WWL>Topics>>4-9-14 2:10pm Angela: on the Lafitte Corridor

4-9-14 2:10pm Angela: on the Lafitte Corridor

Apr 9, 2014|

Angela finds out the latest developments in the Lafitte Corridor with Sam Spencer, Sophie Harris, and Rev. Dr. Dwight Webster of Friends of Lafitte Corridor.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well helping -- to hear our last hour because I think we need to continually talk about what's happening in health care it is truly amaze. And not amazing it is -- -- some very good things out of it and some things that are just gonna take some time for us to understand and learn how to work with. We're on to our second hour and as New Orleans continues to revive itself post-Katrina. New developments on the drawing board. Some who have been on the planning stage for a very long time. In this half hour we're gonna -- three people who are counting the minutes -- one project opens. The feet Greenway bike and pedestrian path. Sam Spencer is the chair of the friends at the feet court -- So -- Harris who is the program director for the friends and reverend Dwight Webster pastor of Christian unity Baptist Church. And friends of little -- quarter board member and I think all of you for coming up here to talk about it. Thank you -- and I know that you are very excited. Yes yes we are we like that enthusiasm. I want you -- coming give up our listeners an overview. Of what this sickness. Well the the -- Greenway is day. That's going to be a two and a half mile of bike and pedestrian. Linear park it's gonna run from. To remain through about a neighborhoods. And come out two and a half miles later in north Alexander just want just beyond. North Carrollton. The land was formally. The transportation court or. Both. By by water along time ago and I rail not so long ago and it's being converted from a rails to -- I think this is great as it is a very special day because it's everybody's riding your bike today. So this says he with the Hellman and hand. -- is exactly what we're looking for a I said to someone yesterday how thrilling India's post-Katrina. To see the bike trails that didn't exist before. On so many streets so this is taking it one step further. Yes. And in one that there are a lot of wonderful things about. What the Greenway is going to be. But one of the best ones as is exactly where you're talking about I I. I heard the mayor say it and our groundbreaking. The groundbreaking for this project that by the end of the year we're gonna have over hundred miles of bike weighs in your balance. And this -- will be the critical piece of that it will -- so many. Of those arteries together offer those two choose to get around -- bike and we think it's an -- make it more. Possible for more people to choose to get around that way which is great for public health absolutely. For public health in particular yes. -- The location of this trail is pretty fantastic for connecting. Residential neighborhoods to. Occupational opportunities. So it runs from the very edge of the French Quarter -- may write it basin street. Outs to. Mid city running through -- may. Over the feet running alongside a new hybrid Hillary development. And for over Saint John. And so it runs right to the new -- district to hospitals that are being built and and you exit right at basin street. Leading you to the central business district in connecting to the new logo picture. So so -- great opportunity for folks to bike to work and also there's a huge amount schools in this corridor is five elementary school so it also an opportunity. Four for -- living in this corridor to bike to school and Safeway. Separated from -- On that this is almost too good to be true. And I keep saying this is New Orleans is happening something this progressive really. I'm not putting ourselves down but it took us awhile to get that first Michael. So we're coming up all along way. To the good reverend what does this mean for neighborhoods. Well you hit the nail on the head I come to the board. Kind of with the dual focus on partnership. It's in my -- backyard that's something we won and our back yard our side yard bitterly. And I from the notion of community engagement we want to make sure that the residents. There are around our church in about six or seven maybe churches. Com before you can get the broad. Are really aware of what's going -- line and our participants in that process. This decided managed from me when I was in college. With. I wasn't an avid bike rider I was a bike rider by default. On my dad went everywhere on my bicycle. And I would much rather see people writing. Green ways then. Playing chicken with traffic. And so I think it's it's that thing. But in terms of our neighborhood our church is -- Claiborne and content. And as -- sit there -- number of other churches there and of course that's the confluence of the mountain. Maybe three councilman in districts and so this. If it behooves us to get involved and have some -- And so and yet but the plan is out it has as we -- ground has been broken. Is there a deadline and on deadline but -- a date at which I think it'll be finished. The projection for the work according to on the plan. Which by the way we think is a really terrific plan done by a department of public works. Is historical take eleven months so where were playing it safe in saying that the green is gonna open into when he fifteen. Now it's very very exciting. Because it's a concept. Whose time is now. Did you wall and it was the department of public works that. Created this but as a bike rider is this why you got involved. And what may June. So create this association. Well I mean I think that's part of that I mean I have to say I wasn't around in in 2006. When friends of the -- quarter was was created. I think that division was probably a little more holistic and that that was certainly a part of it. Our founder is part of percent and I think come. In 2005 when he saw Norfolk Southern pulling up the rails as he walked along and by Saint John. And had this notion that you know this would make a really great Linear park. When he came back from Katrina you know that post-Katrina environment. Got a lot of people involved in in their city and there's a sense of civic involvement. That I think friends of defeat quarters a great example of and so I think on what Bart and the other. Trapped -- for thinking -- was yes. Active transportation as it's referred to walking and biking and getting around in ways of -- cars but also. Just the health of the neighborhoods along the sway public health also economic health. Com and we know from other rails to trails projects at these type of font facilities can generate that sort of thing I think that's what they had in mind with pencil with a quarter. You know here you -- Can -- that we can't talk enough about health and taking charge of our own but the magic gorgeous and I think that people will now understand it is a Linear park. It is a park in -- you say that word and it says volumes. And it won't be just people on bikes it'll be people walking. And and that is great do you still Roger by reverend. Very very rarely. You may be inspired -- but there's one in the house there might be in the cage and to do that. Arm and I think the other concerns that we have is that this is really. It our holistic approach and so. -- we're concerned about safety for the neighborhoods and so in the design. Of the park and the green way. What works for keeping other people's say we'll certainly keep the residents say. And so it's in our. Interest to make sure that we maximize those concerns. While I want everyone to stay with us we're gonna come back and we're gonna talk some of the specifics of what this is gonna look like right after this I'm Angela conduct -- -- Well we're talking about. It isn't a proposal anymore it's actually happening and it is these are feet Greenway bike and pedestrian path. And -- we -- joined by Sam Spencer and Sophie Harris and -- reverend Dwight Webster all part of the feet -- board. Special board that they created this has been a long time in the planning. This first phase -- it. Which is going to hopefully be reality by next year I mean they have again broken ground yes so we're thinking very. Isn't going to be the end of it but what is gonna be there now and again let's think in terms of how did you say that I love it's not. A path and the grass is too much more than that yes it is twelve feet wide. It is going to be a bike path there's going to be crushed gravel for a walking -- But we're talking 500 trees which will be spectacular in the city of trees. And also these -- softball backstop the -- soccer areas. So it's a very functional. Participatory area. Is that the right way to say it. Absolutely it'll be a space for. Active recreation. Sports. And also a place for people to hang out have a picnic spend time with their neighbors offered job go for a walk affirmed by crash it. There's a lot of different ways to people will be able to use -- space and even more planned for the future. And let's talk about the future what are those planes. So this is this is the first phase of much larger vision for the green and we're getting. Wayne -- and we expected. And this initial -- what's opening in 2015 -- done a fantastic job managing this budget and and getting a lot for the community. There's also a much larger plan is Rafik -- master plan which the city hired design workshop to develop. And that plan includes additional. Recreation facilities. On the green way. For example there's some there's some buildings currently that are vacant city buildings -- your Jefferson Davis parkway just on the Riverside. The pretax station which is vacant building. A sign and signal shop witches. -- by the department of public works both of these the sentencing shopping hopeful eventually. Leave the green land in the department of public works is beginning to look into that. The -- station. We hope to eventually see turn into a community asset of space. Four -- meaning meetings with. With community guardians have raised beds and perhaps a farmer's market could come in there once a week. So there there's a plan to have a dog park eventually built on the green way. And said this this initial build it's going to be tremendous but it's also the the baseline we're gonna continue. Hoping upon. And say to me when you have something like this and interest in is going right