Joseph I. Giarrusso
NEW ORLEANS - Recently, the New Orleans City Council passed new Mardi Gras regulations that prohibit ladders and personal items on the public right-of-way four hours or more before a parade. In response to these new regulations, aside from closures related to streetcar track maintenance previously scheduled for Thursday, 2/20 and Friday 2/21, the New Orleans RTA will maintain transit service up to four hours before parades or until deemed unsafe and subject to City enforcement of new regulations. The RTA will also provide a parallel bus service along the parade route streetcar lines.
Historically Mardi Gras spectators have occupied portions of the streetcar right-of-way with large personal items along the parade route, making it nearly impossible for neighbors to find a spot or enjoy the parade. The initial suggestion to create these new City regulations stemmed from the Mid City Neighborhood Organization. Residents expressed concern over the frequent "tent camps" set up along the Endymion route and suggested City regulations that limit camping on the streetcar right-of-way.
"This is a huge win for the neighborhood, spurred by the neighbors," said District "A" Councilmember Joe Giarrusso. "I appreciate the responsive transit adjustments from New Orleans RTA leadership, as well as the support from the Mayor and my colleagues. I'm thrilled we could so easily - and so quickly - improve the Mardi Gras experience for everyone."
"These changes to the Mardi Gras ordinance are going to make life better on multiple levels," said District "B" Councilmember Jay Banks. "One of the byproducts of this effort will be the continuation of streetcar service. This will benefit both residents who rely on the streetcar for public transportation and the tourists who are enjoying our parades and attractions. It is imperative that we continue to prioritize our residents' quality of life as well as visitors who partake in the magic that is Carnival season."
Claire Byun, Communications Director
Councilmember Joe Giarrusso, District "A"