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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hike the Lafitte Cooridor

Fifth Annual Hike of the Lafitte Corridor

WHO: Friends of Lafitte Corridor is a local grassroots group advocating for the creation of a greenway along three miles of (mostly) decommissioned rail line in the heart of New Orleans

WHAT: A three-mile hike down the Lafitte Corridor

WHEN: Saturday June 6th, 10:00 AM (National Trails Day)

WHERE: The hike begins at the front gate of Armstrong Park and continues along the Lafitte Corridor (between Lafitte and Saint Louis Streets). We expect to be crossing Carrollton Avenue around noon, stopping for lunch at Massey's Professional Outfitters and will finish at Canal Blvd around 1:30 PM.

WHY: Our annual hike is designed to raise awareness of the greenway project and demonstrate the widespread support it enjoys in the New Orleans community. This year we will be joined by Rebecca Leonard and Kurt Culbertson from Design Workshop, the firm recently awarded the greenway contract by the City of New Orleans.

A flyer with map is available here.

May 26, 2009

Bart Everson, President, Friends of Lafitte Corridor
Office: 504-520-5164
Cell: 812-391-0818

Also see this GOOD NEWS!
State of Louisiana Approves $2.6 Million for Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans

BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana has approved $2.6 million
for the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan and Greenway Trail Design
and Construction project in the Treme and Mid-City neighborhoods,
allowing the New Orleans Office of Recovery and Development
Administration to access federal Community Development Block Grant
funds needed to implement the project.

The 3.1 mile greenway corridor stretching along a former shipping and
railroad canal will be anchored by a bicycle and pedestrian trail that
connects Armstrong Park with City Park via Bayou St. John and the
Wisner and Marconi bike routes. The greenway will provide open space
and recreational, educational and cultural features to enhance the
lifestyle and economic vigor of surrounding neighborhoods.

The funding comes from the Long Term Community Recovery Program, a
$700 million pool of federal CDBG money set aside by the Louisiana
Recovery Authority and Office of Community Development to help local
governments rebuild and implement long-term recovery plans.

Both the Treme and Mid-City neighborhoods were badly flooded by
Hurricane Katrina, leaving the area residents with blighted and unused
open spaces. The Lafitte Greenway project will provide an attractive
recreational and mixed-use corridor that will serve as an economic
development stimulus for the area, as well as meet alternative
transportation needs and offer some services and jobs.

The project costs nearly $3 million in total, and will include design
elements such as intersection improvements, landscaping, lighting,
signage and drainage, as well as an analysis of land use, neighborhood
access to the corridor, business clustering, economic incentives,
neighborhood stabilization and blight reduction.

In addition to $2.6 million in CDBG disaster recovery funds, another
$398,248 in state funds will be dedicated to the project from the
Louisiana Transportation Enhancements program and the Governor's
Recreational Trail program.

LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater said, "This greenway project
will transform the inner city corridor from an industrial to a
mixed-use space that will improve the economy of the area and enhance
residents' quality of life. The investment of disaster recovery funds
into public green spaces with biking and hiking trails will help
stimulate additional recovery and rebuilding efforts in the heart of
the city."

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said, "The city of New Orleans seeks to
implement national best practices in our rebuilding efforts. Notably,
urban planners of today advocate mixed-use developments that
incorporate retail, residential and recreational spaces tailored to
meet the daily needs of residents. The Lafitte Greenway project
captures the essence of this approach."

The state's LTCR program supports implementation of local governments'
long-term recovery plans in the most heavily impacted communities in
the state. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development approved LRA's request to reallocate $500 million in CDBG
dollars to the program, bringing to $700 million the total amount of
long-term recovery funding available to the parishes. Funds are
distributed among the parishes through the LRA/Office of Community
Development according to a formula based on estimated housing and
infrastructure damages inflicted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In total, the LRA has allocated $410,720,016 of CDBG funding to the
city of New Orleans for L TCR projects.

Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in
2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and
planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American
history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the
LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and
Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal
agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the
pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that
Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

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