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RedStickBR
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2009
13758 posts

Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
On the one hand, this is one of the most enjoyable runs not just in Baton Rouge and not just in Louisiana. I've run all over the Southeast U.S. and in many European countries and this is still my favorite run of them all. Sure, the nostalgia factor of running on the campus where I went to school may play a part, but I think we can all agree this is a great little 3-4 mile track.

One problem: the stretch along Stanford Ave. between E. Lakeshore Dr. and S. Lakeshore Dr. is probably one of the most dangerous areas to run in all of Baton Rouge. (Of course, it gets even worse if you don't take the S. Lakeshore Dr. loop and instead continue along Stanford Ave. all the way back to Milford Wampold Memorial Park.) This is due to a number of factors. First off, the sidewalk is basically on the road. Second, you have some telephone polls encroaching the little sidewalk space you do have. Third, the path near the condos has a number of roots and elevation changes, making it difficult to go slightly off path to avoid oncoming pedestrians who don't happen to be in single file. And fourth, and perhaps most unnerving, car traffic often occupies the lane closest to the sidewalk even when the other lane is open. Why they do this is beyond me, but it's in excess of 90% of drivers by my very unscientific internal calculator.

Has the City ever considered something as simple as some signage encouraging (but not requiring) drivers to occupy the center lanes where possible? Why must runners simultaneously (a) be tempted to run along one of the best routes around while also (b) greatly increasing their chances of being struck by a vehicle relative to other running routes in the area?
This post was edited on 7/31 at 11:00 am


bayoubengals88
Wisconsin Fan
LA
Member since Sep 2007
13832 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Brilliant post! What can we do??


RedStickBR
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2009
13758 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
That's what I'm here for: ideas. Generally speaking, it's likely advisable to run counter-clockwise along the lake (i.e. if starting from the Milford Wampold trail head, heading northeast along Stanford Ave. first) so that you're at least running against oncoming traffic during the dangerous stretch. But that still won't do much for you if a car veers two feet out of the lane closest to the sidewalk and takes you out in the process.

Another thing I've thought of is lobbying the City to paint some markings in the lanes closest to the sidewalks encouraging use of the center lanes if possible. But the last thing I'm advocating is making even more traffic bottlenecks in Baton Rouge, so this would simply be meant to encourage not require.

The best approach may simply be an awareness campaign. You have some interstate drivers who get over into the left lane when a car is pulled over on the shoulder and you have some who don't. But the more who know to do that end up doing it. A similar concept could apply here.

Finally, I'm sure we'll get some hardass who recommends not running along the Stanford stretch at all, but instead turning around and going back around the lake to turn your 5k into a 10k But when you're putting in 5k PRs, turning around and running another 5k is not exactly ideal.
This post was edited on 7/31 at 11:39 am


FlyinTiger93
LSU Fan
Member since May 2010
1676 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Master Plan was completed in 2015, but BR has no money to execute it. Louisiana doing Louisiana things.


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Adam4848
LSU Fan
LA
Member since Apr 2006
13731 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Run through their back yard


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GeauxPack81
California Fan
Member since Dec 2009
9807 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
As another poster mentioned, there is a master plan LINK that is pretty awesome. However, it will take a ton of time and money to fully complete.

It looks like it has the path staying on the lake behind those apartments. Hopefully the just buy those apartments and tear them down, they are an eye sore... But then I think the hope is just that basically everyone will take the S Lakeshore loop.

Other than that though, I'm not real sure what they could do in the interim. They do enforce the speed limit around there pretty well. I generally hate speed traps, but that is one area I am okay with since so many people go 50+ down Stanford, just a few feet from a constant flow of pedestrians. However, it could be better. If someone hits me going 40mph I'm still probably dead or significantly injured. They should drop it to 30 or 35 for just that half mile stretch. Its really not a big ask for motorists to slow down for such a short distance. And if you are going to enforce it, enforce it correctly. Move the speed traps to Morning Glory or E Lakeshore, so the speeders slow down prior to that stretch instead of after. Or shit, as much as I hate them, I think thats one of the only spots I would be okay with some of those photo-enforced speed limit signs you see all over NOLA.


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ruzil
Southeastern LA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2012
14052 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Be a boss and swim that leg between South and East Lakeshore Aves, but watch out for the turtles on that one log.


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
29185 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

. I've run all over the Southeast U.S. and in many European countries and this is still my favorite run of them all. Sure, the nostalgia factor of running on the campus where I went to school may play a part,


You are very biased. I agree it's a nice little run but I've run hundreds of other courses in other cities that are much nicer. Town Lake in Austin, Memorial Park in Houston, Vondel Park in Amsterdam, The Resovoir in Central Park, White Rock Lake in Dallas, Mersey River path in Manchester UK,.....the list goes on and on.


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Ingeniero
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2013
8769 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

Generally speaking, it's likely advisable to run counter-clockwise along the lake



Advisable, maybe. But all the big boys run it clockwise.











Just trolling you a little


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
29185 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

But all the big boys run it clockwise.




That's the way we ran it most the time. Of course it was still a dirt road with goat farms back then.
This post was edited on 7/31 at 6:52 pm


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GreenRockTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2020
247 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
You make some very good points - it’s a nice little place to run

But I don’t think the mayor is too concerned about that section of town


IndianInBR
Navy Fan
L'auberge
Member since Dec 2015
1531 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
if y'all wanna run on Plank Rd, the mayor is ready to throw shite ton of money to make it possible.


GreenRockTiger
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2020
247 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Running on Plank Rd might produce some great personal bests!


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TigeRoots
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Oct 2008
6792 posts
 Online 

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
Ha, I run the Lakes often and ask myself why I drive the extra 45 mins to get there each time. Most everything about it sucks, the “paths” or lack thereof, the traffic, uneven surfaces, standing water, the sewage pond looking lakes themselves. To compare it with anything other than another shitty BREC park is absurd.

I wish they’d finally do the revitalization plan we’ve been hearing about, but we’ll see if it ever happens.


Paluka
LSU Fan
One State Over
Member since Dec 2010
10365 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

Ha, I run the Lakes often and ask myself why I drive the extra 45 mins to get there each time.


I played tennis at city park Sunday. I can tell you why I like to play there.


OysterPoBoy
LSU Fan
City of St. George
Member since Jul 2013
20036 posts

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

he “paths” or lack thereof


Those roots on the path right where you turn right off of Stanford are like hurdles.

It breeds focus.


TigeRoots
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Oct 2008
6792 posts
 Online 

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
quote:

I played tennis at city park Sunday. I can tell you why I like to play there.


Well, yeah! That helps and is quite frankly the only reason I go. Ha


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TigeRoots
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Oct 2008
6792 posts
 Online 

re: Running University Lake - A Blessing and a Curse
True. And a bulk of it has no path; running in the road. Although I prefer to run in the dirt alongside anyway.
This post was edited on 8/4 at 10:42 am


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