Mar 042015
 
Workers dig a pit to repair a sewer line on Magazine near Third Street on Feb. 21. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers dig a pit to repair a sewer line on Magazine near Third Street on Feb. 21. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The two blocks of Magazine Street around Third where city workers recently repaired a sewer line will close again Thursday and Friday so that the street can be repaired, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced. Continue reading »

Mar 022015
 

Owen Courreges

Transit for the poor? What a curious thought.

Although in theory a primary purpose of transit is to provide necessary transportation for those too poor to afford a reliable vehicle, the reality is that the poor are generally the ones who are shortchanged. Continue reading »

Feb 252015
 
Mardi Gras beads hang on the chain-link fence in front of the tall black tarp, an effort to bring some life back to the otherwise bleak view. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Mardi Gras beads hang on the chain-link fence in front of the tall black tarp, an effort to bring some life back to the otherwise bleak view. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lined with tall black tarps billowing over chain link fences, what was once Prytania Street between Octavia and Nashville now looks like a discarded set from an old episode of the X-Files. Gray mud seeps from under the fence, and strange sounds emanate from behind the tarps, but it is anyone’s guess what could actually be taking place back there. Continue reading »

Feb 212015
 
Workers patch up a section of Magazine Street on Friday afternoon after digging it up to find a sewer leak that shut down the street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers patch up a section of Magazine Street on Friday afternoon after digging it up to find a sewer leak that shut down the street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The majority of the repairs needed to an underground sewer line that was causing part of Magazine Street to sink should finished by Monday, but the street will remain closed to most drivers near Third Street through the weekend, officials said. Continue reading »

Feb 122015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Like everyone else in New Orleans, we want the NOPD to right a tightly managed, right-sized operation that keeps us all safe.  We realize it might take two or three years to really hire a full complement of officers. We can live with new officers who might not meet the highest educational standards. We are glad the Chief has thought through his management needs enough to ask the Civil Service Commission for authorization to hire a civilian assistant to drive his ball down the field.

While we were not thrilled when the NOPD’s Office of Secondary Employment was created, we really hate the fact that the office’s leadership have been keeping the majority of plum assignments for themselves, as reported by The Advocate this week.  These actions cost the rank and file money. They damage morale, decrease officer retention, and discourage new officers from accepting positions on the force. No wonder morale is an ongoing problem! Continue reading »

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Feb 022015
 

Owen Courreges

I personally loathe either giving or receiving directions, particularly in New Orleans.  With all the twists and turns in the Crescent City, it’s a sure bet that there’s at least one step where you’ll have to “bear” onto something or venture on some convoluted path to make a left turn, all the while cursing the lack of rhyme and reason to the whole mess.

It’s all part and parcel of living in a city established nearly three-hundred years ago along a winding river.  The streets tend to take on a life of their own.

Now, sadly, it’s about to become ever more difficult to meander some streets of Uptown New Orleans.  Yes, the City Planning Commission (CPC) has once again exhibited its total lack of purpose, this time by approving needless street name changes borne of local political horse-trading. Continue reading »

Jan 152015
 
City Councilwoman Susan Guidry reiterates her promise to continue activist Jonah Bascle's fight to make the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line accessible to the disabled at the Jan. 8 City Council meeting. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry reiterates her promise to continue activist Jonah Bascle’s fight to make the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line accessible to the disabled at the Jan. 8 City Council meeting. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

When City Councilwoman Susan Guidry visited comedian and activist Jonah Bascle in the hospital last month shortly before his death at age 28, she vowed to carry his fight forward to make public transportation in New Orleans accessible to the disabled — specifically, the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.

Last week, with Bascle’s friends and supporters gathered in the City Council chambers, Guidry reiterated that she intends to make good on that promise sooner rather than later. Continue reading »

Jan 072015
 
Revelers dance to the Storyville Stompers in the Oak Street barn. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Revelers dance to the Storyville Stompers in the Oak Street barn. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Tuesday night, the Phunny Phorty Phellows rang in the 2015 Carnival season with their annual ride on the St. Charles avenue street car. Large crowds gathered at the Oak Street streetcar barn to see the Phellows depart down the line. The Phellows are a Mardi Gras crew that dates back all the way to 1878.

Crowds gathered in the Oak Street barn (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Crowds gathered in the Oak Street barn (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Dec 162014
 

Freret Street will be closed between Marengo and Delachaise streets for a week. (map via Google)

Freret Street will be closed between Marengo and Delachaise streets for a week. (map via Google)

A four-block stretch of Freret Street in the Milan neighborhood will be reduced to a single lane of traffic for a week while the road is replaced by the Sewerage and Water Board, officials announced. Continue reading »

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Oct 272014
 
Workers try to clear an overturned dump truck that crashed into a building on South Claiborne on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Workers try to clear an overturned dump truck that crashed into a building on South Claiborne on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Oct 202014
 

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 
Possible options for the Napoleon Avenue landscaping. (UptownMessenger.com)

Possible options for the Napoleon Avenue landscaping. (UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Sep 292014
 

Owen Courreges

“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. Continue reading »

Sep 222014
 
Anthony Reed installs a new LED light on a St. Charles Avenue streetlight pole. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Anthony Reed installs a new LED light on a St. Charles Avenue streetlight pole. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »