French Quarter Charrette
A discussion about the upcoming bikeway installation.
This summer, the City of New Orleans is partnering with Bike Easy to test safer biking connections in the downtown area – critical to our goals of developing a network of routes where all residents feel comfortable biking to places of employment, education, services, and play. One connection in particular, from the Lafitte Greenway into and out of the French Quarter, is an important focus for us moving forward. The intersection of Basin Street and St. Louis, and the routes that lead there, is difficult and unsafe to traverse by bike. Improving this particular intersection as well as the routes that lead into it could ensure folks who live and work in that area are provided with low-stress and safe bike routes.
As the first step of this improvement process, Bike Easy convened a design charrette to review the overall goal and designs for the temporary bikeway installation. French Quarter residents and civic associations, urban planners, and organizations who care about biking and walking came together just a few weeks ago to discuss. While Bike Easy and the City of New Orleans spent some time going over different potential design elements and the vision for this project, the bulk of our time was spent in smaller breakout groups brainstorming the ideal engineering of this connection that would keep bikers and walkers safe.
The people who actually use these streets every day often know best how they should be improved, and that was made clear with our brainstorm. Folks mapped out all sorts of routes, crossings, traffic calming, and types of infrastructure imaginable. While we did not find consensus on what specific design would be ideal, some things were made clear. Traffic calming measures to slow down cars coming around the curve of Basin Street are a must and the connection that is created should have as little conflict as possible with car traffic and bus routes.