City officials will unveil plans for a new citywide bike infrastructure as part of Moving New Orleans, a comprehensive plan for the future of all modes of transit within the city.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Office of Transportation and the city’s Department of Public Works will hold meetings beginning this week to discuss a “completely connected and safer system of bike lanes that allows people on bikes to get to where they’re going without inconveniencing drivers and walkers,” according to the Office of Transportation.
Transportation officials held seven initial Moving New Orleans Bikes meetings in April. Following the next round of meetings that kick off Wednesday, July 31, officials will launch a four-month planning process, followed by a public review and rollout within the next year. The administration plans to install 75 miles of bike lanes within the city.
The master plan arrives on the heels of several smaller but significant bike projects the city has undertaken recently, including a test of a protected bike lane along Baronne Street in the Warehouse District, adding green bike lane striping in several parts of the city (including at a busy commuting intersection at Tulane Avenue and Broad Street), and raising fines for drivers who park in bike lanes from $40 to $300.
The next Moving New Orleans Bikes meetings are Wednesday, July 31, at Algiers Regional Library (3014 Holiday Dr.); Monday, August 5, at East New Orleans Regional Library (5641 Read Blvd.); and Thursday, August 8, at the Main Library (219 Loyola Ave.).
All meetings run 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
As the city prepares to overhaul its transit infrastructure, including extending the 2.6-mile Lafitte Greenway to Canal Boulevard, construction is scheduled for several other bike-related projects along that corridor, according to Gambit.
The projects will add new crossing signals on North Carrollton Avenue and Broad Street where the greenway intersects on both streets in Mid-City. New crossing signals will replace the flashing yellow lights that warn drivers to look out for bikes and pedestrians at those intersections, after a 2019 study from Tulane University found that drivers were actually less likely to slow down when those yellow lights were flashing, according to Gambit. The new lights will add solid red and flashing red lights above the intersection.
The Carrollton project is set to begin next year, and the Broad project will begin in 2021.
And this week, Mid-City will also see the start of a yearlong, $6.3 million road construction project funded by FEMA, according to Mid-City Messenger. The city and the Sewerage & Water Board will repair sidewalks, roads, and damaged underground drainage lines in a large chunk of the neighborhood within City Park Avenue, Orleans Avenue, South Broad Street, and Interstate 10.