New Orleanians have long suspected that our drivers (like our government) are completely ignorant of the law. There’s some basis in fact for this view. A 2013 study found that Louisiana had the worst drivers in the country.
As we begin to age in place, we Baby Boomers are being bombarded with suggestions in support of our insistence that 60 will just be the new 40: structured exercise (walk 10,000 steps a day!), careful diet (eat a lot of blueberries!), and mental gymnastics (do crossword puzzles in ink, even the one in the Sunday New York Times!).
But those of us of any age who are lucky enough to live in New Orleans as the tenth anniversary of August 29, 2005 (which I call “the late unpleasantness”) slinks our way, don’t need to wear our Fitbits 24/7. Just dealing with the confluence of various deadlines for spending government money, an estimated 71 billion federal bucks to rebuild the most devastated city since Sodom and/or Gomorrah — which certain folk have compared us to, actually — has forced us to strengthen ourselves in at least 10 ways as we fight a uniquely local condition: New Orleans Infrastructure Fatigue.
A woman standing on Oleander Street just off South Carrollton was hit by a truck and killed overnight, New Orleans police said Saturday morning.
Starting Monday, drivers attempting to pass through Magazine Street’s intersection with Jefferson Avenue will be guided by a “phased” signal that alternates between Uptown and Downtown-bound traffic, the Sewerage & Water Board announced.
Traffic lanes will be shifted on Magazine Street at Louisiana Avenue for much of the remainder of the week as a new water line is installed in preparation for the major drainage canal construction on the corridor, the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans said.
When construction is finished on the major section of Napoleon Avenue from South Claiborne to near St. Charles Avenue — expected by the end of the year — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to build a walking path down the center of the neutral ground similar to that in Broadmoor, but to narrow the neutral ground by nine feet to make room for new bike lanes in the street in each direction.
The project to improve the sidewalks around Coliseum Square and the International School of Louisiana — halted by the unexpected discovery of 1880s-era drainage canals underneath them — will now fall under a federally-mandated review by the state office of historic preservation, officials confirmed.
Motorists on Louisiana Avenue will be detoured around St. Charles Avenue all day today (Tuesday, June 23) for repairs to a sewer line underneath the intersection, according to an emergency traffic advisory from the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
A block of Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District will be closed over the weekend for utility work, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
A block of Prytania Street will be restricted to a single lane of traffic for two weeks for underground repairs and repaving, officials with the city of New Orleans said, just two blocks down from another section slated to be closed for at least six more weeks.
A total of 74 plaintiffs have now joined the lawsuit alleging that their homes have been damaged by construction of new drainage canals under major thoroughfares through Uptown New Orleans, but their attorney says the costs of repairing these houses is already built into the project and won’t increase the costs for the Sewerage & Water Board.
Acknowledging the unpredictable maze of utility work and road closures that Uptown New Orleans has become, Entergy officials say their major upcoming project to replace transmission lines along Leake Avenue, Magazine and Annunciation streets will only require the streets to be shut down for hours at a time — not the days, weeks or months associated with other projects — and power is not expected to be shut off to any individual homes.
The block of Prytania Street between Milan and Marengo that closed in March for underground repairs will remain inaccessible to all vehicular traffic for another eight weeks while Entergy relocates gas lines there, New Orleans officials announced.
Contractors with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are scheduled to finish the first major leg of the massive ongoing series Uptown drainage projects — the section of Napoleon Avenue between South Claiborne and Carondelet — by the end of the year, officials said, providing some measure of relief and hope to drivers weary of years of avoiding so many major thoroughfares.
Streetcar service through the Uptown area will be interrupted in three phases over the summer in order to accommodate the SELA drainage project, RTA officials told Carrollton residents on Monday night.
In the film Cool Hand Luke, a prison guard slaps the protagonist, played by Paul Neuman, into solitary.
“Sorry, Luke,” the guard explains. “I’m just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.”
Luke responds laconically: “Nah – calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.”
The phrase “just doing my job” has always been used to cover a multitude of sins. Indeed, when a man feebly attempts justify anything with those words, it’s almost dead-certain that he’s covering up for his own peccadilloes.
New Orleans, sadly, is full of these types.