Saturday, April 01, 2017

Hadn't thought of that?

It seems highly unlikely that anyone involved in planning the Bourbon Street excavation would not have already thought about how it might affect Jazzfest check-in
But the possibility of major work during some businesses' peak tourist seasons worries some on Bourbon Street.

Chuck Schroeder, of Bon Maison Guest House in the 800 block of Bourbon, said his busiest months are between April and October, as tourists come in for Jazz Fest and other events.

“How are you going to handle ADA compliance and guests checking in during Jazz Fest, our most productive month of the year?” he asked.

“Let me give that some thought,” Jernigan replied.
On the other hand, the city does seem to have a blind spot where ADA compliance is concerned so maybe that better explains things. 

In any case, the more interesting question about this project is that it's largely funded though money set aside to enact the mayor's controversial "security plan." That is both good and bad news.  The good news is it means the mayor has successfully wrested money away from the Convention Center, and applied it directly to maintaining vital city infrastructure. It's unfortunate that we have take these kinds of bank shots in order to put our public money to good use but congratulations are in order for getting something done in that regard.

The bad news is, it's also a pretext for shutting the street off from traffic entirely thus removing us one step further from whatever remains of the French Quarter as an organic urban place. 
In fact, the portion of the security plan most closely tied to the roadwork — installing bollards at intersections to prevent vehicles from entering Bourbon Street — won’t even be finalized until after the roadwork starts, though it’s possible some of that work could be integrated into the latter phases.
Not everybody was on board with the bollards. But the decision to throw them in as almost an afterthought to the road work apparently makes them a done deal. Very clever.

Maybe Jernigan still needs to give some thought to the problem of keeping the tourists comfortable. But rest assured, no one is thinking about how to maintain a city that works for people who actually live here.

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