Apr 30, 2014|
Angela discusses whether a streetcar line should be installed down Rampart Street with concerned citizens Jack Stewart and Leo Watermeier.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well the newest city's street car now rolls up and down Loyola avenue -- like it's been there for a while. Now the RTA is ready to start its next project. A streetcar on rampart street from canal to the lesion feels. 60% of the plans are complete but public input is still being hurt. At a recent public hearing there was support and they were those who had concerns what do you think. Let us know what you think about a street car doing going down rampart. And again that's from canal all the way to the lesion feels. 260187. -- We do have some people here with some very specific thoughts on -- Jack Stewart who run. Is all came with the project thinks perhaps we should have a streak are going to on the street is not to thrilled with the current design. And -- water Meyer who doesn't want a streetcar on rampart at all. And yes we did invite that the RTA and it's still invite them to call in 2601 point 78 but they said that the notice was too short. Leo reminds me that he arrived in from New York today and it wasn't too short for him so let me say that. We would love to hear from the -- -- -- let me say forty years of my life was spent on rampart street. And -- well television and I have a real affection for that street. And it as you all know it went to see and and then it's been it's life is there again and there's such a good feel about it. I'm just curious Leo why you don't think. Adding a street car would be a plus to it. I just don't think it's that it's going to be an important link in the public transportation. System of this city. It's only gonna run for a few blocks. That that area is already served well by bosses. -- it's I I've called it the line that goes from nowhere. To nowhere. And it's gonna really serve. Practically no one. I don't still see the RTA. And we as citizens because you know as taxpayers we're all also. Subsidizing the RT. That we should we have been putting all this money in a line that's disk and it's been an important link in the public transportation system. It has other priorities. You know there has been such a growth in. The Farber marinate and certainly on saint Claude. And and the outer reaches of that we that we don't shows on an -- RTA says that. An estimated 70000 people in that whole area. Would benefit from this you know that's a significant number. Who some of these people might work downtown some of them. You know that are. Which was there there well served by buses now so this is not adding any and transportation. And those people who Britain. The new streetcar lines no street cars are actually slower transportation. Then buses and more prone to kind of break down and when one goes out the whole system goes out really in a way. The streetcar lines are less reliable. And Angela I really don't think this is a an example of if you build -- they will com. I don't I think people are gonna they choose transportation because it's more convenient and it's quicker and this is going to be less so. And I had to say just an hour ago I was oh isn't always good to see how many people in that Loyola avenue streetcar. An hour ago the one that was that canal and Loyola had five people and it. The last time I looked. Three or four days ago it had six people and it so I don't think you can say if they build it. They will calm and this is a big investment of our money where does the -- he'll start an -- where does that run. -- darts at the train station okay and it goes I think to the foot of canal street. Apparently yes you're right. And this. Been rampart line according to a they showed in a very expensive computer graphic the other David -- showed to a public hearing. The rampart line is gonna kind of tag along with the -- threatening the loyalists probably get emerge with is rampart line and it'll go from the train station. To canal street. -- that little dog leg on to rampart and -- down rampart and it's only going as far as -- fields. So you know it's it's. It's a short little wrong. It is. When you say it like that I guess but choosing. A -- to you Jack give me your thoughts well. I -- the regular lists on track the students. During the master plan processing and you know process. We spent a lot of time planning the city re planning the city. And one of the things that I kept hearing from people -- comment transit advocate is. We need new fast rail transit. And so that not not -- street causing got stuck in traffic that's we kept hearing over and over again all the teams and all the tables we sat so. When I had an opportunity to work with the city planning mission help among them. The real thing with master plan that worked on that with Jimmy -- doll we will we will volunteers. We decided that that mr. because if you're gonna put him in should be fast so we came up with. Hold. A lay out the lines mainly it would come all the way. From from the different areas of the city -- -- lake front and they would merge in. Downtown and and and run canal street eventually. And and we came up with some. Some best practices that he used on on systems like in Boston the Green Line that system in Boston which is which is that I'm really with which was streetcar line. And in fact was. -- as the subway and approved it on that and its its its oldest subway is on the street subway. Any right so so -- -- adopt some of those practices which. Mystery car doesn't stop. As often as these there is no crossings to that's a very restricted crossings in the neutral grounds and they they would be only. Only -- traffic lights in major intersections. And