through a bunch of neighborhoods. It's only gonna make those neighborhoods a better. And is that what you're getting a sense of well. Not only are we getting the sense. As far as my participation is concerned and it's. Actively asking -- look. Hold me accountable. That's why I'm holding the space. We were also busy and we are could be doing other things my. If we can't prioritize. Cards and is this then is time for me because. These neighborhoods not only have to participate but the kind of cooperate. So they have to have a sense of each -- engagement and involvement. Are you getting any push men are the people that. Look at it and say well we don't need it. Not the push back in the kind of vociferous. Glamorous way. As an observer of community trends. When when a tsunami comes in the water congress seats. And you see the the the bed and the sea shore and then all of a sudden rush comes and and I think if we can avoid that. We can do your show is helping to get the word now when the city does when it does they're going to. Handle all the marketing on that by. People then we'll know what wait -- -- this is not something that's being done to -- this is something that we need to participate. And really for a right. You know there there just when you talk about walking or running like -- certain places the people you know they walk on in park they walk city park and that is great thank heaven we have them. Some people well in others do the levees. But this will be one more. And what makes it so fascinating is that isn't limited to one neighborhood. That goes right through and I think that's a beautiful thing to -- it will connect. Issue set connect new neighbors. Yes and -- I I love those places you just mentioned and I also and fortunate enough to live quite close to the newest one which is crescent park. Yes Daryn many -- water it's fantastic. It's it's. I find myself making excuses to go hang out there. Regularly. But again the thing that the leafy green -- gonna have going for at that the other parks do not is you can get somewhere on. You can run -- get a bag of groceries and you do that. Not by jumping in your car for the fourth time today. But by walking or by. -- Webster getting on that'll rusty bike that's. And let's not rest it's quite good I ten and I for younger people. But the other thing I'd say is that -- that it is of importance is that. This is there's critical juncture and intersection. -- green way. Where is the livable Claiborne. Carter and communities and that that that perpendicular. To the right there -- those -- come together. I think it's going to be a hub of vibrancy and lying and excitement. And I know the philanthropists. Looked at the city and decided they wanted to drop -- one place and changing and another place. I think this is going to be the crux I think this is going to easily beat. What sets at all so -- we need to get invested. Excellent. What got -- interest it. Well I I moved to New Orleans. A couple years ago. And immediately had the opportunity to begin working. We provenance community housing -- beef over the feet. Redevelopment. And providing community programming for the residents of this community out of this term interest in the apartment to. And so I became. Really. I I had aperture need to really become. Get to know the community members who live here where incredibly welcoming. And have a real interest in seeing this become. A vibrant space also I grew up in Minneapolis witches and a city which some of the best bypass and running pass in the country. And -- added. Runner and -- myself. And one of the things that I a miss the most moving here. Was having a lot of space to. Run around and bite can be outside and enjoy the city that I'm living -- And I think that this is going to be. Remarkable in terms of you know first serving the residents of this community where it's going to be built and also providing a space for the bikers that it is. Anywhere in the neighborhood in the city to come together and and get from city park to downtown to the new oil and by Klein. And and you know -- to bike from from in uptown neighborhoods. All the way out to the -- It's really exciting project for me and I'm just -- Really fortunate to be apartment. Well I tell you as this thing develops we'll have you back because. Maybe when Oakland and that. And keep going because the city does one this -- and and three cheers for the department of public works and I really mean they do a lot. And this is very very it's going to be a beautiful addition it truly I think fuel for being here everybody stay with this and yes you had your big function. Let's talk about that it's at the basin street station and it is tomorrow. Next Thursday at a senators and that's what I meant. -- April 17 79 and it's going to it's called a folk affair tickets are available on our web -- there'll be live music. Speakers. Food and open bars of please come on Internet and not have a party that at the -- that website is folk dash Nolan dot -- And they'll -- FO LC. National healthy thank you reverend yes that's a -- affair it is next Thursday 79 basin street station. Good luck and all you -- thank you so much. Morgan -- let go of the newsroom and -- --