Safer Bike Lanes To Open In Algiers And the Central Business District

Algiers and the Central Business District (CBD) are two bustling areas in the city of New Orleans. With all of the heavy traffic, pedestrians and cyclist need to be careful especially since the crash on Esplanade Avenue that killed two cyclists and injured several last March. During Carnival season this year two cyclist were killed when they were struck by a drunk driver. The New Orleans City Council passed a resolution to urge Mayor Cantrell to improve cyclist safety.

A draft plan has been debuted showing Algiers and the Central Business District as the first to see safer bicycle lanes. These neighborhoods are being put first in the construction phase because they are high-traffic areas close to many jobs.

The public feedback might alter the plans but the protected lanes will definitely begin to be installed in the fall of 2019. Eventually other neighborhoods will also see the changes which will come overtime when other amenities and money become available. The entire French Quarter will be made a “slow zone” with a maximum speed of 15 mph.

The first phase of the plan is funded by a $10 million bond and a $2.6 million grant. According to the council, millions more will be needed to complete the project throughout the city.

The protected lanes (bicycle boulevards) will have pavement markings, reduced speeds and signage letting drivers know that bicyclist are priority on the streets. Green paint will block off a space on the streets for cyclist, bike racks will be installed and parking will be included in the project.

The goal, according to Cantrell’s administration is to have these protected bicycle paths run through every New Orleans neighborhood. More than likely all will not be completed during Cantrell’s reign as city mayor but will at least have the groundwork laid out for the future mayor’s administration.

“We are not going to be able to build all of it in the next couple of years, or even under this administration potentially. However, it gives us a clear roadmap for decision-making in terms of how do we do investments, and how we reconstruct streets,” said Jennifer Ruley, senior project manager for the city’s Department of Public Works.

Residents are thrilled with the plan. Lorey Flick, an Uptown resident who rides her bike to get around town a good amount of the time, believes the lanes will help bikes and cars commingle. Right now, she says there is no separation between bikes and cars which is very dangerous.

“I live Uptown, and I ride St. Charles and Carrollton on a pretty regular basis, and I like to take shortcuts when I can, but it’s hard because there are not any lanes (on side streets) or more safety concerns to get me to where I need to go.”

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