Nov 142016
 
The first phase of lane closures on Soutjh Broad Street is expected to detour traffic around the Gravier Street intersection until Tuesday, Nov. 15. (map via City of New Orleans)

The first phase of lane closures on Soutjh Broad Street is expected to detour traffic around the Gravier Street intersection until Tuesday, Nov. 15. (map via City of New Orleans)

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Roadwork to cause South Broad lane closures between overpass, Tulane Avenue
Nov 012016
 
RTA manager Justin Augustine (from left), transit advocate Pamela Legge, and RIDE New Orleans executive director Alex Posorske speak Tuesday night at Tulane Hillel as part of a panel discussion on public transit. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

RTA manager Justin Augustine (from left), transit advocate Pamela Legge, and RIDE New Orleans executive director Alex Posorske speak Tuesday night at Tulane Hillel as part of a panel discussion on public transit. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Ahead for the RTA: Partnership with Uber, income-based fares?
Oct 242016
 

Upcoming road closures on Sophie Wright Place and Camp Street. (map by Uptown Messenger via Google)

Upcoming road closures on Sophie Wright Place and Camp Street. (map by Uptown Messenger via Google)

A section of Sophie Wright Place will be closed for a new water line and a nearby stretch of Camp Street will have a lane closed nearby for water-line repairs this week, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Water-line work to close Sophie Wright Place, reduce traffic lane on Camp
Oct 242016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Did anyone in New Orleans really want more traffic cameras?
Oct 172016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: On the ‘new’ O.C. Haley Boulevard, even the neutral ground is gentrified
Oct 102016
 
(Illustration by Owen Courreges)

(Illustration by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Sebastian the Streetcar learns the true meaning of ‘public’ transit
Oct 032016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Sinkholes in New Orleans are more than just another bad joke
Sep 062016
 
The intersection of Freret and Jefferson -- photographed in May 2015, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The intersection of Freret and Jefferson — photographed in May 2015, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Freret Street crossing at Jefferson Avenue to close for another five months
Sep 012016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

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. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Mayor will saddle Council with street-repair funding question
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 »

 Comments Off on City breaks ground on $1.85 Million Oretha Castle Haley Blvd Streetscape Project
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 »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: The unpleasant discovery of New Orleans’ secret one-way streets
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 »

 Comments Off on Village Coffee moves to Harahan; corner building on Freret up for lease
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 »