Tony Tramel Retires As Head Of Lafayette Traffic And Transportation
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- The man who spearheaded the use of roundabouts throughout Lafayette Parish and who implemented an intersection that allowed drivers to make a left turn while traffic--safely--came right at them is now enjoying life in retirement.
The coming retirement of Traffic and Transportation Director Tony Tramel was announced in February by City-Parish President Joey Durel during his annual State of the Parish address.
It was all made official at a gathering at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center in downtown Lafayette.
"Congratulations to Tony on his retirement," Durel said. "While many of us like to give Tony a hard time, Lafayette Consolidated Government has lost one of its most dedicated and accomplished professionals with his retirement. He was always working hard, and he was always pushing us to becoming an even better government and better community. We wish him all the best."
That Tramel's name is either love or reviled is an indication of the effect his non-traditional views of traffic control had on those who used the city's and parish's roadways.
Under Tramel's direction, Lafayette Parish saw the increased popularity of using roundabouts at key high-traffic intersections.
He also oversaw the installation of the continuous flow intersection at the intersection of Johnston Street and Guilbeau Road and Camellia Blvd. The intersection allows drivers to make a left turn from either Guilbeau or Camellia while also allowing traffic to go straight at the same time. The process of getting traffic to do the seemingly impossible involves a series of--what out-of-towners call complicated--lane changes.
The city's public bus system and transportation fleet also underwent the shift from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas.
But Tramel also leaves behind an arguably controversial legacy. Under his leadership, Consolidated Government implemented the Safe Light/Safe Speed program, a series of red-light traffic cameras and speed vans that take pictures of red-light and speed violators, sending the offenders a ticket in the mail.
The Department of Traffic and Transportation will soon be moved into the Department of Public Works under the direction of Tom Carroll, Durel said at his State of the Parish address.