In Your Lane Part 2

Citizens React to a Bike Friendly New Orleans

By Edwin Buggage


Recently, Data News Weekly produced an article about the growing number of residents riding bikes in the City of New Orleans. We are seeing the number of bike lanes continue to increase in the City. We asked several of our residents what they think of New Orleans and its attempt to become a more bike friendly city.

Bart Everson
Media Artist, Xavier University

“I don’t usually ride my bike on the Broad Street overpass. The last time I rode over that thing with my daughter was probably three years ago, to get to the Rosa Keller Library in Broadmoor. I remember it well, because it was a brutal sunny day, and the ride was a hot sweaty slog. I found myself more than a little alarmed about riding in such close proximity to all those fast-moving cars. Plus, I strained my back. It was not something I wanted to do again anytime soon. It was a pleasant surprise to make that same journey just a few days ago. It was still a hot sweaty slog, but now there is bright green paint to designate the bike lane, and there are dividers to separate the cars from the bikes. Granted, those dividers won’t likely stop an out-of-control motor vehicle, but they sure help drivers know to stay in their lane.”

“When my daughter saw it, she exclaimed, ‘This is nice!’ I have been a bicycle commuter for two decades in New Orleans. For the last ten years, I’ve been taking my daughter with me just about every day. We’ve seen plenty of improvements in that time, but only recently has the work begun to take on the urgency that is needed. I support the work of groups like Bike Easy who advocate for our safety. This is a great city for riding, or it should be. It can be. It will be. If we demand it.”

Eric Paul
Writer and Archivist

“I use my bike all the time as my primary mode of transportation. It took a while for the City to consider and take seriously bike lanes in the metropolitan area. This has added some safety to the streets for bike riders, and while being far from perfect, it gives a certain level of comfort to riders that didn’t exist before.”

Shala De La Rose

“While commuting on my Magna 10 Speed during the daytime hours I use one of many nearby bike trails. The Lafitte Greenway is the most convenient for my needs at this time. I frequently enter the trail at N. Claiborne Avenue off of Orleans Avenue for access to the post office in the Central Business District, light grocery shopping at and commuting via bus on RTA and JPT. During festival time in New Orleans I have explored the Mississippi River Trail near the Aquarium and even used the Downtown Ferry for Job Searches on the Westbank. Since Hurricane Gustav and Katrina, biking has allowed me to arrive at scheduled appointments early and accomplish medical goals. I also have less parking meter tickets and save on gas. Lastly, I am able to breathe fresh air and happy to help the City improve overall air quality.”

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