Aug 242016
 

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. Continue reading »

Aug 222016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

Jul 182016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 

A standard bike lane on Bienville Street in Mid-City. City officials are considering converting some roads to “bike boulevards” that would have even more protections for cyclists. (courtesy of Paths to Progress)

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. Continue reading »

Jul 082016
 

The No. 15 bus passes on Freret Street on Friday, July 8, 2016. The route is scheduled to be extended to Canal Street in September. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The No. 15 bus passes on Freret Street on Friday, July 8, 2016. The route is scheduled to be extended to Canal Street in September. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)


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. Continue reading »

Jul 062016
 
Village Coffee on Freret Street is closed and for lease. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Village Coffee on Freret Street is closed and for lease. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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May 022016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

sinkhole

noun sink·hole \ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl\

: a low area or hole in the ground that is formed especially when soil and rocks are removed by flowing water

The most appropriate metaphor for Mitch Landrieu’s tenure as mayor of New Orleans would be a sinkhole. If there’s a monument to the Landrieu’s legacy, it will be a gigantic Hell-maw (the devourer-of-Hondas) located right smack in the middle of a major thoroughfare. Continue reading »

Apr 152016
 
The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

Article by Emily Branan, video by Lawson Box

Richard Campanella was on his way to get his morning cup of coffee when he noticed an interesting addition to the Maple Street landscape: oyster shells.

Campanella, geographer and senior professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture, said he enjoys studying urban cityscapes and thought the pothole filled with oyster shells made an interesting subject to study. Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 
A rendering of the new configuration of Jackson Avenue through the Garden District, after a repaving project scheduled to start later this year. (via city of New Orleans)

A rendering of the new configuration of Jackson Avenue through the Garden District, after a repaving project scheduled to start later this year. (via city of New Orleans)

As part of an upcoming repaving project on Jackson Avenue, the portion of the street through the Garden District will be reduced from two travel lanes to one and a bike lane added on each side of the road, New Orleans city officials told nearby residents in a meeting Thursday evening. Continue reading »

Mar 312016
 
A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-awaited end of the Napoleon Avenue drainage-canal project is now expected to be the end of the year — all of it — and landscaping on the neutral ground should be done next year, officials with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told neighbors Thursday night. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Napoleon Avenue drainage project to be complete by December; landscaping starts next year, officials say
Mar 212016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“You’re an idiot.”

It wasn’t much of an argument. These were the words written to me by Taylor Huckaby, a social media spokesman for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the regional transit agency serving the San Francisco Bay area. Clearly, he didn’t like to be challenged. Continue reading »

Mar 142016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It’s not uncommon for something to sound wonderful that is ultimately a bad idea — “freemium” games, bacon-wrapped pizza, going to Bourbon Street — the list is endless. It’s easy to get whipped into a frenzy by hype or sexiness and ignore practical realities.

That’s the category to which the oft-debated commuter rail line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge belongs. Continue reading »

Feb 152016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Over the course of the past fifty years, we have been treated to advancements in information technology beyond our wildest imaginations. When it comes to computers and conveying data electronically, technological progress has proceeded rapidly. Virtually everything can be automated and accessed at the push of a touch screen.

This makes the City’s seeming inability to mete out parking citations in a fair and equitable manner all the more galling, if not downright suspicious. Continue reading »

Dec 182015
 
A construction worker guides a passing SUV across Prytania Street on Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A construction worker guides a passing SUV across Prytania Street on Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Property owners near the construction of major new drainage canals across Uptown New Orleans are asking a judge to intervene in the management of the project contracts, seeking an end to the interminable delays, they announced Friday morning. Continue reading »

Dec 162015
 

SWBA number of road closures and low water-pressure advisories have been issued this week for the areas around the drainage canal projects on Louisiana, Napoleon and Jefferson Avenues, according to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Road closures, low water pressure expected near Louisiana, Napoleon, Jefferson
Nov 192015
 

SWB

Sections of Uptown can expect low water pressure, street closures and traffic delays for several days starting Thursday as the Sewerage and Water Board undergoes a series of repairs, officials announced in a series of press releases.

Continue reading »

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Nov 112015
 
Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill

By Charlotte Gill

There’s a new sport in town, and it’s figuring out how to avoid road construction as you navigate across the city. As frustrating as it is for drivers trying to get from point A to point B every day, it is a matter of grave economic concern for New Orleans’ local independent retailers that live and die by the amount of foot traffic that walks through their doors, particularly over the holiday season. Continue reading »

Oct 232015
 

SWBSeveral blocks of the river-bound side of Broadway Street in the university area will close this weekend so that workers can begin repaving there, in anticipation of bad weather next week, the Sewerage & Water Board announced.

Pavement restoration will begin 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and continue through 6 p.m. Sunday in the riverbound lanes of Broadway from Willow to Plum streets, as well was from Green to Birch, according to the S&WB announcement. The final roadway restoration is scheduled to take place Monday morning, the announcement states.

“Contractors working for the Sewerage and Water Board will perform surface restorations to last week’s water line repairs,” the announcement states. “Remaining work includes street surface removal and asphalt overlay. Full lane closures on the riverbound side of Broadway Street will expedite the restoration process in anticipation of inclement weather next week.”