Mayor’s Office - WESTBANK RESIDENTS UPDATED ON BLUEPRINT FOR BIKEWAY NETWORK
Thursday, Aug 1, 2019
WESTBANK RESIDENTS UPDATED ON BLUEPRINT FOR BIKEWAY NETWORK
August 1, 2019
NEW ORLEANS – The Mayor’s Office of Transportation, working with the Department of Public Works, on Wednesday began the first of three community meetings to update residents on the blueprint for a new bikeway network. The first meeting, held at the Algiers Regional Library, updated Westbank residents. The next meeting will be held at the East New Orleans Regional Library on Monday (Aug. 5), with a final, city-wide meeting on Thursday (Aug. 8) at the New Orleans Public Library’s main branch.
“This blueprint underscores how far the City of New Orleans has come to make mobility safer, more efficient and accessible for everyone. We’re also excited about the potential for a bikeway network that can connect Westbank residents to the Algiers Ferry, provide safer access along and across major streets like General DeGaulle Drive and General Meyer Avenue, and improve access to parks and the levee path,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “While the focus on this work is on a bikeway network, these updates illustrate how all residents will feel safer as they move about this City. This is what it means when we say, ‘We are all traffic.’”
The bikeway network planning team is using these meetings to show the progress made from the previous round of community meetings and how resident feedback helped inform the current version of the citywide future bikeway network. The City will use the long-range blueprint to strategically invest in connected bikeways and to upgrade existing bikeways. The next steps are to address public comments and develop an implementation strategy. Residents can expect new and improved bikeways in Algiers and other areas of the City as soon as early 2020.
During the previous round of meetings, residents were asked several key questions related to mobility, including what caused the most stress, what were preferred routes and the barriers that affected them, and important destinations. Nearly 350 residents attended the meetings; an online survey elicited nearly 2,300 respondents.
“Perhaps the most remarkable and promising aspect of the new blueprint was the potential for the network to go from a 22 percent low-stress network to a 95 percent low-stress network by the end of the build,” said Dan Jatres, Policy and Program Manager for the Office of Transportation. “We are looking at more protected bike lanes and bike boulevards, and more connections to important destinations. Overall, it speaks to the Mayor’s vision for roadways that everyone can safely enjoy, and neighborhoods that are better connected.”
Leaders of the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition, from organizations such as Bike Easy, Ride New Orleans, GirlTrek and the American Heart Association New Orleans, have been working closely with the Office of Transportation to gather community input on this work topic, and expressed excitement about how these plans are coming together and what this means for the future of mobility in New Orleans.
“All communities are dependent on transportation. For our businesses in Algiers to thrive, we need safe, convenient access to and from our residential communities. Bikes are the transportation of choice for a large and growing number of our residents, especially kids and families, and for that reason, AEDF is excited about Mayor Cantrell’s plan to expand safe biking in Algiers and across New Orleans,” said Derrick Martin, Executive Director of the Algiers Economic Development Foundation.
City Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer (District C), whose district includes the Westbank, was represented by Chief of Staff Andrew Sullivan.
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