achieve unprepared -- -- system and that via transit vehicles. Can prioritize the traffic signals in other words -- -- going twits -- traffic signal is red. We'll turn to green for the streak on the street column goes through country and its transit activated. -- traffic signals. And and and so we said let's come up with street cause that are gonna go fast so they -- warrant a -- high cost of installation. And that's not what the RTA is giving us and we thought that that debt and and it says in the master plan that that you have to put street cars like that well. They challenge the master plan on loyal -- did so that -- playing got revised and it said this shall be. Followed by the city strongest legal word in English language. And that's in there now and I reminded them that the hearing on last week. -- in response to comment. Thing and so they disregarded. That and so they're gonna do. But what what they're doing on. Assailant on loyal they had today. Let's just bulldoze all the infrastructure and everything people would suggest it's -- rampart street because it was street cause they are already because it can be closed as a -- -- a local league ball. And and go right through that -- -- domain thing with like like the idea may tenth rampart street has some focus something. And instead went through that went through all the infrastructure they just bulldoze their way right through written enough. From way understanding they were they made a mistake anyway. The impression that the utilities with -- the pain in the utilities that the utility companies which the tanking any blunder. -- as part of the reason money had to take fifteen million from the rampart project due to the oil project. So so now they're having a thing don't move any infrastructure at all just dodged the infrastructure. So they're trying to dodge some some electrical faults. And they're trying to dodge some. A fiber optics cable. Which could be moved maybe they don't have enough money now since they spend it on. Just the opposite approach on on. On my -- in Iraq -- -- the is that it is not going to be on the neutral ground there is now going to be the neutral ground is gonna be obliterated. Well it's not going to be -- and took out it's gonna be beside the neutral ground. So why -- the neutral ground be obliterated. Because there's if you look at the neutral ground right now the nature on used to be about. 20%. On each sides have even a 40% bigger than it once he cracks down side used to have a Elaine and a half on each side of the future pride in nineteen fought recently -- when. Because you've taken off. And somebody buried day. Fiber optics cable in there and member of building it in an off venture capitalists put it did and then when that streetcar is. Streak hostage trolley bus and trolley buses tech were caught -- taken off. They -- they changed a whole lot of of that. Electrical -- the feeder docked which on saint toaster because up on the top the homeless big fat liars. And that was in the ground on on saint Claude. At least the rampart on saint Claude. And they. They transfer that changes from DC -- to an AC docked so they have some faults now allowed to go into all houses in them streets of the French court. And so that was on one side and you know things than the other side so instead of moving -- adjusting if they decided. They take -- inexpensive way out having I think seems to me -- they make. Sacrifice upon this budget full panel though -- -- over on. So. So there. They're putting. One of the lanes. One of the one of the street car lanes to outbound one is going to be in the traffic lane. Close to the neutral ground. And then they're gonna take. The neutral ground. From. -- says that there'll be this little traffic island left like on -- have you and then from outside over toward Trammell a -- you know obliterate the neutral ground. And put the streetcar. On the street there and they could leave one light street Godlington -- remember it. They have a personal -- I think just in -- he doesn't particularly like street cause and -- -- grounds he thinks they're better in asphalt. Who knows why he does but. And you -- so there obliterating that section of the neutral ground and putting the bat streetcar. What we've been in farm in neutral ground next to the miniature neutral. Okay can you imagine that's of the street side street -- the streets going to be lopsided. In have. Sidewalk a parking lane to moving lanes on one side a little neutral ground. I'm a traffic lane another traffic lane and a bike lane. Wide by playing going one way and a parking lot on the other side so it's gonna be it two fifths three fifths divide for neutral ground. Not the usual -- -- metal. I want everyone to stay with us we're gonna redraw that is if this is a lot of information again. But but it's interesting in its interest in what you're saying -- people are very protective of that neutral. So stay with us we're gonna continue. Should there be a streetcar on rampart give us a call 260187. And we'll be right back. Are subject this hour is should there be a street car on rampart street there has been a series of public hearings I thought this was the first from the -- a series. But with this is Jack Stewart who isn't against a street car but he is against how this one is set up. And has done a pretty darn good job of explaining. And we're gonna go back over again and -- water Meyer who -- -- -- the word to mouth but. Who you literally just think at this point it's unnecessary because we have good bus service for a already so what's the I'd like to go to war collar -- being. I. -- and pour the proposed street car. And Reid had been no older statistics ordered -- urged that they've done on. -- just