Yearlong roadwork in Freret neighborhood to repave streets, sidewalks set to start

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

Around a year from now, city officials say, much of the Freret neighborhood will have repaved streets, repaired curb ramps and replaced sidewalks — with work set to start at the end of this month on a $4.2 million FEMA-funded roadwork project. Work on the project, which is one of more than 200 being funded across the city with more than $2.2 billion of FEMA money, is expected to begin on LaSalle Street either at the end of this month or early next month, according to a contractor on the project. The boundaries for improvements are bounded by South Claiborne on the north, LaSalle Street on the south, Jefferson Avenue on the west and Napoleon Avenue on the east, with an expected completion by early 2021. The work will then continue north toward South Claiborne Avenue, likely going from the Jefferson side of the project before finishing on the Napoleon side. Exact improvements on each street — available online at roadwork.nola.gov — were determined by FEMA, according to city officials.

Yearlong road repairs will begin soon in Freret Street area; meeting to provide details

The city’s Department of Public Works and the Sewerage & Water Board has planned extensive road repairs in the Freret Street area. A public meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8, will provide residents an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Freret Group A project and get their questions addressed, according to a notice from District B Councilman Jay Banks’ office. Roadwork NOLA is hosting the meeting to discuss the repairs scheduled to begin soon in the Freret Street area. They will include:

• Repaving the asphalt roadway from curb-to-curb;
• Patching the roadway with asphalt or concrete;
• Repairing damaged sidewalks with driveway aprons;
• Installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersection; and
• Replacing/repairing damaged underground water, sewer, and/or drainage lines.

Rep. Duplessis talks priorities, takes questions on homelessness at Lower Garden District Association meeting

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

State Rep. Royce Duplessis, who represents House District 93, visited the Lower Garden District Association meeting on Monday for a question-and-answer session. District 93 includes parts of the Lower Garden District and Central City, where he lives. The election ended on Saturday for the voters, but it’s only just begun for legislators, who are now all vying for key committee positions. Duplessis said he’s working toward a spot on the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. Duplessis took Helena Moreno’s legislative seat in May 2018 after emerging victorious from a special primary election to replace Morena, who had been elected to her City Council at-large position.

Affordable housing advocates set to march and rally Saturday

The #PutHousingFirst march and rally is an effort by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance and Home by Hand to spread awareness about the city’s need for affordable housing. Advocates and neighbors will march through Central City with The Hot 8 Brass Band starting at 10:30 a.m., and a rally will immediately follow. The march begins at Tapps II (2800 S. Rocheblave St.) and goes to Guste Park at Simon Bolivar Ave. and MLK Blvd, where the rally will be. GNOHA hosted the first #PutHousingFirst march last year.

Mayor touts affordable housing amendment, pushes homeownership at District B meeting

By Jesse Baum, Uptown Messenger

Mayor Latoya Cantrell told a meeting on affordable housing Wednesday that she wants to push New Orleans to 65 percent homeownership, well above the current percentage of around 46 percent. Cantrell made an Uptown stop on her affordable housing tour at the Ashe Powerhouse Theater. The affordable housing tour has been a way for the Cantrell administration to go into different communities around the city and explain different affordability programs that are already in place. Residents in the area surrounding the Ashe Powerhouse Theater are predominantly renters, and Cantrell said she wants more homeownership to allow residents to build equity and pass that value to their children. This is especially important in New Orleans, Cantrell said, where burgeoning rent prices have pushed long-time residents out of their neighborhoods, and black renters are disproportionately likely to be cost-burdened — paying over 30 percent of their household income to housing costs.

Renewable energy campaign kicks off with event tonight in Broadmoor

Audubon Louisiana, in partnership with the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition, is kicking off its campaign for a Resilient Renewable Portfolio Standard New Orleans with a community meeting tonight. The event for City Council Districts A and B will be held at the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center, 3900 Gen. Taylor St., 2nd floor, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The group plans to ask the New Orleans City Council to support a strong Renewable Portfolio Standard. “By committing to 100% renewable energy by 2040, New Orleans can become a leader in the clean energy economy while addressing the greatest challenges faced by residents,” the coalition states. Organizer Angie Torres will be guiding the meeting, and Monique Harden of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is a guest speaker. Community members are also invited to speak.

Community meeting planned for tennis club in Dixon neighborhood behind Costco

A community meeting is planned for the proposed tennis club at Palmetto and Monroe streets in the Dixon neighborhood. The tennis center is the dream of Kevin Chaouat, a former Xavier University tennis player and now coach at Xavier. Chaouat has said he wants to create a tennis center that is a place for play, from beginner to professional, and for instruction at all levels. The business plans include accessibility to the facility for community members, particularly children. The meeting will be held Monday, Sept.

Carrollton neighborhood set to welcome Canseco’s Market

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

Canseco’s Market is coming to Carrollton Avenue and Oak Street and, if last night’s neighborhood meeting is any indication, the area’s residents are excited. Necessitated by the zoning districts it will operate in, the grocery store held the Neighborhood Participation Project meeting to seek two separate conditional use approvals: the ability to sell alcohol and tobacco, and the ability to operate between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet of sales space. The potential Canseco’s at 1133 S. Carrollton Ave. would have approximately 6,000 square feet of retail space. About 24 feet of shelf space will be dedicated solely to beer, and 28 feet will be dedicated solely to wine, more than any other category in the store.

RTA, planners gather input for overhaul of public transit in New Orleans

By Jesse Baum, Uptown Messenger

The Regional Transit Authority and the Regional Planning Committee hosted a community meeting Tuesday for District B at Dryades Public Market to gather feedback for a planned redesign of the public transit network that would include New Orleans and the surrounding communities. Called New Links, the project also involves Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes’ transit agencies in an effort to make the transit network more efficient and user-friendly. The current input phase of the redesign looks at where people in New Orleans travel most frequently and how they would like to see transit improved, including more options for transfers, better weekend/late night service, as well as better connections to communities like Chalmette and Metairie. In the years after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, the RTA has seen ridership fall and has struggled to restore service to prestorm levels.

Coffee on your Corner series to tackle affordable housing

The city is holding a Coffee on Your Corner session for District B on Thursday at the Fresh Market on St. Charles Avenue. The topic will be affordable housing in New Orleans. Coffee on Your Corner is a community meeting that brings city officials and representatives into neighborhoods to discuss specific issues of the day. “In an effort to accommodate residents who are less inclined to attend public meetings in the evenings outside of their communities, we’ve created Coffee on Your Corner to bring city government to you,” the city’s Office of Community Engagement states.