plan that would save millions for the City-Parish budget.

“Now that we're developing and planning for Lafayette, I would like to see more infrastructure for bike paths, mixed use development and more walking paths people can easily entertain themselves with a live, work and play environment,” says Setareh Mirian, a Lafayette realtor.

Come Friday residents will take to and decide which scenario they see best for the future. Lafayette resident Chris Allain sees involving less traveling time to work.

“That will reduce the entire community's cost for transportation. It will reduce road and maintenance costs, and who wouldn't want to spend less time commuting to work and who wouldn't prefer less crowded roads,” says Allain.

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