The City of New Orleans held a pre-construction meeting for biking and walking improvements coming to the Marigny and the down-river portion of the French Quarter recently, and unveiled a new approach in how the Department of Public Works can incorporate community input as it builds ‘Complete Streets’.
At the design meeting in late July, community residents viewed, listened, and then gave feedback on the City’s plans. A sampling of that feedback focused on wanting to have more traffic calming measures, more trees and stop signs, and generally more protection for people biking.
In the City’s updated plans released on August 18th, many residents’ suggestions had been incorporated alongside explanations of why suggestions either could or could not be implemented. Newly updated designs and diagrams of the street improvements were shared.
One great example is the new gateway planned for Franklin Avenue at St. Claude pictured below:
You can see the results of community members asking if there were speed reduction and traffic calming measures the City could add to the proposed ‘bike boulevard’ on Franklin Avenue. The City responded by proposing an additional gateway treatment, lined with trees and speed limit signage. Previously, there was no traffic calming elements at the St. Claude intersection.
Not everything residents asked for was granted, such as a stop sign at Burgundy St. The City will first evaluate traffic volumes and crash data before moving ahead with additional stop signs, following their standard protocol.
All in all, we greatly appreciate the transparent, constructive response. It shows the City is listening to the needs and concerns of the people of New Orleans. Such responsiveness is how we’ll continue to improve the safety and equity of our city streets, with community input and trust.