New Orleans is embarking on the first week of Phase 1 in reopening the city as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed nearly 500 lives in the city and more than 2,000 deaths statewide. If you use public transit, the city’s recreational facilities or the public library, here’s what you can expect from those agencies during this initial phase. Regional Transit Authority
Beginning Sunday (May 17), the RTA returned to Saturday service on all bus and streetcar routes. The RTA also will go back to collecting fares as part of the Phase 1 reopening of the city. For more information regarding fares, visit www.RTAforward.org/fares-passes.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon runners will take to the streets — most of the streets, it seems — on Sunday (Feb. 9). Residents need to plan ahead for road closures and transportation delays. The Central City, Garden District, Touro, Milan, Uptown, Audubon and Lower Garden District neighborhoods will be affected by the event. Informational door hangers will be distributed to residents, businesses and organizations along the route, event organizers said.
The Freret roadwork project broke ground on Monday (Feb. 3), the Mayor’s Office announced. Work on the project, which is one of about 200 being funded across the city with more than $2.2 billion of FEMA money, will continue for another year. 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. This $4 million project was designed by Kyle Associates LLC and will be constructed by Hard Rock Construction LLC.
The city’s Blue Bikes bicycle sharing system has begun an expansion that will include more Uptown neighborhoods. In the coming months, the Blue Bikes service area will expand to more parts of the city, including Central City, Gert Town, Carrollton, Broadmoor, Riverbend and Uptown. Blue Bikes are currently in the Garden District, Lower Garden District and Central City and a handful of other Uptown locations: the Tulane campus, Touro area, Napoleon and Magazine, and Hoffman Triangle. These new locations will have a new fleet of e-bikes, scheduled to hit the streets starting Thursday (Feb. 6).
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.
On the second anniversary of the city’s Blue Bikes program, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced expansion of the bike-share service to include more Uptown locations. The city also plans to replace its fleet with electric bikes, Cantrell announced. Blue Bikes will be expanding in the Uptown, Riverbend, Carrollton, Broadmoor, Gert Town and Central City neighborhoods. More bike service is also planned for Algiers and the 7th Ward. “While everyone rides for different reasons, the system mirrors our city, and bikes are located in a growing number of neighborhoods to meet different needs — from City Park to the CBD to the French Quarter to Central City,” Cantrell said.
The Original New Orleans Lady & Men Buckjumpers second-line, one of the season’s most popular, is happening this Sunday. The social aid and pleasure clubs’ members will line up at 11:30 a.m. at Verret’s Lounge, 1738 Washington Ave., and the parade will begin at noon. It will travel the Central City, Milan, Broadmoor, Gert Town, Marlyville and Fontainbleu neighborhoods. The parade will disband at 5 p.m.
Parking enforcement personnel will be monitoring the area. Call 504-658-8100 to report illegal parking. Traffic will be restricted in all affected neighborhoods along the route below.
In early November, the city’s New Orleans Department of Public Works and the Regional Transit Authority will begin an approximately two-month project to improve access for people with disabilities at six streetcar stops. The RTA selected stations at major intersections and at the beginning and end of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. The RTA will operate a shuttle bus during construction. Traffic along the route will also be affected.
Repaving work on South Carrollton Avenue near Tulane Avenue began today at 7 a.m., the Sewerage & Water Board reports, and is expected to last through Thursday, July 11. The repairs are needed after a water main and valve broke on the corner on June 28. The water-main repairs have been completed. The repaving project is expected to last through Thursday, July 11, pending weather conditions. During repaving, the far left lane will remain open, but residents are advised to expect delays.
Nearly half of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line will shut down for repairs beginning July 15, the Regional Transit Authority announced. It will stay closed for about two months while crews replace 15 corroded poles along the uptown section of the line from Jena Street to the terminus at South Carrollton and Claiborne avenues. The poles hold up the overhead lines that supply electricity to the streetcar. The partial closure will begin at 5 a.m. on Monday, July 15, and continue until mid-September.
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.