Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Once the Crescent Park finally opens, no one will go there anymore

No Trespassing

If you don't have to break in, that takes away most of the fun.
The board of the French Market Corp., which already oversees the city-owned French Market and the Upper Pontalba Building on Jackson Square, voted Tuesday evening to take on management of the long-awaited riverfront park in the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods.

The newly dubbed Crescent Park is a 1.4-mile stretch of wharves and land running from Elysian Fields Avenue to Bartholomew Street, with two pedestrian bridges over the floodwall and railroad tracks connecting it to the adjacent neighborhoods.

It was originally supposed to open last year, but an unusually high river delayed the project in 2011. More recently, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration blamed delays on the need to redesign one of the pedestrian walkways, an unspecified “landscaping issue” and ongoing negotiations with the French Market over how the park will be managed
Regardless of when the official opening date falls, the park will have been in use for some time beforehand.  Last December we noticed some curious members of a crowd who had gathered to catch the Automata NOLA exhibit and Robot Parade (don't ask) already hopping the fence to get a sneak peak of the unfinished park. 

And then there was this Fourth of July.
For some neighbors, temptation has been strong. On the Fourth of July, dozens of impatient residents dispatched with the guard gate and poured into the property to watch the fireworks display.

“We would like to see them open at least that end of the park, even if they have to put a temporary fence up to block the rest of the park,” said Mary Ann Hammett, a member of the board of the Bywater Neighborhood Association. “We should be able to officially use that park.”
Of course the attraction could just be a case of curiosity over forbidden fruit.  If you want people to show up at your park, the best way to do that is to tell them they're not allowed.

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