Saturday, November 15, 2014

Slightly less reliable than walking

This is a long running issue in New Orleans, but also in many cities.  If you're heading downtown for a big event like a Saints game, or if it's Mardi Gras, or New Year's Eve, or Halloween, even... chances are you're going to end up having to walk back home.  Or at least, having to wait a long time.
On Halloween night, I, with many others, simply could not get home from the French Quarter. I had made the decision to take the streetcar from my home to meet friends. However, when I decided to leave at around 12:30 a.m., I was left stranded with hundreds of others as only one streetcar, that filled immediately, passed in an hour and half of waiting.

Taxis would not stop for a single person. Empty cabs were just driving by looking for large groups. It was cold. It was annoying. And the tourists around me were loudly proclaiming how they had never experienced this in any other city.
Okay well forget about the angry tourists.. as well as the bratty Tulane kids also mentioned in this letter. The fact is other cities do this as poorly as we do. (Some are experimenting with doing better but it is a struggle to make that happen.)  But certain types (tourist and Tulane types) have a propensity to play kick NOLA when inconvenienced so.. who cares what they think. But just because they are jerks doesn't mean there isn't a problem.  Obviously it's not the safest choice to drive home after a long night out partying. People need safe, affordable alternatives.

Even on nights when cabs (or.. God forbid...  Ubers)  are available, they can be pretty expensive.  Just getting to the Quarter and back from Uptown via cab can add another $20-$30 to your night. I love getting around on my bicycle when it's just me. But Menckles doesn't ride, and since she's my date for most special events, that isn't typically an option.

New Orleans is supposedly a 24 hour town. And the frequency of NOPD traffic checkpoints leads one to believe it is a town that is concerned about keeping the roads safe at night from drunk drivers.  The best solution is better public transit running later into the evening... at least during special events like Halloween or New Year's. But something tells me we're not even close to accomplishing anything like that.

1 comment:

Nolaresident said...

The fact is other cities do this as poorly as we do.

Don't tell the letter-writer that. She's a world traveler and knows only nola sucks at bus/streetcar/cab issues.