Anyone who’s walked, jogged, biked, or otherwise traversed the Lafitte Greenway knows it’s a boon for New Orleanians in general and residents of the six neighborhoods it connects in particular. Developed along a defunct railway à la Atlanta’s Beltline and New York’s High Line, the Greenway has served as a catalyst for business growth and cultural preservation since opening in 2015. Community gardens, bioswales, murals, playgrounds, bike share stations, businesses, fitness parks, and housing developments line its 2.6 miles.
But not everyone knows that the Lafitte Greenway is incomplete. It ends unceremoniously a few blocks north of North Carrollton Avenue, on a gritty, industrial block populated by warehouses and little else—which was not part of the original plan.
“The whole idea is to complete the final half mile of the Greenway as defined by the master plan,” said Kevin Centanni, vice-chair of Friends of Lafitte Greenway.
The final half mile remains incomplete because it shares space with an active railroad. Every few weeks, a train delivers bricks to a warehouse near the Greenway’s dead end in Mid-City, Centanni says.
“(Friends of Lafitte Greenway members) believe we can peacefully coexist with the rail spur,” Centanni said. “We’re working with architects and lawyers to research property rights and understand who owns the property and what the best practices are.”
Friends of Lafitte Greenway has created a petition to expand the Lafitte Greenway, which can be found here.