Gambit Weekly: “Pedal Pushers”

Monday, Apr 4, 2011

Alex Woodward on the ambitious plans to make New Orleans a more bike-friendly city — new lanes, new racks and even “bike valets” at festivals.

A few excerpts:

In City Park and throughout Bayou St. John, there are miles of lanes for recreational riders. But now bike paths and lanes are popping up on major streets, from Orleans Avenue to St. Charles Avenue. Carrollton Avenue’s lanes are completed, and St. Claude Avenue is shaping up to be the city’s most popular bike route. What will it take to get New Orleans on the map for biking in the U.S.?

The city’s Department of Public Works says 2011 is set to be a big, important year for the city’s bike infrastructure. It’s not as grand as Los Angeles’ announcement of thousands of miles of bike lanes, and resources aren’t as deep as New York City’s hundreds of miles of lanes. But consider how far New Orleans has come: pre-Katrina, the city had limited plans for lanes and paths. Following the 2005 levee failures, those plans had to start from scratch, and as the city rebuilt, planners looked for ways to involve bikes at the same pace as the rest of the city.

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