New Orleans roads have punished many a chassis over the years, so it should please the more patient motorists in the city to see so many road projects being conducted to (ostensibly) give us the broad, street hockey-smooth thoroughfares we so desperately deserve. Except that road work often means at least a few months of commuting inconvenience, and, on top of that, limited access to certain sections of the city. Case in point: Freret Street, home of some of the city's newest bars and restaurants.
Today, NOLA Defender, following up on an earlier story from the Uptown Messenger, reported on some of the grievances Freret Street business owners like Cure's Neal Bodenheimer and Midway Pizza's Ben Sherman have with the concurrent construction projects circumvallating the Freret Street restaurant corridor. Road work on Jefferson Avenue, Napoleon Avenue, and Freret have hemmed in the street, making it especially difficult for lunch commuters?the bread and butter of so many of Freret's casual restaurants?to access Freret's businesses.
"There is not a single detour sign that tells people where to go, that tries to at least make it that people can travel from downtown to Uptown right now, around Freret. It hasn't even been considered."
Part of the problem seems to be that several of the road projects are being carried out by different organizations according to different schedules. While Paths to Progress (P2P), an improvement initiative funded through the City, is repaving Freret itself, the Southeastern Louisiana Urban Flood Control Program (SELA) is repaving Jefferson and Napoleon. Thanks to a rebuilding of non-ADA compliant "bumpouts" on the corners of Freret, the street currently runs in only one direction (downtown) between Jefferson and Napoleon, making its business all but inaccessible to the time-conscious office worker on a lunch break.
Poor planning and slow progress have been cited as the main culprits in this accidental quarantine, which, with the arrival of a mild fall season and the start of a new college semester, couldn't come at a more inconvenient time for the likes of Bodenheimer and Sherman.
· Freret Fenced In [NO Def]
· Freret commercial strip to become one-way this week with no parking [Uptown Messenger]
· All Freret Street News [-ENOLA-]
Freret Street Fest. [Photo: Facebook]