On the way to work this morning I noticed a brand new crop of port-a-lets at the corner of Johnston and South College.  They popped up overnight like fresh mushrooms!  In my sleepy, driving-to-work state I wondered what was going on.  Then it dawned on me, Mardi Gras!  With port-a-lets springing up everywhere can barricades be far behind?  I was informed today by City-Parish President Joey Durel that the barricades would be in-place by late this afternoon so everything will be right with the world.

I've often wondered what goes through the mind of a tourist or someone new to Lafayette when they encounter this maze of barricades down one of our major thoroughfares.  Making a left turn through this maze of metal must be gut-wrenching (rather like driving down Johnston any other day).  I sympathize with homeowners who live along the parade route.  I bet it is an inconvenience but the economy loves the revenue.

Having driven and ridden in Mardi Gras parades I can vouch for the usefulness of barricades.  I have refused to drive floats in parades with no barricades because of the liability involved.  Without barricades it is so easy to misjudge distances and run over a child wile driving.  There is also the possibility of someone, especially a child, getting too close to a float to receive a Mardi Gras throw and being crushed by the float.

Even with barricades in Lafayette I've noticed children going over or under them to retrieve throws and putting themselves in danger.  Police can't be everywhere!!  Parents watch and control your kids please.

On the subject of port-a-lets it must be said there can never be too many!  Usually not enough is the norm no matter how many are placed in any area.  Please don't trash or abuse the port-a-lets because the next person who needs one may be your wife, mother or child.

With port-a-lets and barricades in place I feel like Mardi Gras is finally here in Lafayette.  Let's get ready to 'pass a good time' and like the crusty old sargent on Hill Street Blues would say at the end of his daily shift briefing,

Let's stay safe out there.