"Another component of the initiative will be strict enforcement of existing laws, from the ban on parking on sidewalks to hours of operation to responsibilities for cleaning up outside business establishments, the mayor said."
Ok so finally.... neighborhoods have been CRYING for Parking Enforcement forever and NOW that the mayor has linked enforcement to tourism.... and it's his idea... maybe, just maybe we'll get some. When the infrastructure we do have so so precious and under-maintained we need to do everything possible to keep it functional. This means *NOT* parking on sidewalk or over curb cuts, not trashing our drains... Good luck Mitch! Let the enforcement begin.
As New Orleans prepares to host an array of high-profile sporting events, Mayor Mitch Landrieu rolled out a new public awareness campaign Monday designed to spruce up the city in advance of the onslaught of visitors.
Other similar motivational messages will follow in the coming months.
While the keep-it-clean push will focus on the French Quarter and other downtown "hospitality zones," the mayor said he wants the anti-litter spirit to spread across the city.
"We can clean up, but if you don't throw it down we have less to do. And we need everybody to do their part," Landrieu said. "If you see something on the ground, pick it up. If you see one of you neighbors throw something out of their car, let them know about it."
In January, New Orleans will be home to college football's championship game, followed in the spring by the NCAA Men's Final Four, college basketball's premier weekend. In 2013, the Super Bowl will be here along with the Women's Final Four.
New Orleans also will be the inaugural stop for a three-year celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 in April, serving as home to a fleet of international Tall Ships and U.S., Canadian and British naval vessels.
Those events will join the city's annual lineup, which includes Mardi Gras, the Essence Music Festival, the Bayou Classic, the Sugar Bowl, the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz Fest, among others.
"If there was ever a signal that people needed to know whether New Orleans was back, this is it," Landrieu said.
Another component of the initiative will be strict enforcement of existing laws, from the ban on parking on sidewalks to hours of operation to responsibilities for cleaning up outside business establishments, the mayor said.
Kurt Weigle, president of the Downtown Development District, said the crowds of visitors will offer "a great opportunity to show the world how much we respect and love our hometown" and "to change our own hearts and minds about how we treat our city."
Landrieu also served notice that the clock is ticking on the Occupy NOLA encampment that's been established across from City Hall in Duncan Plaza.
"We think that we have been a great host to Occupy NOLA," he said. "They have been there in a peaceful way. But at some point in time, we've got to say 'Look, you've worn out your welcome.'
"At some point in time, it's going to get beyond just a First Amendment expression."
While Landrieu did not offer a timetable, he said the protesters likely will be asked to leave "sooner rather than later."
••••••••Frank Donze can be reached at email@example.com or 504.826.3328.