recently moved back to this fee after being gone for the year. Has an and I go back to retire here. And -- leak -- -- the internal streetcar line. I have -- mobility. While -- on even now it is that it would no weird if it. The end -- with -- true but there was kooky. People get well. And I found that -- can -- this will be here. If the proposed when it comes down our. We appreciate the option in the it community -- in hand -- and -- want strong pocket of big deal now forget. It and now we can buy it features so that to mean that it's reasonable week transport. It has featured the city on the life again so. I found it and you did that you impacted the -- -- they didn't like the. Maybe that would when you said there was no question are you saying you took the buses then into -- at all. And you know we are okay. -- don't you saying that Tatis. Did I hear you say there was no place to sit meaning to wait for the street car. Know you're -- -- this well because it was okay. Yeah everyone got even greater even though -- one. I don't know Batman yes that every day -- will call home and it's nice to -- them vote yes -- luck and thank you for calling and never hesitate to. Well on people's opinions absolutely. And thank you very much so guys this is you know this is a person -- saying. We do in this. Back to the drawing on your argument Jack is that we're going to take away from neutral ground. Where we should make it wider and then. 11 streak. It is -- is nice -- one children and so he tells yes beautiful. The again. Have they looked into why can't we put it on the neutral ground and on the all the lines and everything underneath. They say that the capacity for automobiles would be limited this is that a transit authority basically telling. Being concerned more about automobiles in the -- tranche vicious. Off and -- at least. And places are doing road diets all over when they decide that now this is gonna accommodate public transit and and on a -- will be you can go somewhere else what they really need to do to convince themselves and convince other people. Is to do an origin and destination survey and look at all the streets from the river. Two Florida avenue in the area and if you do that you see is plenty of capacity for the traffic to shift a little. To shift a little to them off and and everybody can get -- where they need to go but today. They. They did today and they used it a traffic program to study it. But it doesn't even have that capacity. So so they didn't look they didn't look beyond. -- the the capacity of the particular street that they were looking. Leo your thoughts you are looking. -- -- just they don't presume that -- TA is doing things in in and logical competent way at this public hearing we asked them. If they had done any kind of ridership projections how many people are gonna ride this rampart street streetcar. He couldn't give us an answer. We asked him how much of -- loss and you know him an annual operating laws are you expecting they could not give us an answer. And you know the taxpayers are gonna be footing the bill for this thing so. You know if we had all the money in the world yeah let's have streetcar lines everywhere but that's not a high priority. In the public transportation needs in this city I mean I'd say. We need to be able to figure out how to get people from New Orleans east into the city that we need to do -- -- tickets from Algiers to Delgado. On public transportation. To build I call -- like tinker toys tourist trolleys is not with -- should be spending. Our tax dollars on our very limited tax dollars. We're gonna take another break into the newsroom but we will be back and I I'm gonna get Tia pat anybody who -- -- wants to call make a comment about this please do 2601 -- somebody stay with this will be right. Well we're talking about street cars are talking about the one that's proposed for rampart street and it's it's really a great discussion. I'm just a simple minded person who thinks would that be nice to the street -- the more on listening. More on hearing things that don't make you question but I wanna go to -- first I appreciate your call packed. -- -- Coming here I guess in my opinion the good without your mind. OK I don't really think we need expensive getting streak aren't rampart street the one thing. And I don't know what color he just hadn't been able to get down to it regularly -- street -- And I'm hoping it's like I'm Greenland and actively had been. I'd like to thank Charles streetcar and I do not think being detained in New Orleans canal street -- let me get -- take away at notre -- I mean if he could appoint their -- people like used to love to -- -- at street. I'm -- I haven't put out how else. You know and we don't need to take a -- -- -- brown and make room for more -- to document cars and street right now. Week -- many and most that they'll draft well. And -- product directions. You know they don't how they used to know what -- and that's. I'm based here limits says that I think it's I don't know it's funny it's just the decoration. So let's -- I don't know. Paint isn't Ali good anti really don't think we need that street cop on rampart streets and I don't think he'd take a week it's my opinion. I don't apple somebody out of the -- -- we don't need to take it in neutral ground how great -- and mastery. And it -- great like for the holidays in -- people compromise perhaps not many things have great neutral ground we have. Canal street 21 of the real great -- -- on earth. I'd take that and I can handle he's in my children that you are. Pocket and the lanky you might remember some of it when we used to go to camp street at that night you know it was a great place they'll end. Can't deal it's domino