What should be on Oak Street? planners ask

As Oak Street’s status among New Orleans “going out” destinations continues to rise, a number of residents’ groups have engaged a planning firm to help them ensure that the “mixed use” commercial corridor evolves into something more diverse than a strip of bars and restaurants. Carrollton-Audubon Renaissance Inc., formed by residents’ groups from around the Carrollton area, is sponsoring a study by the planning firm Villavaso and Associates to help define the “neighborhood mixed use” zoning designation currently slated for Oak Street. The firm has created a complete list of the current uses of buildings on Oak Street, and planners are now meeting with individual business owners and residents to determine how they would like to see the rest of the street develop. After public hearings about their findings, they will draft language about Oak Street to be inserted into the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance the city is assembling now, said planner Steve Villavaso of the University of New Orleans at a meeting last week of the Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association. “We have put Oak Street under our microscope,” Villavaso said.

Pigeontown Steppers roll around Broadmoor, through Carrollton for Easter Sunday second line

The Pigeontown Steppers’ annual Easter Sunday second line starts at 1 p.m. near the corner of Louisiana and Claiborne avenues, rolls around Broadmoor on Toledano, Washington and Earhart before passing through several neighborhoods around Carrollton Avenue — including a stop late in the afternoon at the Maple Leaf on Oak Street. Music will be provided by the Stooges Brass Band. For turn-by-turn directions, see Gambit. To download a route sheet, see WWOZ.

With latest arrests, police end month-long wave of break-ins in Carrollton

A wave of rampant break-ins around the Carrollton area that began around Mardi Gras has finally come to an apparent end after dozens of burglary arrests, Uptown-based police detectives said. “I knew we’d break this eventually, but it took a little longer than I thought it would,” said Commander Paul Noel at the most recent weekly meeting of the NOPD Second District leadership. The burglary spree had been concentrated in a relatively small area of the NOPD Second District, in two zones that run from Broadway upriver to the Jefferson Parish line between South Claiborne and St. Charles, especially in West Carrollton. An analysis of NOPD crime reports in that area shows roughly 80 home break-ins, auto break-ins and stolen cars during the five weeks from Feb.

Man shot at Claiborne-Carrollton intersection

A man was shot shortly after 5 p.m. near South Claiborne and South Carrollton, one of the busiest intersections in Uptown New Orleans, leaving a sprawling crime scene that stretched from beside Palmer Park to the side yard of the Walgreens across the street. The victim was toward the river side of Claiborne when he was shot, police and witnesses said, and then came running across the street to the Walgreens pharmacy for help. Walgreens manager Chris Sperling said that when he first saw the man come running toward the store, he closed the store’s front doors in case the gunmen were still outside. He called 911, and ran out to where the man had sat down in the grass outside the store, and then ran to the next-door fire department to get medical help. The victim was bleeding from his hand and said his shoulder had also been hit, Sperling said.

Car used in deadly drive-by near Johnson Elementary may have been stolen in previous night’s carjacking in Broadmoor

The car used by several men in a fatal shooting Wednesday on Monroe Street just outside Johnson Elementary School fits the description of a car taken the previous night at gunpoint in a carjacking in Broadmoor, investigators said. On Tuesday night, a woman sitting in her tan 2005 Honda Accord with Pennsylvania plates outside a home on Upperline just over a block off of South Claiborne Avenue was approached by two men who demanded her cell phone, then forced her to give up her keys and stole the car, police said at the time. Just before noon Wednesday, Ray Maxwell was shot to death in a volley of gunfire from several men in a car at the intersection of Monroe and Hickory streets. Witnesses initially told police that “the victim was being chased down and fired at by several young males traveling in a vehicle, possibly a gold colored Honda,” according to an official NOPD news release, and investigators are looking into the possibility that it was the same car, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District persons-crime division at Thursday’s COMSTAT meeting.

“Lusher Lump” removed from Lowerline Street

Motorists on Lowerline Street no longer have to suffer sickening scrapes along the bottom of their cars, now that the infamous “Lusher Lump” has been flattened out after neighbors’ concerns were aired on UptownMessenger.com and in an Action Report with our partners at WWL-TV. The strange spur pushing up from the roadway next to Lusher Elementary School was a menace to nearly everyone around it. Drivers trying to dodge it were a menace to the rear-view mirrors of cars parked in the block, and the gravest fear was of an accident involving a child at the school. The Central Carrollton Association named it their top infrastructure priority, and after a November board meeting, UptownMessenger.com and WWL-TV collaborated on an Action Report that quickly led to the lump’s long-awaited demise. “CCA has even more to be thankful for this year since the Lusher Hump was fixed this past Monday!”

Man gunned down half a block from Johnson elementary school campus

Administrators at James Weldon Johnson Elementary School know all too well what to do when someone is killed by gunfire in the streets around the school. First, lock down all the individual classrooms. Check the bathrooms to make sure no children are unaccounted for. Move lunch and PE inside the classrooms, and close the outdoor hallways, yards and community garden for the day. “The students are totally resilient,” said Johnson Elementary Principal Wanda Brooks. “Unfortunately, they’ve gone through this several times before.”

Demolition requested for two Dante Street properties

Two Dante Street homes will be among the properties facing demolition today in a hearing before the city’s Neighborhood Conservation District Committee, according to the Preservation Resource Center. One home, at 1037 Dante, was placed on the agenda as part of the city’s code enforcement efforts. The demolition of a double at 1922-24 Dante was requested by its owner. Other properties in neighborhoods around Uptown New Orleans are listed below, grouped by location with photos by the Preservation Resource Center. Central City
2918-20 DRYADES ST – FEMA (already demolished)

Hoffman Triangle
1119-21 S GAYOSO ST

8828-30 FORSHEY ST