Today's press conference was a much gentler reminder to not be a jerk than we saw during Unprecedented Events Season, as Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas — rather than harping on how much and how hard you're going to get arrested — simply requested that you please be reasonable and use common sense during Mardi Gras season.
Specifically: Don't throw stuff back at parade floats. Don't put ladders close enough to the street that your children will be run over if they fall. Don't put heavy barricades onto the streets crossing over neutral grounds. Don't ignore police when they tell you to move. Do call the police if you think a shooting is about to happen.
"Be civil. Be respectful. Follow the rules. Be courteous to fellow parade goers," Landrieu said. Fair enough.
As to how heavily your common sense will be kept in check, Serpas said that police will be working longer shifts than usual. NOPD will be on two 12-hour, rather than 3 eight-hour shifts per day. Each of the city's eight police districts will be deployed with 10 officers and three supervisors. The Louisiana State Police will be sending 130 officers into the city from Feb. 17 to Feb. 22, and the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office will be contributing mounted officers and mobile booking units.
Those NOPD officers working on foot along parade routes and the French Quarter will be wearing reflective vests, Serpas said.
"Which, as you can imagine, makes them love me even more."
(City Hall press release after the jump)
CITY ANNOUNCES 2012 MARDI GRAS ENFORCEMENT
NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, the City announced its enforcement policies for the 2012 Mardi Gras season. Parades begin Friday, February 10, 2012.
MARDI GRAS PARKING ENFORCEMENT
Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes ($75 fine and seizure);
Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to clear the route for the City’s Department of Sanitation ($25 fine and seizure);
Beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras, at 12:01 a.m., until the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, at 6:00 p.m., no vehicles, except those issued permits, are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville, N. Rampart, Dumaine, and Decatur ($50 fine and seizure);
Parking of vehicles equipped with living accommodations is prohibited during certain hours. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season, particularly in the Central Business District, Warehouse and Garden District;
Before, during and after the parades, the City will extend enforcement efforts into the neighborhoods adjacent to the published parade routes. This will minimize non-residential intrusion. Parking Officers will primarily enforce the following:
Valid Residential Parking Permits ($40 fine),
Safety violations which include:
• Blocking hydrants,
• Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign,
• Parking in the wrong direction (vehicles must park in the direction of travel on
one way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two way streets),
• Vehicles blocking sidewalks,
• Vehicles blocking driveways,
• Parking in Handicap zone ($500 fine),
• Scofflaw vehicles that have unpaid parking tickets shall be immobilized.
• Vehicles parked on the neutral ground are subject to a parking violation and
seizure ($75 fine).
For more information on parking enforcement, citizens may call:
• Department of Public Works (Parking enforcement and information), (504) 658-
8100 (answered 24 hours)
• Information related to Residential Parking Permits, (504) 658-8200
• Pay and release of boot, (504) 658-8083.
• Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings: (504) 658-8250
PARKS & PARKWAYS NEUTRAL GROUND ENFORCEMENT
The city’s neutral grounds are the direct responsibility of the Department of Parks and Parkways; therefore, any prohibited items that are placed on the neutral grounds will be removed and disposed of immediately.
The following rules are being enforced:
• No bulky furniture can be placed on neutral grounds.
• No structures can be erected (i.e. viewing stands, bleachers). The only allowed structures are those that are provided by the City Of New Orleans in city designated areas or those on privately owned properties that have been granted permission and issued permits by the City’s Department of Safety and Permits.
REVENUE AND PERMIT ENFORCEMENT
City of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue field agents and collectors will be canvassing neighborhoods in and around parade routes to ensure businesses (including ABOs) and vendors are properly permitted. Additionally, residents or businesses charging for parking at commercial properties must be properly permitted. 501c3 organizations may apply for an exemption for a portion of the fees associated with the appropriate permits.
The Department of Sanitation is responsible for cleaning the streets, neutral grounds and sidewalks after parades held on both sides of the Mississippi River in the City of New Orleans.
Hundreds of City workers, temporary workers, and contractor employees are utilized per day in clean-up efforts. City departments and agencies involved in the clean-up effort include NOPD, Public Works, Parks and Parkways, the Equipment Maintenance Division, NORDC, Health, Sewerage and Water Board, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Downtown Development District.
The success of Mardi Gras depends on the City returning the streets to normalcy and cleanliness as soon after each parade as possible. Therefore, cooperation from the public on parking, litter abatement, and neutral ground restrictions is vital.
· Please stand behind the barricades when they are placed along streets while the parade is passing.
· Please do not run between floats or vehicles while the parade is in progress.
· Ladders should not be placed in the street or be tied together and should be placed back from the curb.
· Curfew will be enforced during Mardi Gras.