videos that they can't have announced he's he's an iPad pretty talent. That the -- back from 98 cents. That did not in favor of mystery -- panic if I don't really think. And the part they you know they are -- my -- -- that it needed -- -- that's an extra money. But it is needed and which they claim they don't have enough money for a lot of other things right now. And that's my opinion and I am lucky I TV and a lot of it. Thank you very much and I do appreciate your opinion call any time -- thank -- Mike Canon of great. Thank you Jack and Leo Jack you've made it very interesting -- and the -- Sort of the history of how long it would take him to go from the river to the cemetery. He's out there. When we -- said trying to fighting to say industry cause meant 1962 to 1964. Canal street to twenty minutes to get from the from the river to cemeteries. But the buses on which we were against. It increased to thirty minutes from the group of senators. Then when they put the street 'cause back on we thought well maybe you go back to the twenty again stay getting back to the twenty it's gone -- fought now. And spoke with the schedule says thirty. But they never make that thirty because say. They don't run on a scheduled basis that Iran. Streak doesn't saint Charles mr. because on canal. Seem to running cost is of three nobody can. Understand that I tell let the people all the time and then people saying really. And they look and they take you right you know I just was like and it's in 2000. You can canal and the running clusters they don't run. Individually with them and of scheduled space in between them so. -- to -- the impression and it's. That it it's. It is a run for people who who require it an issue why did they take the street cars off -- in the sixties. That was we think that apparently -- they -- first gonna take the saint Charles off. Because canal was actually up and head shot a space and then also more cars -- Canal street of phone because in saint Charles -- 35 and canal street wasn't half this half the distance. And it was a it was like Dubai deal streetcar line and they -- gonna take saint Charles off first and intake can now off. And because they just didn't they -- him on history content and just if they want it -- processed and -- And now so they they thought it would be a problem to get to -- offers -- -- -- -- -- -- an inherent in -- railroad block of saint Charles. Thank everybody and thank and nails them Kennedy who did this topic can't economic and take saint Charles. So and now we're back to back an -- back and and the story you were telling about the riverfront. Street cars bearing interest. I'd forgotten that it was not -- you know it was to a set up by a group of people column. Group. -- front transit association. -- group friends neighbors and we have. -- groups from all the sub neighborhoods and downtown we get together and and a guy from the 98 that time from his name. Have come to me he said no keep you can't run this line we knew we -- -- the we have the RTA if it's going to be put in we have to run into woods is front and as a private line and so I went to. The that. Streetcar line in Fort Worth which owns a 5000 -- prix free parking lot. And had it was originally built by the Allen and Leonard -- no department store in and it's Bellingham accurately the department still -- two -- -- it it was. And they decide to have a little streetcar line and comments and bought some used because from Washington DC in name. And even into a subway and you went into the basement of the stores estimate of gift from the store free parking that you want anymore buildings apartment -- -- department store and and I said I'm gonna go there are less than I'm going over to. If to to Dallas to play. Job with the new -- or else fox talks to an obvious that the people in Dallas to a -- streetcar -- this neighborhood is starting at the McKinney avenue line which is now. The big success. And I'll talk to the group of people in and Fort Worth on just rent a car and go back and forth and I did that gave all the information to -- group and has some of the people were. I think you know this is gonna cost too much knows the room for a group that continent so we finally put it we put it together ourselves it was a private. Group for the federal grant and we started up with one. Once one track with some turnouts and and -- Russa did the management Faris and we ran. But the streak I was there with conductors. And the moment and conduct is both and we managed to make. Fare box brought in a 130%. Of the operating costs so you make it's that we are making money which is unheard that and then. Eventually we got some money in re retracted and RT eight that points and they. And they had to take it over and again with the mayor and they took it over and and we were kind of pushed out of the picture and and now what makes a profit now and it doesn't make any profit at all and it it doesn't doesn't give that very good service economist people. That's a mystery how could make a profit now doesn't. It is to me a bit I don't know I guess this may be the difference between private public operation. But you'd you'd have to ask them -- Stay with -- we're not done I'm Angela on WW well. People were talking about -- on a street car the proposed streetcar and rampart street not it let me tell you I'm listening to these 2 men and I am learning a tremendous amount. I think we've seen some major changes since the storm and that is more bicycle people. And certainly the population that's living downtown and walking more -- and so we're looking -- all forms of transportation. And I'm. Jack clearly you are my god like historian on transportation this area. And you're saying yelling. I think