NEW ORLEANS - Today, the City Council Utilities Committee advanced a measure authored by Councilmember Helena Moreno to finally clean up blighted and abandoned payphones in our neighborhoods. A major payphone franchise holder allowed their franchise - or "right" to place their equipment on City property - to expire last September. Now, the Council is moving to direct the City to clean up this blight.
"Payphones may have gone extinct, but their infrastructure still mars the public right-of-way throughout the city. Their presence communicates a deficit of concern for the neighborhoods within which they exist. Forgotten and abandoned public infrastructure only serves to degrade the quality of life for our communities," said Utilities Chair Helena Moreno. "But we can do something about it."
To make the process as cost-effective as possible, the motion directs the City to remove the payphone kiosks when consistent with ongoing maintenance through programs such as "Clean-up NOLA" and other initiatives. The motion additionally directs the City to coordinate a plan amongst City agencies to remove this blight in a systematic way.
The motion was inspired by work done by citizen activists, including and especially Mr. Michael Burnside, a Central City resident responsible for cataloging many of these abandoned kiosks.
See some examples of payphone blight here:
Next, the full Council will consider the motion for final passage.
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno