Informer: DOTD says signal at West McNeese, Nelson fixed

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Recently the light at West McNeese Street and Nelson Road was changed to allow a protected left-hand arrow for left-turning traffic, without allowing traffic to go straight across Nelson Road.

In the past, traffic was allowed to go straight, and soon thereafter, a protected arrow would allow any left-turning traffic that hadn’t cleared the light already to turn left safely. The old system worked much more efficiently than the new system.

Now, if the first vehicle at the light does not want to turn left, every single car in that lane will miss the protected arrow completely, and then be on their own to find a break in the traffic to turn left.

Who changed the light, and what can be done to change it back?

Deidra Druilhet, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Transportation and Development, said the problem has been fixed.

“A new traffic signal controller was recently installed at this intersection, by contract, which contained a programming error,”

she wrote in an email sent Friday afternoon.

“Today, DOTD’s signal crew installed a new controller at this location to correct the timing and phasing.”

SNAP benefits good only for food items

I have been told that people on food stamps can only buy food and not items like soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. Is this true?


Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, can use their benefits to buy food for their households

and seeds to grow food.

But they can’t use the benefits to

purchase nonfood items — alcohol and tobacco products, paper goods,

soap, toothpaste, cosmetics,


Additionally, SNAP benefits can’t be used to buy hot food or any foods that are to be eaten inside the store.

For more information on SNAP, call the state Department of Children and Family Services at 888-524-3578.


Ultra-bright lights, loud mufflers illegal

These bright blue headlights on these automobiles, are they legal? And is it against the law to have these loud exhaust systems on these vehicles?

The answer to the first question is no, and the answer to the second is yes.

R.S. 32:334, which took effect in 2011, prohibits the installation of ultra-bright, after-market lights — that is, those “which

tend to change the original design or performance” of the lights put in by carmakers.

And R.S. 32:352 prohibits loud exhaust systems, mandating that mufflers be in “good working order and in constant operation

to prevent excessive or unusual noise.”


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email