Real-time cameras show Jefferson Parish drivers if trains are crossing busy intersections

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - Getting around the trains on Metairie Road in Jefferson Parish isn’t easy, especially when you’re in a rush. That’s why the parish has launched a new tool for drivers and it’s only the beginning.

“Saturday, it was three hours,” Chloe Breaux said.

Breaux was one of the many motorists caught waiting Saturday as a train stopped dead in its tracks at Metairie Road and Frisco Avenue, because of a dead signal battery.

The closest replacement had to be brought from two hours away.

“We had a lot of stuff to do Saturday, and so I had to figure out which way to go around,” Breaux said. “You can go Carrollton (Avenue) to the interstate, but that way takes a long time. It takes like 10 or 15 minutes just for it to clear out.”

Breaux said she lives and works near the tracks, and says trains frequently back up crossing traffic.

“It’s hard to get to your house. It’s hard to get to work. Especially when it breaks down, and it breaks down all the time,” Breaux said.

“Metairie Road traffic is its own thing, let alone the trains,” Alexis Alonso said.

Alonso lives on the Westbank and has to cross the tracks to get to work.

“I have to kind of time it,” Alonso said. “I know if I leave my house an hour early, I normally don’t run into the train. But if I’m sitting there too long, like I think the train stalled, then I make a U-turn and I get back on the interstate and go around this way to try to make it to work on time.”

But on Monday afternoon (Oct. 3), Jefferson Parish launched an online, real-time camera trained on the intersection, allowing motorists to see if a train is crossing or stopped.

Officials launched a similar real-time camera in July, at another headache of an intersection on Little Farms Avenue. That’s where Kimberly Heaven was stuck Tuesday on her way home from work.

“It happens to me, I would say, at least once a week, when I’m either going to work or coming from work, sometimes multiple times a week,” Heaven said. “When I’m going to work, it’s a problem, because I’ve been late a couple of times either waiting for the pass or I have to go around, and it adds 10 minutes.”

Jefferson Parish Councilmember Jennifer Van Vrancken says along with these cameras, a new predictive app is on the way. Called Move Metairie, the app is in its final phase of testing, she said.

“It’s a radar detector at the track in New Orleans and radar detector around Labarre,” Van Vrancken said. “When those radar detectors see a large metal object moving toward Metairie Road, they’ll tell you the estimate of when it will get there.”

More cameras are planned in the coming weeks in other districts throughout Jefferson Parish.

Click HERE to view the cameras.

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