Featured: Connect the 9

Featured: Connect the 9

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Community Engagement means working together with residents, city and state leaders, and many other organizations to share ideas and discuss what's possible. It's about respecting this unique place while creating deep, enduring change to make us safer and more resilient. From Pam's Place at Make It Right to the platform overlooking Bayou Bienvenue, a green grocer and developing a new Waterfront District out of abandoned warehouses – CSED continues to help define a revitalized Lower Ninth Ward.

Connect the 9! Improving bike safety and the walkability across the St. Claude Bridge and along all of our streets is central to making Lower 9 a community more livable and accessible to all. The historic St. Claude Bridge, a bascule bridge (drawbridge) over the Industrial Canal has long posed dangers for individuals attempting to cross on foot or by bicycle and essentially creating a barrier to access between the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward for those without vehicles.

Through a collaborative effort between CSED and the University of New Orleans (UNO), and Tulane’s Prevention Research Center students conducted surveys, vehicle traffic counts, bridge opening logs, bicycle and pedestrian counts, and more. In late April, the group – known collectively as the St. Claude Bridge Safety and Access Committee – gave its recommendations to the New Orleans City Council Transportation Committee, as part of a televised presentation. Using the theme “Safety, Access, Equity”, the group revealed unsafe conditions such as narrow shared traffic lanes, narrow walkways, dangerous tunnel access, and more.

The group’s recommendations included several Immediate Actions:

  1. Add Shared Lane Markers (Sharrows) at 200-Foot Intervals
  2. Improve Signage
  3. Improve Pedestrian-Scale Lighting
  4. Improve Lighting in Tunnels
  5. Additional Garbage Cans
  6. Improve Railings on Stairs and Walkways
  7. Improve Grating on Bike Lane Portion of Bridge

Permanent Recommendations included:

  1. A Widened Walkway: from 3 feet to 8 feet
  2. Improved Visibility for both drivers and pedestrians/bicyclists, using a bike/ped sidewalk parallel to St. Claude Avenue
  3. Improved Access for all – including ADA accessible ramps in place of stairs

See the full CSED/UNO presentation here. Congrats to all who contributed their time and talents to making this proposal to city leaders – an important step forward in Re-Connecting the 9!