Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Property over people

RTA is not a transit agency. It's a real estate development tool.
The RTA’s full plan calls for the new terminal to become a hub for development near Canal Street, with proposals to rework the Riverfront and Canal streetcar lines to connect through the site and tie in with the proposed World Trade Center redevelopment and work being done by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center a few blocks upriver.

Under the redesign, the terminal would no longer present a barrier between Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Aquarium of the Americas on one side of Canal Street and Spanish Plaza and the Riverwalk mall on the other.

Officials hope to have the work completed by early 2018.

Presently, the two big issues for opponents are the lack of an overhang for passengers boarding and exiting the ferry, and the lack of a passenger bridge over the nearby railroad tracks.

Expecting passengers to board without any protection for the weather is inconvenient and hazardous, critics say, especially if they are running across the tracks and on a rain-slicked platform to catch an arriving ferry.

And without a bridge, passengers would wait up to 15 minutes for a train to pass before they could board or leave a ferry, they said.

But Justin Augustine III, vice president of Transdev, the French transportation conglomerate that runs RTA’s operations, said there is little money for much of what residents want.
To hell with the residents, though.  Nobody actually lives here anyway. 

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