A Lafayette Resident’s Wish List For 2016
I've had the privilege of calling Lafayette and Acadiana my home for over 35 years, having come from New Orleans back in 1981. For as many times as I reflect on life growing up in the Big Easy, I don't regret having moved to this little piece of paradise one bit. As 2015 draws to a close, I look forward to another year of opportunity, a chance to improve myself by going to the gym (again), watching what I eat (again), and wait with anticipation the great developments to come for our area. From the new construction at the CostCo-anchored shopping center to major road improvements, things are looking up. Here's a list of things I'd like to see happen in 2016 (excluding the whole 'I'd like to have world peace, and end to hunger, stop the violence, and every other movement every year' concepts which are universally requested). From improvements, both in industry and traffic, along with food and fun, here are just a few items I'd love to see this year.
Every year the question arises, who's got crawfish? How big are they? I do have a slight addiction to crawfish and go through withdrawals as the Summer months roll in. As much as I enjoy eating what others cook in restaurants around town, I know I can get more bang for my buck if I buy em live and cook those critters myself. Please, Clovis da Crawfish, let there be a bumper crop of your family this year, and give me the skill to not over/under/otherwise poorly/cook them for my family?
Living in the Youngsville area, I have the benefit of being close to town but not being IN town. That being said, if a business similar to The Melting Pot were to open in town, I'd be sure to pay a visit (or two). One of my favorite holiday memories was when Mom and Dad would make the Rotel Dip (the traditional Velveeta Cheese/Rotel tomato dip) around the holidays. Being a cheese fanatic, it seems only fitting that we get an entire store devoted to the melting and dipping of it.
No offense to Casper, but they have nearly one-fifth the population of Lafayette. It's going to be 2016, what do we have to do to get our theaters to install reclining seats (with footrests)? Every time I see Facebook updates from other parts of the country and the happy moviegoers are kicked back and smiling, I ask myself, 'What's wrong with us?' C'mon Grand Theater and/or Celebrity Theater, who's going to make it happen?
It's the good news/bad news with Cajuns' football. They're developing the program and the Ragin Cajun Athletic Foundation is seeing increases in memberships which helps build the program, but it also means more available parking is being taken by tailgating campers and RCAF members.
With the numerous renovations planned for the Cajundome upgrade, one of the most anticipated (by me) updates will be the cleaning of the Cajundome roof to its former pristine condition. Every time I drive by the Dome it reminds me I've got to clean the north-side of my house. Sure, the changes to seating and interior layouts and updates will be awesome, but that first look of the dome that can be seen from out my window at work will be so much nicer when it's done.
When the Camellia project finally completed its 50-year-journey, Lafayette could breathe a little easier with yet another passage across the Vermilion River. What could top that? Maybe another bridge across that same river. Designs and proposals are floating around for the road known as South City Parkway which would eventually connect Johnston St. and Verot School Rd. south of the Acadiana Mall by Giles and Doc Duhon Rd. I'm pretty sure this won't be completed (or even really begun) by 2016, but hey, it's my wish list, right?
As you can tell by now, I work in Lafayette and reside just outside the city in Youngsville. One of my favorite pastimes is to tailgate on Verot School Rd at 5pm and wait to see how long it takes before traffic begins to move. This road clogs worse than my arteries did a few years ago, switching from four lanes to two lanes multiple times its stretch from Pinhook to HWY 92. Will adding lanes on both sides help? Can't hurt! Even a turning lane is better than nothing. The city is obtaining all the easments and rights-of-way to make this project a reality. I suppose if I wait another 10 years, it could be my gift for Christmas of 2026 instead.
For such a small geographic area, Chick Fil A leaves a very large foot-print. The customer base is so loyal that the store has had to develop a two-lane drive-thru system but that hasn't stopped the cars from backing out from the parking lot onto Ambassador Caffery. I know this is a long shot, but maybe a turning lane could help alleviate traffic heading south-bound on Ambassador and not back up traffic to the Mall. For some reason I feel like this will be the most difficult item for me to obtain...