Saturday, July 20, 2024

Downtown Hotels and Coalition Rally to Reopen Lake Street in Shreveport

by BIZ Magazine

SHREVEPORT — In a recent press release, two downtown Shreveport hotels have thrown their weight behind the Reopen Lake Street! movement, urging the City of Shreveport to revive Lake Street for motorists. The Holiday Inn Downtown and Holiday Inn Express, integral to the ongoing debate, have joined the coalition, advocating for the establishment of a “Quiet Zone” at Lake Street’s railroad crossing and the subsequent reopening of the street.

Charles Chaniyara, representative of the Kalthia Group, the owner of the two Lake Street hotels, announced a significant contribution of $250,000 toward the City’s expenses in creating the Quiet Zone. Chaniyara emphasized that with collaborative efforts, improvements at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing and nearby areas can be achieved to ensure safe and quiet passage for both motorists and trains.

“We believe improvements can be made at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing over Lake Street and nearby to allow for safe and quiet passage by motorists and trains,” Chaniyara stated. “With cooperation from all the parties, this important entrance to Downtown Shreveport can be restored. This will benefit our hotels and all of downtown.”

Jason Cram, chairman of Reopen Lake Street!, welcomed the support from the hotels and their substantial financial commitment, viewing it as positive news for Shreveport. Cram highlighted the growing coalition, which now includes Sci-Port, the Red River Revel, the Lake Street business community, and hundreds of Shreveport citizens.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Lake Street’s closure, our coalition is growing into a movement that cannot be denied. As the City originally promised in 2014, we are going to Reopen Lake Street!” Cram asserted.

The coalition’s momentum has gained the backing of Mayor Tom Arceneaux’s Capital Improvements Committee. Consequently, the Arceneaux administration has requested Union Pacific to produce a scope of work and cost estimate for establishing the Quiet Zone.

Lake Street, closed by City ordinance in 2015 between Clyde Fant Parkway and Spring Street, was initially intended for a two-year closure due to concerns from the Holiday Inn guests disturbed by the sound of UP trains blowing their horns while crossing Lake Street. Despite this, another ordinance in 2018 extended the closure for an additional year.

Cram revealed that the Reopen Lake Street! petition has garnered over 600 signatures and is available at www.change.org and at The Agora Borealis, 421 Lake Street. The movement continues to gain traction as it aims to fulfill the promise made by the City in 2014—to reopen Lake Street for the benefit of the entire community.

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