Urban Conservancy, City Council, Senator Grey:
NorthWest Carrolltion would like to talk with someone in your organization regarding work that will soon begin on Earhart.
Wednesday February 20th, Robert Mendoza came to our neighborhood meeting and gave us the low down on the Earhart “repairs”. While we are glad to see these much needed repairs move forward we were not happy with what we heard regarding the plan.
Currently Earhart is 3 lanes (each way for a total of 6) in Jefferson Parish and then merges to 2 (each way for a total of 4) as it enters Orleans at the overpass. The “repairs” will cause Earhart to be 3 lanes in Jefferson Parish, drop to 2 at the overpass, EXPAND to 3 at the base of the overpass in Orleans, grow a total of 5 lanes (8 lanes both ways!) at Carrollton & Earhart and then drop back to 2 on the Orleans side of Carrollton. Nothing in anything we have read regarding Earhart improvements mentioned increasing the number of lanes. What we naively assumed was that the street would be repaired and proper curbs and sidewalks installed.
While we can appreciate that modifications may be necessary to help traffic flow at Carrollton and Earhart and we completely support a marked and dedicated turning right turning lane (to the river) at Carrollton, we are concerned about the total lost of green space in the center of this intersection to allow for 2 turning lanes onto Carrollton toward the lake. We are also disappointed that NO effort has been made to provide a marked and dedicated turning lane off of Carrollton and onto Earhart toward Jefferson Parish. Anyone who has used this intersection knows that this is a traffic issue in the evenings.
In the process of creating the plan for Earhart there has been no discussion of bike racks and very little thought given to green space and tree cover. There is a requirement to put in sidewalks and ADA crosswalks because of the associated federal dollars. But we see very little in the plan that looks at the whole picture or the long haul. Will people really use the sidewalks if they are right on top of the 3 lane “highway”? This is one of the last opportunities that we will have to improve Earhart for a long time. With all the planning that has been done in the city of New Orleans it would be nice to see some broader thinking. Many of the planning sessions that New Orleanians participated in discussed a need for better integrated streets, sidewalks and bikepaths, some of them specifically referred to Earhart.
Why are we making what should be an “Urban Corridor” into a 6 lane highway? 8 lanes at Carrollton Avenue?
Does anyone remember that Earhart was part of the horrible idea of a Vieux Carre INTERSTATE?
What sense does it make to have Earhart be come 3 lanes on each side only to drop to 2 (on each side) as it crosses Carrollton?
What sense does it make to have the overpass at the Jefferson/Orleans line drop to 2 lanes only to widen to 3 lanes in Orleans Parish. Won’t this only encourage speeding on what should be an Urban Corridor and partially residential street? Once traffic is slowed down from the 3 lane Jefferson part of Earhart by the overpass and narrows to 2 lanes in Orleans WHY allow it to spread out and speed up again?
We hope that there are opportunities to tweak the plan to provide for more green space and to reassure residential and business owners that the intent is not to create a Veterans highway like environment in New Orleans. We CHOOSE to live in New Orleans and it is the character of New Orleans streets that we wish to retain. Please see that attached article written by a graduate student at UNO.
We look forward to hearing from you regarding the concerns expressed by the neighbors of NorthWest Carrollton.
Jenel Hazlett – President, NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association