DSNAP distribution sites causing traffic concerns

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KMOV.com

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 11 at 10:21 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

WESTWEGO, La. -- Heavy traffic and large crowds continue to show up to the center on the West Bank, causing headaches for neighbors like Jeanette Guillot.

"We have one way in and one way out of this area. The traffic is so backed up it's making people late to work," said Guillot.

The Westwego woman said her son's 10-minute bus ride to school has turned into a 30- to 40-minute commute. She said trying to cross a congested Westbank Expressway in her car has turned into a daily nightmare.

"Very frustrated, very frustrated. I feel for the people who need to get there and get their assistance," said Guillot, who had a relative drop her off to pick up her disaster relief.

Those frustrations are also being felt by local businesses.

"The parking lot that we have, when we come in the morning, it;s full. It's loaded with cars. We have to park our cars far away from the store," said Fadi Al-Masoud, who works at Milano Urban Wear.

Traffic and limited parking is keeping customers away from the store, which says it has seen a 80 percent drop in business since food stamp distribution started across the street.

"Customers are looking for something easy. You know, park their car and then come in the store. Not park their car far from the store and walk. They don't want that," said Al-Masoud.

With DSNAP disaster assistance extended in Jefferson and Orleans parishes, some people worry that the traffic congestion will likely continue.

"They should have had some kind of busing from Oakwood Mall, or parking on Lapalco Boulevard, or something other then what they're doing right now. This is totally uncalled for," said Guillot.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has extended food stamp distribution in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes until Thursday. An agency spokesman says the National Guard, local Sheriff's Offices, the NOPD and State Police have been called in to help ease traffic congestion at distribution sites.

Both the New Orleans Police Department and State Police say they have been called in by the State to help with car and pedestrian traffic at DSNAP distribution sites.

 

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