Bendel roundabout pulled

by Walter Pierce

"It is now a dead issue, to be dealt with by others in the future."

There will be no roundabout at the intersection of South College and Bendel roads adjacent to the Oil Center - at least not any time soon.

Amid concerns and outright opposition from residents of both the Bendel Gardens subdivision and Oil Center business owners, District 7 City-Parish Councilman Don Bertrand, who represents the area, requested in a memo Tuesday morning to City-Parish President Joey Durel that the administration not sign a contract to conduct a feasibility study for the project, which is as far as talk of a roundabout at the intersection had actually gone. The council in may approved an ordinance earmarking $150,000 for the study.

"[I]t is clear that there is no interest in moving forward with such a study," Bertrand writes to Durel. In a follow-up memo to Traffic and Transportation Director Tony Tramel and others, Durel cites a meeting he and Bertrand attended last week with Bendel residents and Oil Center business owners and notes that he is "suspending all further efforts concerning this project." In a hand-written note on the memo, Durel tells Bertrand, "Don, FYI, in response to our discussion, it is now a dead issue, to be dealt with by others in the future."

Bertrand also sent an email Tuesday morning to Bendel residents:

Having grown up in Bendel, and understanding the closeness and sanctity of such a unique, historic, and family oriented neighborhood within the city, I want you to know how much I appreciate your collective voice and message, and you should know it has been heard.

In light of the meetings and conversations with many of you individually, I have asked President Joey Durel "not" to enter into an agreement/contract to perform a feasibility study for the referenced "Roundabout".  President Durel has assured me that he will honor this request and abandon same.