City Announces 6-Month Pilot Program for Baronne Street Bikeway
NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced a dedicated bike lane will be installed on Baronne Street from Canal Street to Calliope Street in the Central Business District by Dec. 1, 2014, as part of a six-month pilot program. During this period, the City will study its impact along this corridor. Baronne Street from Canal Street to Calliope Street is currently a one-way street with two travel lanes and parking lane on either side of the roadway. Under the six-month pilot program, Baronne Street will be reconfigured, removing one travel lane from Canal Street to Calliope Street and replacing it with a dedicated bike lane.
"Biking is an important mode of transportation in New Orleans that is a healthy, safe, and equitable commuting option for our residents and visitors," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. "As bicycle ridership increases, the City is committed to expanding our network of bikeways. Through an extensive public process, we listened closely to users of this corridor including residents, business owners, and cyclists to understand potential impacts of this project. We will monitor the impact of this pilot project as the City continues to expand bicycle facilities citywide. During this period and beyond, I encourage drivers, bikers, and pedestrians to continue supporting Baronne Street and nearby businesses."
The Baronne Street bike lane will connect bicycle networks that currently exist on both sides of the CBD. The installation of a bike lane on Baronne Street is consistent with the City's Master Plan and the Complete Streets Program. Baronne Street was recently repaved as part of the State of Louisiana's Paths to Progress program.
Dedicated bike lanes are safer for drivers and cyclists and address social equity by providing low cost, safe routes to and from work for employees without access to an automobile. According to the League of American Bicyclists New Orleans currently ranks fifth in the nation amongst large cities in the percentage of residents who bike to work and the City is on track to have a total of 100 miles of bikeways in place by the end of 2014.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) encourages local businesses, property owners and other groups to partner with “Where Ya' Rack?,” a volunteer project of the Young Leadership Council that provides sponsor-funded bike racks and corrals.