Let's face it, Lafayette has a litter problem. Roadside signs, bus stop bench areas, dead phone company communication boxes, mattresses on the sides of roads, etc. So why is it just under 10 miles south of Lafayette, one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, Youngsville, has hardly any litter?

Let's face it, Youngsville is cleaner than Lafayette. Is that because some sort of magic happens at the border of Youngsville? It's not magic, it's tolerance.

Staff Photo

In a response to Townsquare Media's story calling attention to the unsightly phone company communication junction boxes that litter the Lafayette, David Begneaud with Scenic Lafayette explains how conversations with Mayor-President Josh Guillory and letters to Lafayette Live have garnered no results.

As a member of Scenic Lafayette, these types of visual blight are always on our radar.

Several months ago we went throughout the City and Parish and took pictures of these boxes along with the PVC white/orange utility marker sticks that are laying on the ground slowly getting chewed up by lawn equipment.

We had a lengthy sit-down meeting with Josh Guillory and gave him a packet containing photos of the broken green boxes and a few other beautification concerns for his review, he took four pages of notes and admitted he never noticed these problems.

Unfortunately just as expected all of our notes were simply handed over to a junior assistant never to be seen again. This is known as the “administrative shuffle” which we have been dancing to for three administrations.

Another topic you should highlight are those dilapidated plastic advertising bus stop benches throughout the city, these are owned by a private vendor who sells advertising space on the seatback, the problem is that his contract requires a trash receptacle which he does not provide, a regular cleanup, which he does not do. I was contacted by a business owner a block from KTDY (M&L) who has one of these benches next to his business, he is fed up picking up the litter scattered around the area on a daily basis.

We are now documenting “fake” advertising benches where they are placed on the public right of ways where there is no actual bus stop.

The riders have no choice but to leave their litter because you are not allowed to bring food or drink on the bus, we met with Lafayette Transit about this issue and were told they don’t want to put litter receptacles on the buses.

Congratulations to Wal Mart for allowing folks to hijack their carts at some of these stops for mobile litter containers.

I have spoken to Josh numerous times, written numerous letters to Lafayette Live and we simply get the usual lip service. -David Begneaud, Member of Scenic Lafayette

Scenic Lafayette is also heavily involved in the elimination of illegal plastic bandit signs from the roadsides. The group averages over 5000 removals each year and asks citizens to remove these eyesores as they are litter on a stick.

David Begneaud

A new player came to town yesterday and blanketed the city with their stick signs, I pulled 284 of theirs and an assortment of others between last night and pre-dawn today, they actually had a pair of signs on the corners at the police station. We’ve found It’s best to get them picked up immediately versus watching the grass grow up around them. -David Begneaud, Member of Scenic Lafayette

 

David Begneaud

All signs placed on the public right of ways are illegal in the City, Parish and State. Roadside signs violate several sections of the following LCG ordinances.

 Prohibited Signs:

1. Signs installed or erected without a sign permit

2. Off-premise advertising signs, except as allowed for integrated business centers

3. Signs extending into, or placed within, the public right-of-way or affixed to any public property

4. Mobile billboards or portable trailer signs

5. Signs with lasers or lights that blink, flash, revolve, or strobe, including animation or video

6. Signs that contain mirror-like surfaces

7. Signs that emit smoke, vapor, particles, sound, or odor

8. Wind or fan blown signs

9. Snipe signs

10. Temporary product-specific signs

11. On-site signs placed on off-site signs

12. Off-premise advertising signs in the unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish

Berneaud says, "The grasscutters cannot cut the grass with signs scattered where they are required to mow".

Youngsville has a zero-tolerance policy for stick signs, the bottling company provided banners used as signs, etc., the town is beautiful. -David Begneaud, Member of Scenic Lafayette

City officials in Lafayette need to open their eyes to the condition of our city. People don't want to live in a "trashy" city, nor do people want to move to a city with such a label. It is also difficult to keep current businesses and almost impossible to attract new ones.

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