I live in what I feel could be the neighborhood wielding the most potential in all of Baton Rouge. Potential to influence, potential for transformation, potential for growth, and potential for increasing value. This potential could be tapped without renovating a single house or creating a Kenilworth Renegade School district, though the latter I would support. It could be done with minimal expenditure and the funds spent could be generated by the KCA with my gentle guidance. With a little work we could turn Kenilworth into our own Booty Loop.
The Booty Loop is a 2.8 mile loop in Charlotte, NC that pulls in cyclists, runners, roller bladers, walkers, families and the like who frequent this loop to train and be seen. Every year the host the 24 Hours of Booty which is a 24 hour cycling event used to generate funds for LIVESTRONG. With a blink I can visualize a Pennington Biomedical and BREC co-sponsored event on the Kenilworth parkway that would soon become a must do for the region. With a state sitting at the number 49th least healthy in the nation, surely we could utilize some of the funds raised to push obesity and health related needs in out City?
So what though would this mean for Kenilworth Parkway? As it now stands, the parkway is about 2 lanes wide in each direction. From a cyclists perspective, the “bike lane” is a nice idea, but not executed very well. The expansion seams are bumpy and countless cars park directly in it daily. In addition, it is cluttered with trash, glass etc. My suggestion would be as follows. First, re paint the lanes to have a full lane for traffic on the right hand side and an enlarged bike lane running along the middle of the parkway on the left. This would allow folks to pass pretty freely in cars. Second, control traffic in the right lanes with strategically placed speed humps. Third, let it be known that this area is a no speeding zone through a heavy fines for offenders. Use some of these funds generated from tickets for upkeep and the re-painting efforts. Finally, push my secret agenda of making Kenilworth the healthiest neighborhood in Baton Rouge through events like 5k’s, 24 hours of KDUB, as well as Pennington and BREC sponsored events.
My feeling is that by making Kenilworth THE place to ride and exercise outside of the LSU Lakes system, we give this neighborhood a value which you can’t put a price on.