April 19, 2012
City Council Chamber
City Council April 19, 2012 Regular Meeting SummaryNew Orleans, LA - April 19, 2012 - Today the New Orleans City Council adopted ordinances establishing new taxicab industry vehicle standards and for-hire vehicle bureau permitting regulations. In other action, the Council adopted an ordinance modernizing sidewalk design and construction standards in the Downtown Development District (DDD). The Council also marked the centennial of Loyola University New Orleans and recognized native New Orleanian entertainer BJ Crosby on her return to good health and her upcoming 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival performance.
Adopted New Taxicab Permitting Regulations and Vehicle Standards
The Council adopted a series of ordinances, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, instituting reform of the City's taxicab industry and for-hire vehicle bureau. Prior to passage of the ordinances, members of the Landrieu Administration appeared before the Council to discuss the purpose and intent of the ordinances. Taxicab and Tourism and Hospitality Industry representatives were also given an opportunity to voice their opinions to the City Council regarding the ordinances. Among the new rules, regulations and standards outlined in the twenty-four instruments that the taxicab industry will be required to adhere to and to implement are: credit-card machines, on-board surveillance cameras, fare meters and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite-navigation devices. Cabs will also be required to be accessible to citizens with disabilities and vehicles will have age limits. Beginning in 2012, vehicles must be 11-years old or newer. And, by 2014 vehicles must be 7-years old or newer. These reforms are designed to assist the taxicab industry in preparing and upgrading its infrastructure to ensure excellent transportation service for the 2013 Superbowl. The measures passed were Ordinances Calendar No. 28,930; 28,931; 28,932; 28,933; 28,939; 28,941; 28,944; 28,946; 28,948; 28,950; 28,951; 28,952; 28,953; 28,960; 28,962; 28,995; 28,996; 28,997; 29,000; 29,001; 29,002; 29,003; 29,004; and 29,005.
District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "This package of taxicab industry and for-hire bureau reforms complements what we have already accomplished through the Council's Transportation Committee. As Chair, I took a leadership role in the implementation of pedicab services, a Taxicab Passenger Bill of Rights and the creation of permits for accessible taxis. Efficient, accessible and aesthetically pleasing transportation alternatives for citizens and visitors have been a top priority of mine since taking office. We are making real progress. I pledge to continue working with the Council and the Administration to ensure that New Orleans has the most comprehensive and sustainable transportation system in America."
Modernized Sidewalk Construction and Design Standards in the DDDThe Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 28, 965, authored by Councilmember Head, that clarifies permitting review processes and provides consistency in sidewalk design and construction within the Downtown Development District (DDD) boundaries. The ordinance, as amended, requires new or repaved sidewalks to be constructed with permissible materials and that planning and design standards are consistent within a particular block. The measure also specifies that a map and detailed plans which explain and categorize the type of sidewalk treatment permissible be made available for public inspection through the Public Works Department and / or the Clerk of Council.
District "B" Councilmember Head said, "This is the culmination of a year of collaborative work with the DDD, the Department of Public Works and downtown stakeholders. These changes will modernize standards for sidewalk consistency and clarify permitting and plan review processes. The end result will be safer, higher quality, better-designed downtown sidewalks."
Marked Loyola University New Orleans Centennial
At the request of Councilmember Guidry, Loyola University New Orleans Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ed Kvet and Director of Governmental Relations Tommy Screen appeared before the Council to mark the receipt of its university charter and the centennial of Loyola University of New Orleans. Since 1912, Loyola has played an integral role in shaping the history of New Orleans and the lives of its students by educating men and women in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. Currently, Loyola New Orleans is one of the top 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. To celebrate the centennial, the University is holding a series of activities and special events through 2013. Currently, a centennial exhibit that explores through photographs, documents and artifacts the history of the University's first one hundred years is open to the public. The Monroe Library on the university campus is housing the centennial exhibit.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "For one-hundred years Loyola has been a catalyst for change and social justice. The University is a cultural and academic treasure. Its historical imprint through the education of generations of students, community service and outreach efforts and social justice programs is unparalleled. We are grateful to Loyola for its multifaceted contributions to New Orleans."
Recognized BJ Crosby's Return to Good Health and Upcoming Jazz Fest Performance
At the request of Councilmember Hedge-Morrell, BJ Crosby appeared before the Council to be recognized for her recent return to good health and upcoming 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival performance. Ms. Crosby, a native New Orleanian entertainer and jazz singer, makes her return to Jazz Fest this year after suffering a stroke that left her unable to sing in 2008. Crosby is known for her powerful voice that carried her from New Orleans churches and jazz clubs to the Broadway stage in New York City. Crosby was nominated in 1995 for an American Theatre Wing Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Smokey Joe's Café. Crosby will perform at the Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 28, at the Congo Square Stage from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "We are pleased to have BJ in the Chamber today and are grateful to have her back at Jazz Fest this year. She is an unbelievably talented and exciting performer with a vocal range that is phenomenal. The Council wishes continued good health. We know that the best is yet to come for you and your extraordinary music and entertainment career."