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NOLA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Advisory recommendations may become law

New changes could save more bicyclist and pedestrians on New Orleans roads

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Advisory committee submitted several key recommendation for the city to promote safety in New Orleans back in August of 2016. This February may mark the beginning of amendments that reflect those recommendations.

City Council member Jared Brossett is currently backing new ordinances that will affect bicycle safety and operation in New Orleans. The City Council expects to discuss those concerns in detail on February 22, according to the Mid City Messenger.

The new amendments to the city ordinances include: changing the right hand arm signal from 45 degree arm angle to 90 degrees vertical arm angle; Ending continuous signal while cruising if both arms are needed to control the bike; and clearly defining motorized bicycles separate from non-mortorized bicycles in ordinaces.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Advisory committee was created in March of 2015 under City Ordinance No. 30,527. The new committee is composed of 13 members from the City of New Orleans and the local community.

Based on the committee’s safety year long analysis, back in August, New Orleans has a higher than average pedestrian and bicycle fatality rate. According to the committee, New Orleans pedestrian and bicycle fatality rates are 3.7 per 100,000, and 5.28 per one million, respectively. In contrast, the U.S. pedestrian and bicycle fatality rates are 1.5 per 100,000, and 5.28 per 1 million, respectively.

Last October, New Orleans Office of Inspector general noted that New Orleans has the most dangerous crosswalks in Louisiana. According to its report, 87 percent of signalized intersections lacked pedestrian crossing signals.

Additional recommendations include the an ordinance to legalize skateboards.

To view the committee’s presentation on bicycle and pedestrian safety, click here.