This year'sWalk/Bike/Places conference in New Orleans is produced with support from our local partner Bike Easy, based in New Orleans. For more inspiration like this, join us at Walk/Bike/Places, the premier conference in North America for walking, bicycling, and placemaking professionals from the public and private sectors. Register today!
By: Heather Haylett, Bike Easy
A pop-up connected, protected bikeway is coming!
At Bike Easy, we believe in the power of bicycling to help create a healthy, prosperous, resilient, and equitable future for all people in our region. Research and statistics prove that better bike infrastructure leads to safer streets, improved community health, more sharing of the road, and increased economic activity for local businesses. The ways we travel within New Orleans beg for improvement and we now have a unique opportunity to demonstrate how a low-stress bikeway network throughout the City of New Orleans will benefit all road users.
This September, Bike Easy and a large coalition of partners are working with the City of New Orleans to create Connect the Crescent – a connected, protected bikeway network in the heart of the city – showcasing a bold vision to improve biking, walking, and riding transit. Connect the Crescent will feature a variety of physical barriers separating people on bike from automobile traffic. On this series of protected bikeways, one will be able to travel to and through the French Quarter and Central Business District on the way to work, the store, or to meet friends!
The Connect the Crescent network is a demonstration "pop-up" project scheduled to operate for three months. The intended goals of the demonstration are to improve safety, increase economic activity by increasing the amount of bikers and walkers and decreasing congestion by increasing ridership. Specifically, the network will improve connections from Uptown to the Central Business District (CBD), the Lafitte Greenway to the French Quarter, and the Algiers Ferry terminal to the French Quarter or CBD. This “paint on the ground” demonstration is an opportunity for residential and business communities across the city to test out different types of biking and walking infrastructure and experience improvements to safety and accessibility for all road users.
New Orleans currently ranks #7 of cities with over 250,000 residents for people who bike to work. Connect the Crescent aims to build on this already strong local bike culture. Community forums where residents share their views on big-picture transportation needs will take place alongside traffic studies and response surveys, as part of a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations for future biking, walking, and transit projects in New Orleans. Family-oriented biking and walking events will also be held with numerous opportunities for sharing feedback about the network from September through December.
This post originally appeared on the Bike Easy website. For more project information and the amazing story of growing a local coalition of neighbors, advocates, and organizations to call for safe streets for everyone, visit Connect the Crescent!