Youth leaders help make streets safer in Assumption Parish

(05/19/23) NAPOLEONVILLE, La. — Assumption Parish just became the second parish in the state to pass “complete streets” plans for communities under 5,000 residents. And local youth played an instrumental role in that accomplishment.

During a police jury meeting May 10, Labadieville Middle School Beta Club members asked the Assumption Parish Police Jury to pass the plan for the Supreme community.

Complete streets are roadways designed to serve the needs of everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities and motorists. According to the Federal Highway Administration, complete streets not only reduce the risk of traffic deaths and injuries but also promote economic vitality and health by connecting residents to everyday destinations like grocery stores, schools, parks and health care facilities.

“I have been working closely with the Beta Club on a local community park improvement project. Part of that project included assessing bike and pedestrian safety around the park,” said Maria Gonzales, LSU AgCenter nutrition agent. “The kids can tell you all about how pedestrians access the park, but they never really considered whether the current paths are safe. They really gained an understanding of what it means to make a street safer for all road users.”

During the meeting, LSU AgCenter physical activity specialist Jessica Stroope also asked the jury to pass a plan for Belle Rose, another small community in the parish. Both plans received enthusiastic support and were passed by resolution.

“Oftentimes, small, rural communities get left out of conversations,” Stroope said. “A big part of our work is helping these communities understand their options and offering support if they want to improve pedestrian and bike infrastructure. Formally adopting complete streets plans is one way small communities can ensure that the DOTD will be aware of community needs when the time comes to do maintenance on state owned highways in their town.”

Back in January, the Labadieville Middle School Beta Club partnered with LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities for their community service project focused on improving Marais Park. Since then, Beta Club officers have worked with Gonzales, police juror Patrick Johnson, AgCenter Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering department head Marybeth Lima and her biological engineering students to select new playground equipment for the park.

For more information about Healthy Communities projects like complete streets and park improvements, contact Gonzales at

Group photo of children standing in front of a building.

Labadieville Middle School Beta Club officers pose in front of the Assumption Parish Police Jury building after the passing of complete streets plans for two communities in their parish on May 10, 2023. Photo by Catherine Coalson/LSU AgCenter

Group photo of people.

Labadieville Middle School Beta Club officers, school staff, Assumption Parish Police Jury members and LSU AgCenter staff pose after the passing of complete streets plans for two communities in Assumption Parish on May 10, 2023. Photo by Catherine Coalson/LSU AgCenter

5/19/2023 3:32:34 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture