Unfortunately, the progress being made in Algiers is now being put at risk throughout the city. This weekend, at a forum with candidates running for the City Council At-Large seat which represents all of New Orleans, JP Morrell portrayed bike lanes as elitist and “Eastbank politics”. Misrepresenting increased safety for people biking, walking, and driving as something only for certain people is not what New Orleans needs. Safety is not political. We deserve leaders on the City Council looking for ways to make all of us safer, no matter what neighborhood we live in or how we choose to travel.
It’s time to mobilize! For anyone who cares about the lives of people who bike and walk, for anyone who cares about equity and accessibility, for anyone who cares about the sustainability of our region – now is the time to get involved. We need your voice speaking up in support of low-stress bikeway networks and protected bike lanes.
Will you contact the candidates running for City Council At-Large to let them know you support more Complete Streets and bikeways in Algiers and throughout New Orleans, and ask them where they stand?
You can reach them via social media, email, or phone:
- JP Morrell: 504-261-3302, email@example.com
- Kristin G. Palmer: 504-313-2194, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jared Brosset: 504-517-5032, email@example.com
- Bart Everson: 812-391-0818, firstname.lastname@example.org
All New Orleanians deserve more safety and less stress on our streets – whether we’re rich, poor, black, white, men, women, seniors, kids, live on the eastbank or westbank – no matter how we move around the city.
Since we heard a lot of inaccurate information at the candidate forum, we thought we’d put together a little quiz and educational experience for JP, all the council candidates, and anyone else who is interested:
Q: What are the benefits of Complete Streets?
A: The City is building complete streets designed for all forms of transportation to improve safety, equity, connectivity, and efficiency. Streets and sidewalks designed for pedestrians and cyclists lead to a healthier New Orleans, and every neighborhood needs access to streets and sidewalks built to be safe. Protected bike lanes create more safety and less stress for everyone on the roadways. These improvements help us move forward together by relieving traffic congestion, increasing mobility and opportunity and making our city more alive and livable.
Q: How many *in-person* public meetings were held to plan and design the bikeway network in Algiers? How many virtual meetings?
A: The City of New Orleans held 3 in-person meetings in 2019 to get community input on planning and design of the Algiers bikeway network – at the Algiers Library, at University of Holy Cross, and at the Arthur Monday Multi-Service Center. There were 2 virtual meetings held to inform residents about the construction process in April 2020. The meetings were promoted via fliers, email, TV, radio, newspaper, social media, and neighborhood listservs. Many non-profit partners also joined the effort to inform people about the opportunity to get involved.
Q: Along with community input, what other factors were considered in designing the Algiers bikeway network?
A: Crashes, traffic counts, corridor speed limits, the Bicycle Equity Index, desired destinations, and proven best practices for bike safety & Complete Streets infrastructure.
Q: How many car crashes occurred each week on MacArthur before the safety improvements?
A: The average was about 5 per month between 2014 and 2018 – that’s more than once a week!
Q: How much do protected bike lanes decrease adjacent property values?
A: Trick question – they don’t! Studies from around the country show that property values near complete streets and bike lanes go up or remain steady. We have yet to see any data that shows otherwise.
Q: How many households in Algiers don’t have access to a motor vehicle?
A: 17.5% of households in Algiers. Citywide that number goes up to nearly 20%, and further increases to over 30% if the head of household is Black. Complete Streets and transportation options are an equity issue.
We know there are a lot more questions out there, so we encourage you to contact all of the City Council At-Large candidates with your thoughts and questions. From there, share what you think of their answers far and wide, and then go out and vote!
For more information on the ‘Moving New Orleans Bikes’ initiative in Algiers, visit the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition’s neighborhood resource page. Included are testimonies from residents and business owners, street by street information, before and after photos and more.