At a community event in Algiers on Saturday, Sept. 28, the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition, alongside Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the City of New Orleans, launched Let’s Move Forward, a campaign to highlight the benefits of improving transportation options and building streets that are safe and accessible for all people and means of transit. The Coalition also released public opinion research that shows significant public support for investing in streets built to accommodate all modes of transportation city-wide.
The Let’s Move Forward furthers community outreach and engagement to ensure all New Orleanians have access to new, improved infrastructure that increases safety, while providing more options, more control and less stress for everyone on the road. This comprehensive effort includes marketing, grassroots outreach, educational community events, bike rides, safety workshops, walking tours, stakeholder conversations, and community festivals like Saturday’s Let’s Move Forward Algiers!.
“The road forward to improved transportation options in New Orleans starts in Algiers,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We’re excited about the work we’re doing with our Office of Transportation, especially our Moving New Orleans Bikes plan, in coordination with our partners in the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition. Working together, we’re making it easier, safer and more equitable when trying to bike, walk, drive, ride the bus or take the ferry. I want to thank the members of the community for their encouraging feedback, it shows that we’re taking the right steps to move this city forward.”
Polling results conducted by Dr. Silas Lee and Associates prove that New Orleanians are ready for more transportation options and street infrastructure that improves safety and efficiency for all road users:
Eighty-five percent (85%) of New Orleans residents believe people deserve as many safe transportation options as possible to get to work on time.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of residents understand that having protected lanes separating bicycles from cars makes the roads safer for drivers, and sixty-eight percent (68%) say that they would be more inclined to ride a bicycle if there were protective barriers separating bicycles from cars.
Seventy percent (70%) of residents think that the most efficient transportation system for New Orleans would have separate spaces for people driving, taking transit, biking, and walking.
Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Board Chair for the American Heart Association New Orleans adds, “The American Heart Association is a firm believer in streets built to share. Everyone deserves well-maintained roads, sidewalks, and paths for physical activities. A comprehensive policy and concerted efforts to this end will promote healthier lifestyles, foster more livable communities and improve public safety.”
“With Moving New Orleans Bikes, the Office of Transportation is taking Mayor Cantrell’s vision for better mobility options and working to rapidly build 75 miles of bikeways that will have a positive impact for everyone navigating the City. We are being very intentional by beginning the first phase of this expansion in Algiers, and appreciate the work of District C Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Kristin Gisleson Palmer and the members of the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition in helping to get this work started,” said Dan Jatres, Policy and Program Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation.
“All communities are dependent on transportation. For our businesses in Algiers to thrive, we need safe, convenient access to and from our residential communities. Bikes are the transportation of choice for a large and growing number of our residents, especially kids and families, and for that reason, AEDF is excited about Mayor Cantrell’s plan to expand safe biking in Algiers and across New Orleans,” said Derrick Martin, Executive Director of the Algiers Economic Development Foundation.
“I love enjoying everything New Orleans has to offer while showing what people who are blind can do. I ride my tandem bike, walk, take public transit, and am a passenger in cars to get where I’m going. Good bike infrastructure from Moving New Orleans Bikes will benefit everyone – even if you mainly drive, and complete streets enable people of all abilities to get around safely,” explained David Green of Lighthouse Louisiana before adding, “We can all have peace on the road when we all have a piece of the road!”
The campaign was officially launched at the start of the Let’s Move Forward Algiers! community festival on Saturday, September 28. The festival was attended by many families and Algiers residents that enjoyed a variety of free activities like Complete Streets walking tours from GirlTrek and the Algiers Economic Development Foundation, biking tours from the City of New Orleans, exercise classes from Crossfit Algiers, food and refreshments from Big Dawg BBQ and Tanjarine Kitchen, and a ‘Battle of the Bands’ between Martin Behrman Charter School and SciTech Academy, with Martin Behrman coming out on top.
More information on the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition and Let’s Move Forward, including details and further results of the public opinion research by Dr. Silas Lee Associates, can be found at www.nolacompletestreets.org.