would be okay. On rampart but we're not looking at right and I'm listening to Leo and I'm hearing you loud and clearly that. We don't needed at this time we got other priorities and something you said this absolutely how -- -- better connect the West Bank to these bank. And -- definitely New Orleans east what could we do. Fast rail. -- that would be major. So what is what is the answer. Leo. -- Maybe you need to get -- -- here to talk about what their play I look forward to it you know I was just saying off of the air. I think one of the problems in New Orleans is the this civic leadership. Kind of just looks on transit is that's just something for poor people. And and so it doesn't get the attention that it should have transit. Could be much more important in this city and could be for everyone it could be from innovation they should try to attract all levels of of riders. But I think it's common neglected to New Orleans. Because it's it's it's -- -- written -- well as its report people and Chris you know they're the ones who. Who. I guess have the least boys they they feel probably the least power powerful but then but -- -- TA address the real issues. But you all services allows you about but I'm here which -- saying and you'll go to the meetings and you're asking the questions in your bringing up the things that. There's all this work on the master plan and it was supposed to be this and your dismissing that RTA. And you're getting no response. So. People are kind of there but. If frustrated and RJ doesn't really have to answer to the public if it's. It's its own board has never been any vote for example on whether we should have this rampart street streak on line or the real line. How is -- fund. They I'll defer to Jack but they do get a month that if we all voted to give them part of our sales. -- there of their of their funded by the of the -- -- and by grants from FEMA and and the and the via federal government from transportation. Department. And there -- also funded by. By one penny of the 9% sales tax okay is it unrealistic to think that they should be able to make a profit or breakeven. No I don't think that they -- -- with -- with those three sources of income they should they should be able to breakeven. Are you saying they don't. All the screaming now that they need to have a fare increase. Okay. They're saying that that's coming up next so be ready for that. But it's. With Leon Leo Leo saying about the this tests in the master plan it says the transportation should be good enough -- -- the the unit to call the premium Breyer discretionary writer of the person that that rides it because. Let's live -- I don't feel like I wanted to some work on the way to work today I don't want that to be driving now south Sudan and wanna go over some things from media assembly that. And to get the discretionary ride up and and transit is does is designed for the discretionary around somebody it's making -- choice. That brings every one -- -- If you don't have any discretionary Iran has venue just appealing to the poor the elderly schoolchildren. And tourists. And EU. Can seem to subject them to a lot of endurance tests without. Them screaming you much if. We had more writers. They would demand more press and the -- with the price of parking today I would think a lot of people would say you know what it's going to be cheaper to ride that street car that cost. Well if the service is good enough well you have to have dependable service that's right you -- And people are going to work -- -- -- that are certain time and yes. Right and net and that. And I don't I I think he would find a nine out of ten people say that they don't give that dependable service enough to use them for things that are critical. Going back to our original topic of rampart street streetcar what do you think is going to what is the next step they say 60% planned out. They're gonna have other meetings and people hopefully it'll go -- they said they gonna have other meetings yes -- her there but there's going to be another meeting him. -- told us the other night that construction will take two years. And we asked them. Is there going to be any kind of talk compensation for in it if -- business that eruption knowing that this. The construction of the rampart street street cars can affect rampart street in the immediate area worse than BP affected the Gulf Coast. And the economy and -- off handed remark that it's scheduled for two years but. Their experience -- loyal avenue showed that once they start digging up the street. No telling what you'll find no matter how much planning you've done before hand and it could take a lot longer I believe -- Loyola avenue took fifteen months longer than. And then schedule and it was a sand pit for months and months and and they have no funds no plan to. To try to compensate anybody from loss of business. I'm sure -- businesses on rampart. Will go out of business during the gosh this is persona getting going a heartbeat now. And rampart is getting. Yeah really is I wanna thank both of you this is an eye opening and we have a permanent invitation to RT anytime they like to come top we'd love to hear you. And I appreciate our callers and I want everyone to stay with -- in our next hour we're going to be talking about an amnesty program I'm initial court you really wanna hear this. But you guys are great. Thank you very much stay with us we'll be right back. Well I really appreciate both those men coming on talking about the rampart to -- street street car. Stay with this because the next hour we're going to be talking amnesty a lot to learn their two. Appreciate you all being with us give us a call 2601870. If you have any thoughts. We'll be right back.