Council Member, Community Leaders Host Bike and Pedestrian Safety Forum
NEW ORLEANS — On June 1, Le Sanctuary Inc., the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, local elected officials and others hosted the “Can You See Me Now?” Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Forum at Neyow’s Palace in Mid-City. The objective of the event was to highlight the need for biking infrastructures in greater New Orleans, identify the dangers to cyclists and pedestrians when safety is not prioritized, and to provide tools to empower the community to promote safety.
“Transportation involves getting to work, to services, and to recreation, by people who not only use the mediums of trucks and automobiles, but who also use bicycles or even walk,” said New Orleans City Council Member Eugene Green, who is chairman of the council’s transportation committee. “It is good that the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, through Le Sanctuary Inc., sponsored this forum to help keep bikers and pedestrians safer. I encourage anyone who can participate in the forum to take heed of the advice and the suggestions offered.”
New Orleans is ranked among the highest cities in Louisiana for the number of pedestrian injuries and crashes, and its pedestrian fatality rate exceeds the national average. From 2019 to 2020, there has been an increase in cyclist fatalities.
“Getting from one point to another as a pedestrian or a bicyclist happens to be the most basic form of transportation,” said Lisa Freeman, executive director, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. “However, drivers who are speeding or who are impaired or distracted have contributed to what has become a pedestrian and cyclist safety crisis in our state. Dangerous driving behaviors have produced a steady increase in roadway deaths which include a large pedestrian and cycling population. It is unacceptable that over 20% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and cyclists. Walking and biking should not be a death sentence. All of us are road users in one form or other, and all of us have the right to safely enjoy that use.”
At the form, presenters talked about infrastructure solutions, updating the ADA Transition Plan, the Moving New Orleans Bikes initiative and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Partners for this event included Councilmember Eugene Green, City of New Orleans, AARP New Orleans, Morgan Walker Productions, Get Up N Ride, Laffitte Greenway, Blue Bikes, New Orleans Regional Traffic Safety Coalition, Herman Herman and Katz, LLC, Bike Easy, and Regional Planning Commission.