08202017Headline:

Off The Beaten Path: Lafitte Corridor in final stages of construction

By Meghan Henoumont

 

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The Lafitte Greenway is 94 percent complete, according to the latest update from the Department of Public Works. Ongoing construction includes high visibility crosswalks, new signs, and plenty of lush greenery.

The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6 mile pedestrian and bicycle trail that begins at the intersection of North Alexander and St. Louis St. in Mid-City and extends to the intersection of Basin and St. Louis St. in the French Quarter.

The Greenway is an idea eight years in the making, as a bicycle commuter corridor, a major recreational infrastructure, and part of a citizen-led project to revitalize the city, post-Katrina.

The creation of this new public space will also feature new recreation fields, green space, and landscaping improvements including over 500 trees.

The path will be fully lit with LED energy-efficient trail lighting, and will include curb extensions, and signalized high visibility crosswalks.

One of the new high visibility crosswalks is already up and running on North Carrollton Ave. The new crosswalks have thick, white reflective stripping and a new system called a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon, a push-button system on either side of the intersections that sets off a yellow flashing light, allowing for bikers and pedestrians to safely cross.

Sophie Harris, executive director of the Friends of Lafitte Corridor, urged drivers and pedestrians already using the Greenway to use caution near the crosswalks at the group’s community meeting last month.

“Those are still being installed and so if you are out there, exercise caution at the crossings,” Harris said.

“We’re hoping that cars are going to start becoming more aware on basically how to react and how to use those, but when you’re out there crossing please do use the crosswalk system,” Harris said.

According to a statement from the New Orleans Police Department, pedestrians have the right of way when using the
crosswalks but need to let drivers know they are waiting to cross.

According to the Mid-City Messenger, the Mid City Security District will buy a bicycle for the patrol of the Lafitte
Greenway Corridor.

Jim Olsen, MCSD chairman, said, “Officials have been meeting to discuss supplying security cameras and at least one bicycle, which is expected to cost $1,200.”

Construction for phase one of the Greenway began in March of 2014 and is expected to be
completed by winter of this year.

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