Upgrades planned for Carver Park in Black Pearl

Long-awaited renovations to George Washington Carver Playground, near the levee in the Black Pearl neighborhood, will soon be underway. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m., state Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman announced Friday (Sept. 1). The Carver Playground and the concessions building are in line for major upgrades, according to the city’s Capital Projects Administration.

Roadwork ahead: Palmer to close for University area drainage project

Palmer Avenue will be partially closed between Loyola Avenue and Freret Street for about three months beginning Tuesday (Sept. 5), the Mayor’s Office announced Friday. Crews will be completing subsurface utility repairs and roadway restoration. Construction crews will begin the work in the 1800 block of Palmer Avenue and will progress toward the 2000 block, ending at Freret Street. During construction, crews will work on one block at a time, requiring a partial road closure.

City officials cut the ribbon on completed Central City roadway project

City and officials gathered in Central City on Thursday (Sept. 31) to mark the completion of a road construction project. The $10.8 million 15-block Central City Group A Roadway Project began in September 2020 with an exploratory excavation. At the time, city officials said the construction costs would total $9.1 million and the work would be completed in the fall of 2021. The scope of work included replacing damaged underground water and drainage lines; repaving the roadway; replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons; and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections.

Viewpoint: Can the city fix its broken bureaucracy?

Most New Orleanians shudder at the thought of having to go to City Hall to get a permit — any permit. It’s not now, nor has it ever been, a quick, easy or transparent process. The requirements are hard to understand. A staff person might not be available to discuss or explain a puzzling issue, which can add more time and more cost to the already lengthy, expensive process. If citizens are able to actually connect with a live staffer in person or on the phone, that individual might be less than user friendly.

‘Coffee on Your Corner’ pours zoning and enforcement, public safety and housing

Residents in District A and District B will have a chance to meet with city officials during two August “Coffee on Your Corner” events. Questions on zoning and enforcement issues will be answered at the District A coffee klatsch. The District B Neighborhood Engagement Office event is on public health and housing. The Mayor’s Office created Coffee on Your Corner to bring city government to neighborhood venues. The events give New Orleanians a chance to hear about city programs, initiatives and operations directly from the officials in charge of them.

Viewpoint: The system is designed for New Orleans mayors to prevail

Critics of Mayor LaToya Cantrell have been having a field day recently with multiple incidents about which to complain. Yet it seems no matter how much venom is directed toward her, Cantrell manages to adroitly deflect every accusation like a sizzling fried egg sliding off a Teflon-coated pan.   

Case in point: U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan is demanding answers about the Public Integrity Bureau’s shoddy investigation of NOPD officer and Cantrell bodyguard Jeffrey Vappie. The good judge must know that it’s Cantrell who wields the big stick at the NOPD. Other than to extend the consent decree even longer, what recourse does the judge actually have?  Cantrell has already refused to allow her staff appear in Morgan’s courtroom. A long-awaited investigation by lawyers working for the City Council concluded that the informational mailer that Cantrell authorized during the recall campaign probably violated state law.

Mayor’s Office invites public to meetings on the city’s budget

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell is holding Budget Community Meeting Series this to solicit public opinion on how the city should allocate the 2024 budget. “Building out the city’s budget for 2024 is a process that does not happen overnight; it starts right now,” Cantrell said in a press release. “These town halls are specifically designed for residents to hear directly from my administration and also for us to listen to the public relative to their priorities as well. ”

At the townhall-style meetings in each City Council district, officials will discuss budgeting priorities aligned with the Cantrell administration’s framework designed to prioritize issues that matter most to New Orleanians. These priorities include treating public safety as public health and investing in infrastructure, quality of life, economic development and good and inclusive governance.

Roadwork ahead: Camp Street detour continues in Lower Garden District

sDrivers in the Lower Garden District will continue to face a barricade on Camp Street at Thalia. The downtown-bound travel lanes of the 1200 block of Camp will remain closed through Monday (July 31), the Department of Public Works reported. The street is closed for asphalt paving operations as part of the Central City Group B project. The work began June 21. Drivers heading toward downtown are rerouted onto Thalia Street, then turn left onto Constance Street and left again onto Erato Street, where traffic can return to eastbound Camp Street (see map above).

Traffic-ticket season to begin Aug. 1

Traffic cameras will be catching speeders and red-light scofflaws again beginning Aug. 1 — the same day all 39 school zone cameras will be reactivated. Ten traffic cameras that were damaged during Hurricane Ida in 2021 have been repaired and will soon be back online. The repairs included replacing sensors and installing new poles and other support equipment. Three of the 10 reactivated cameras are at the intersection of Earhart Boulevard and South Carrollton Avenue.