In an effort to combine the convenience of public transit with the benefits of cycling, New Orleans is preparing to deploy a fleet of 700 publicly shared “social bicycles” for hire around this city this year, officials are busy telling neighborhood groups.
The busy Freret Street intersection with Jefferson Avenue has reopened to traffic as construction continues on the major underground drainage canal, officials said.
Napoleon Avenue parade-goers can get their “Neutral Ground Side” T-shirts out of the mothballs for Mardi Gras 2017, because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that all construction on the avenue will be complete before the first parades roll in 2017.
The Broad Street route between Uptown and Mid-City will be affected for the next month by a series of lane closures in three phases as part of an ongoing Gravier Street reconstruction project, New Orleans city officials announced.
As the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority looks for ways to grow public transportation in the city, officials are considering new options such as a partnership with Uber to reach transit lines or a new fare system based on riders’ incomes.
Mayor Landrieu’s 2017 budget has been released, and true to form, Landrieu proposes to nickel and dime the citizens of New Orleans for scraps of revenue. In order to generate an additional $5 million, Landrieu plans to double the number of red light and speed cameras, adding a whopping 56 cameras around the city.
Street renovations certainly are continuing apace along Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, a.k.a. “OCH.” The pavement has been stripped of asphalt and the newer, wider neutral ground is almost completed. Mayor Landrieu and other city leaders are already patting themselves on the back.
The only problem? Oretha Castle Haley was fine the way it was, unlike other infrastructure in the city. Most other streets remain smoldering dumpster fires.
Boys and girls, ladies and germs – please sit down and let me regale you with the tale of Sebastian the Streetcar, second cousin twice-removed to Thomas the Tank Engine.™ Sebastian was a custom-built streetcar in New Orleans operating on the Loyola and Canal lines, but more than anything Sebastian wanted to help forge the new streetcar line down the other end of the French Quarter.
One day, Sebastian journeyed down Loyola to City Hall, where the leader of the city performed his business – Mayor Needum Toupee. Clad in his dark black suit, the resolute chief executive trod out to meet the plucky little streetcar.
So this cement truck, a Landrieu Cement Truck, was filling in this gigantic pothole on Mexico Street. It’s this company owned by the mayor’s cousin that contracts with the city. Anyway, while it was filling in this massive hole in the pavement, another sinkhole opened up and the cement truck fell in.
I know what you’re thinking: What’s the punchline?
Well, although this sounds like the setup for a joke, it’s actually not. It happened this past week, much to the chagrin of the residents of Pontchartrain Park.
Several blocks of Magazine Street and Washington Avenue will close overnight for sewer line repairs, the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans announced.
Motorists on Freret Street will be unable to cross Jefferson Avenue for the next five months or so, and will be detoured again around the intersection through the side streets, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced.
Mitch Landrieu is one smart cookie. Residents all across New Orleans are salivating that their neighborhood streets might get repaired with the $2 billion FEMA allocation, the starting point of the city’s massive $5 billion street rebuilding project.
Today (Aug. 24), Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City and State officials and community members to celebrate the ground-breaking of the Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Streetscape Project in Central City. In total, $1.85 million is being allocated to improve Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. from Calliope St. to Saint Andrew St. to make it more pedestrian and bike-friendly. Construction is scheduled to be completed in spring 2017.
Sometimes I find column topics, and sometimes they find me. Just last night I was driving to Walgreens, musing upon what latest New Orleans travesty to write about. As I started to turn down a street adjacent to the Walgreens, I noticed that the street was one-way and jerked back suddenly.
It wasn’t my fault. One of the requisite one-way signs was missing completely, while the other was partially-blocked by foliage and appeared faded. There were no “do not enter” signs either. Aside from the presence of parking cars uniformly parked in the opposite direction, it was virtually impossible to know that the street was one-way.
A few years ago, local NBC affiliate WDSU reported on an embarrassment familiar to all New Orleanians, namely the fact that street signs seem to be regarded as more of a luxury in this city than an obvious necessity. Particularly absent are those signs actually identifying the names of streets – you know, so you can actually find your way around.
“If you think about some of the basic things you expect a city to have, in terms of the impression of the city, if it doesn’t have a street sign it kind of lets you know they don’t have it all together,” local resident Francis James told reporters. His intersection had no signs at all.
When Mayor Mitch Landrieu brought his annual city-budget listening session to KIPP Central City Academy on Thursday evening, nobody really wanted to talk to him about the problems most traditionally associated with New Orleans. No one asked about crime rates, police staffing or officer misconduct. No one talked about potholes, property taxes, bad roads, blighted houses or street flooding. No one even mentioned Confederate statues.
Instead, the residents of City Council District B mostly wanted to talk about bicycle transportation and housing issues like AirBnB.
The “Freret Jet” bus route through Uptown New Orleans will be restored to its former end point on Canal Street in a change that transit advocates are hailing as a step toward a public-transportation policy that better balances the needs of both residents and tourists.
Village Coffee, one of the pioneering businesses in the Freret commercial corridor’s post-Katrina resurgence, is moving to Metairie, leaving their large corner building up for lease for a new tenant.
Contractors are set to begin rebuilding a portion of the long-closed Prytania Street, but the Octavia Street intersection will close for at least eight weeks as part of the process, New Orleans officials said.