A South Claiborne Avenue pedestrian was killed Monday when a dump truck crashed into a building and turned over, and emergency workers closed the downtown-bound side of the busy street to traffic near Martin Luther King Boulevard as they worked to clear the wreckage.
With certain issues, there’s often a central figure whose opinion you always want to know. If there’s a foreign policy incident, the Secretary of State should probably be consulted. If there’s a disease outbreak, the head of the Center for Disease Control should probably be on board. Want to gauge response to a major crime? Let’s see what the chief of police has to say.
And if you want to take some radical step pertaining to city streets, like taking out a traffic lane in the middle of downtown New Orleans, surely you’d want to know what Chief Traffic Engineer Allen Yrle thinks of it. Heck, you might think his support would be considered crucial.
Alas, you would be wrong.
The ongoing construction of a major drainage canal under Jefferson Avenue will require one lane of traffic to close on Magazine Street for an anticipated three weeks, officials said.
As contractors have begun digging deep underneath South Claiborne, Jefferson, Napoleon and now Louisiana avenues to install new drainage ditches, Uptown New Orleans residents have asked pointed questions prior to each project about what the neutral ground will look like when the projects are finally done over the next three years.
On Tuesday night, those residents got their first look at possible answers, including a continuation of the walking path down Napoleon Avenue, public art installations on South Claiborne, tall palms restored to Jefferson Avenue and a variety of landscaping options on Louisiana. For many, however, those answers led to more questions — such as whether the projects will incorporate ideas from the city’s new water-management strategy, which plants could be harmful to traffic visibility in certain locations, and how the canopies over the avenues will look with the finished projects.
“Look both ways before crossing the street.”
Every child is taught that line, the essence being that before you step off the curb, you’d better have verified that three tons of automotive engineering won’t be bearing down on your fleshy, fragile form. Being a pedestrian is perilous, and you have to take precautions.
However, in the City of New Orleans, it is often a great deal more dangerous than it ought to be.
All the streetlights on St. Charles Avenue from Carrollton to the Lower Garden District will be repaired and replaced with new LED lights over the next two weeks, city officials said Monday morning as the work began.
Cedric Grant and Mayor Landrieu want everyone to know that they plan to repair New Orleans’ chronically ill-maintained street infrastructure. They also want you to know that they have no creative plans for funding it.
Grant is New Orleans’ new grand poobah of public infrastructure. He is simultaneously the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board and the head of the Department of Public Works. He gets to serve two masters – Mayor Landrieu and the quasi-independent S&WB.
If you like navigating around the drainage projects on Napoleon, Jefferson and South Claiborne avenues — or if, more likely, you don’t — get ready: Louisiana Avenue is next.
The $82.6 million installation of a box canal on Louisiana Avenue from South Claiborne to Constance Street — a sister project of sorts to similar efforts on Napoleon, Jefferson and South Claiborne avenues — got its official start back in the summer, when Boh Brothers was chosen as the contractor, said Sewerage and Water Board superintendent Joe Becker before an audience of nearby residents at the Lyons Center on Thursday night. But after site surveying and other preparations, neighbors will begin to see the beginnings of the work on the ground in the weeks to come, as workers begin trimming trees and starting construction near Clara Street.
Long before Yulman Stadium even received its name, questions of how football games would impact the neighborhoods around Tulane University dominated discussions about the return of college football to the Uptown campus.
On Saturday, those questions were finally answered: On-street parking may have been tough to find, but traffic was relatively light, and many neighbors were thrilled to revive the front-yard parties associated with memories of the old Sugar Bowl stadium.
“Going to the Dome spoiled my football experience at Tulane. I’m so glad, 40 years later, that we’re back, and I’m shocked at how quiet Audubon Boulevard is,” said Seph Dupuy, a 1970 Tulane graduate as he attended a small gathering there. “I’m pleasantly surprised how well controlled and easy it is to get around.”
The busy intersection of South Claiborne and South Carrollton avenues will be reduced to one traffic lane in several directions starting at 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 3) for repairs to a leaking water main, authorities said.
Residents and business owners who want bike racks in their neighborhoods have until Friday (Aug. 15) to request them from the city, New Orleans officials said.
The New Orleans RTA plans to restore Carrollton Bus Line 90 this fall, which runs from the intersection of South Claiborne through Mid-City and City Park to reach Gentilly, as part of a series of service changes announced as transit advocates question the slow return of bus lines and the agency’s finances.
Keeping your eye on the road matters. Sometimes it just prevents you from being a jerk, other times it can save somebody’s life.
Case in point: Earlier this past week I was going down Oak Street looking for a parking space on the street. When I saw one, I immediately hand signaled (my car is 63 years old and lacks turn signals) and slowed next to the spot. A white SUV was approaching behind me from the intersection, so I held the hand-signal for a few seconds, believing that the SUV would see the signal and leave me sufficient space.
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will discuss increasing service on bus routes throughout the city, including restoring route 90 in Carrollton, at a series of community open houses in Broadmoor and Carrollton starting next week.
The city of New Orleans’ $12.5 million plan to repave the uppermost end of Magazine Street next year answers a major standing request from the Audubon Commission, but Audubon leaders are still requesting an additional $3.6 million in upgrades to the riverfront park known as “The Fly.”
A movie production planning to film a simulated car crash will close Religious Street on Friday night, and nearby residents can expect to hear simulated gunfire during the filming as well, New Orleans officials said.
A common practice amongst subordinates is to intentionally include extraneous steps in a plan to give a meddling boss something to change. This way, the plan remains exactly the same, but the boss feels as though he’s made a contribution and the subordinate can point out that he compromised. It goes like this:
PEON: Here’s what my plan is: We’ll design the product, build a prototype, dispose of toxic waste in the executive washroom, and then launch the product.
BOSS: Whoa! That third step is a problem. I don’t think we should dispose of toxic waste in the executive washroom. That could harm our corporate executives.
PEON: Hmmm… I’m still not sure about abandoning Step 3, but I see what you’re saying and value your guidance. I’ll scrap Step 3.
BOSS: Great! Let’s move forward.
It was this kind of scenario that comes to mind when the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center makes its pitch to expand its facilities into the Lower Garden District as part of a public/private partnership.
It’s tough to say what is most surprising about the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan – the radical design changes that ensue when an auto maker replaces the gas engine with state-of-the-art energy efficiency, or the fact that the vehicle isn’t confined to some Silicon Valley, Tom Swift future fantasy at all. A small but dedicated group of Tesla owners is quickly growing here in New Orleans, and Tesla Motors is in the process of creating a new infrastructure to support them across the oil-and-gas-loving Gulf Coast.
“The car really feels like the future,” said Matt Wisdom, the CEO of New Orleans-based technology company TurboSquid and one of the first Tesla owners in the area. “It’s not that they’ve built a relatively expensive car. It’s that they’ve figured out how it’s going to be. I have no question things are going to migrate this way.”