Transportation

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Orleans previews bike sharing system coming in fall 2017

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu demonstrates a Social Bicycles bike Feb. 15.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu demonstrates a Social Bicycles bike Feb. 15.

A citywide bike sharing program will bring 700 bikes to 70 racks to the city this fall. But in time for the NBA All-Star weekend and Mardi Gras, people will be able to check out bicycles from several stations in the French Quarter and CBD during a "preview" period from Feb. 15-23.

The fleet of white bikes (with baskets, hand brakes and kickstands) comes from New York-based company Social Bicycles, which allows bikes to be rented out and returned to other hubs around town. This month's "preview" installs 35 bike at nine stations downtown (U.S. Mint, Lafayette Square and Cochon are among the stops) and the Lower Garden District outside the Avenue Pub. City officials signed off on the plan in November.

Riders download an app (search "Social Bicycles"), register their information and select a pay plan. Preview plan rentals are $8 an hour (with a $3 fee) or $10 for an hour of use during all 13 days. "It's really a small city," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "It's a lot easier to get around a on bike than a car ... It's a lot less expensive than driving."

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Orleans to update inaccessible bus stops by 2031

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 5:45 PM

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Nearly 94 percent of New Orleans bus stops fail to meet the needs of disabled riders, and the city has until 2031 to update them. On Feb. 10, the city, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and its owner Transdev Services settled a lawsuit filed by three wheelchair users arguing the city's transit stops are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with stops riddled with too-steep slopes, broken landing pads or no landing pads at all.

Plaintiffs Francis Falls, Mitchell Miraglia and Thad Tatum with attorney Andrew Bizer of Bizer & DeReus filed the suit after Bizer sent a public records request to examine the state of the RTA'S ADA compliance. In 2015, Manning Architects released its report, which surveyed the city's 2,218 bus stops. The report found that only 5.7 percent (126) had a compliant transit stop area and pedestrian access route, while the remaining 2,092 stops need to be updated; 336 of those stops had a compliant stop but still required sidewalk or curb ramp construction.

"We sent a second request saying, 'Hey, what are you doing about it?' They didn’t respond," Bizer said. The plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Eleven months later, the parties settled.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bike Easy hosts free "Mardi Gras repair station" for bikes Feb. 8

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:06 AM


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Between parades, barricades and tourists with New Jersey plates looking for their Airbnb, Carnival's the one time of year when having a working bike becomes non-negotiable. To help you prepare, Bike Easy (2100 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) will host a "Mardi Gras repair station" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. They'll fill tires, tighten bolts, grease chains and take care of other minor adjustments on that bike that's been locked up beside your house for three months.

During the event, the organization also offers talks on the half hour about using a bike on the roadways, locking it up during parades and other safety tips. There's also info about Bike to Work Day, scheduled for April 12 this year.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

RTA operator Transdev demos self-driving shuttle, to mayor's approval

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 3:40 PM

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It doesn't fly, and it trundled along a route in front of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at the rather underwhelming speed of 8 miles per hour. But the EZ10 autonomous shuttle, presented at an event this morning by New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operator Transdev and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, is just a preview of the self-driving technology that's sure to upend the way we think about cars and transportation in America in the years to come.

In remarks, Landrieu said the demonstration was part of an ongoing effort to help New Orleans "lead the nation, as opposed to following the nation; to become an ascendant city, rather than a descendant city." He described the demographic shift pushing more and more Americans into cities, and said most dense urban areas will have to embrace innovative solutions to meet their transportation needs.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tulane Avenue improvements coming in August

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 5:15 PM

click image Tulane Avenue in 2015. - PAUL SABLEMAN/FLICKR
  • PAUL SABLEMAN/FLICKR
  • Tulane Avenue in 2015.
When officials with the Regional Planning Commission first announced a $10 million beautification project to a stretch of Tulane Avenue in Mid-City, they described a plan that would “significantly improve visual quality” along the corridor, as well as enhance pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety.

Five years and nearly $5 million later, officials still tout final plans for a safer, wider street reduced from six lanes to four, thanks to improvements that will extend from South Carrollton to South Claiborne avenues.

What didn’t make the cut, however, are features that could have helped “reinvent” Tulane Avenue, as neighbors had hoped.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bicycle Birthday Bash marks 150 years of cycling on July 9 at Castillo Blanco

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 5:52 PM

LOUISIANA CYCLING CLUB SPOKES SCRAPBOOK, ACCESSION 98-62-L,WILLIAMS RESEARCH CENTER, THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION
  • Louisiana Cycling Club Spokes Scrapbook, accession 98-62-L,Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection

The bicycle was invented 150 years ago, and bicycle clubs soon followed. New Orleans cycling historian Lacar Musgrove writes about bicycle clubs in 19th-century Louisiana. She organized a birthday bash for the bicycle at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9 at Castillo Blanco Art Studios (4321 St. Claude Ave.). The party includes talks about cycling, bicycle presentations and rides and a dance party with Mod Dance Party’s DJ Matty. Attendees are welcome to display their bikes, tricycles and pedal-powered contraptions.

There also is a presentation on 19th century bicycle art and imagery at Bar Redux (801 Poland Ave.) at 5 p.m. and there is an Art Ride on St. Claude Avenue. The party is a fundraiser for Bike Easy, an organization that advocates for safer biking in the city.

Musgrove spoke with Gambit about cycle clubs in Louisiana and the event:

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

"NOLA Readiness Ride" spotlights evacuation points

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Evacuspot sculpture unveiled in Armstrong Park. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Evacuspot sculpture unveiled in Armstrong Park.

Volunteers from Evacuteer, a nonprofit that assists with the city's emergency evacuation programs, will ride RTA public transit lines June 1-3 to share information for the hurricane season beginning in June. 

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Monday, May 2, 2016

City provides sinkhole driving map for motorists; translation requested

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:04 PM

By now you know there's a sinkhole regular old hole in the middle of Canal Street right between The Shops at Canal Place and Harrah's New Orleans — an abyss that's going to take 3 to 6 months to repair, according to city officials.

Since this may be a traffic factor until, oh, Halloween, the city has issued the following map to help you get around downtown:

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We have some questions. Let's break this down.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NOLA Bike to Work Day rescheduled for April 20

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 1:54 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF BIKE EASY
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF BIKE EASY

With rain in the forecast for the next several days, the Bike Easy organization has issued a media alert rescheduling NOLA Bike to Work Day. The event was originally set for Wednesday, April 13; it's been moved to Wednesday, April 20. On that day, riders can join groups departing from their neighborhoods and meet in Lafayette Square from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to celebrate bike commuting. 

More information about NOLA Bike to Work Week activities can be found on the Bike Easy website.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Uber's latest gimmick: king cake delivery

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 2:48 PM

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The ride-sharing service Uber got lots of attention for delivering adoptable kittens and ice cream, but tomorrow — Twelfth Night, the beginning of Carnival season — Uber will be delivering Haydel's king cakes around the New Orleans metro area:
It’s carnival time, New Orleans! And to celebrate the official start of Mardi Gras, we are rollin’ out King Cakes On Demand again in New Orleans!

We’ve partnered with Haydel’s Bakery to deliver fresh king cakes right to your door. Experience on of the most famous Mardi Gras treats without leaving your house. Special King Cake deliveries will be made by the famous 610 Stompers and Panorama Jazz Band!
The king cake option will appear on the Uber app in the morning (see photo). Each king cake is $20, and the offer goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or whenever king cake supplies are exhausted). 

It should be noted that Uber did its king cake promotion last year — but the cakes only were $15. Guess it's surge pricing.

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