Change in board membership

At the recent General Meeting the following new board members for the 2008-10 term were elected:

*Pax Bobrow
*Tilman Hardy
*Alice-Anne Krishnan
*Gary Smith
*Betsy Weymann

Annette Bak, Earl Hamilton, Cindy Morse, and John Schackai will be leaving the board. We thank them for their service.

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General meeting/special districts

The spring general meeting was held tonight at St. Andrews. Our new City Inspector General, Robert Cerasoli, made an enjoyable presentation about how he came to be here and the enormous task his office faces in plumbing the depths of the inner workings of our city government. His first task is to measure the beast, something that perhaps has never been done. So far he has uncovered the existance of 142 quasi-governmental boards and commissions that spend our money and potentially saddle us with debts for years to come. (Ever heard of the “Planetarium Commission”? Me neither. ) It should be an interesting ride.

Of more immediate concern: The proposed Carrollton/Riverbend Security District and the proposed Pensiontown Improvement District. Senator Gray has made a pre-filing of bills designed to establish each. The details are subject to change up until late May when the legislature is scheduled to adjourn.

Here is a link to a copy of each bill, as it reads today: CRNA Security District Pensiontown Improvement District

Oh, the details…

There was much confusion by the end of the meeting regarding a host of issues:

  • There are 3 possible types of districts: Security, Improvement and Development, with the latter having the widest scope. Which is most desirable or appropriate?
  • The legislation defines two districts, effectively cutting CRNA in half. Is this the best way to go? Is the reason (security districts should be compact) acceptable, or accurate? (What about economies of scale?)
  • The name “Pensiontown”–few had ever heard of it and fewer liked it. It has historical roots, but it might be seen as derrogatory. This seemed to be important to many people.
  • Much confusion about overlapping neighborhood association borders. CRNA, Palmer Park and the Pensiontown borders all overlap. May or may not be a problem, depending on the situation. I wonder, though: If the CRNA Security District is approved, will the boundaries of the CRNA efectively shrink to the area between Carrollton, the river and the parish line? (It extends up to Claiborne, now.)
  • Does a Pensiontown Nhb Assoc. really exist, officially? No one seemed sure. Does it matter?
  • These are just a few of the general issues that came up tonight. There are more specific questions about the mechanics of the districts, such as:

  • What kinds of properties get assessed (just residential, or commercial, too? Vacant lots?)
  • How multi-tenant buildings get assessed.
  • What happens if property owners refuse to pay?
  • What do you think? What are your questions? Answers? Opinions?

    Leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going.

    There will be another public meeting soon, place and time to be announced.

    City recycling survey

    The City says it wants to know if citizens want recycling. They published a survey in the paper sometime last week. See it? Probably not. Click this link to download a copy to print out and mail in.

    recycling survey

    Yes, mail it in. (Like they really want to make it hard for you to give your opinion.) Maybe you could stuff your and your neighbors’ in a single envelope.

    They claim to have a way to take the survey on the city’s website but I could not find it. You might also try to call 311 to express your opinion. Not sure that works, though. Aparently it does–see comments.

    Carrollton Courthouse area 1883



    Carrollton Courthouse area map

    Originally uploaded by nola-shiva.

    The source is Robinson’s Atlas of the City of New Orleans, 1883.
    Note that the streetcar station was at the river and St. Charles. The tracks did not extend up Carrollton at this time. Note also the market on Dublin north of Hampson. Look also for a couple of wells, a livery station and a sawmill on the map.

    New Orleans Street Railway Association

    Yes, there is one and it is a nonprofit educational organization.

    The website features some photos of streetcars on Carrollton Ave and Willow Street in 1901. I am struck by the very nice shelters that they had along the route back then.

    The “Hot Sheet”

    We have a new version of the 2nd District Hot Sheet. You may open a copy using the link below or via the Hot Sheet page on the right hand column of this site.

    The Hot Sheet may be used to report various kinds of troubling activity in the area, including:

      drug dealing
      abandoned houses
      loitering
      abandoned cars
      street lights that don’t work
      and other complaints

    It also has important phone numbers. Although the form asks for your personal information (name, address) you may elect to submit it anonymously if you wish.

    Hot-Sheet
    Click the link for a copy of the Hot Sheet that you may print out. Press the “back” button to return here.

    February crime maps

    The latest map from the city website for the entire 2nd District:

    2nd-district-crime-feb08.jpg

    And a closer view of our area (a 1-mile radius around Cambronne and Jeanette, where the little house image is shown):

    mapcrimefeb08.jpg

    mapkey.jpg

    Earhart improvements

    The readers of this blog should find the following open letter from the president of the NW Carrollton Associaiton to be of interest. It affects all of us who travel the Carrollton and Earhart corridors. Click here for a link to the source.

    ——-

    Urban Conservancy, City Council, Senator Grey:

    NorthWest Carrolltion would like to talk with someone in your organization regarding work that will soon begin on Earhart.

    Wednesday February 20th, Robert Mendoza came to our neighborhood meeting and gave us the low down on the Earhart “repairs”. While we are glad to see these much needed repairs move forward we were not happy with what we heard regarding the plan.

    Currently Earhart is 3 lanes (each way for a total of 6) in Jefferson Parish and then merges to 2 (each way for a total of 4) as it enters Orleans at the overpass. The “repairs” will cause Earhart to be 3 lanes in Jefferson Parish, drop to 2 at the overpass, EXPAND to 3 at the base of the overpass in Orleans, grow a total of 5 lanes (8 lanes both ways!) at Carrollton & Earhart and then drop back to 2 on the Orleans side of Carrollton. Nothing in anything we have read regarding Earhart improvements mentioned increasing the number of lanes. What we naively assumed was that the street would be repaired and proper curbs and sidewalks installed.

    While we can appreciate that modifications may be necessary to help traffic flow at Carrollton and Earhart and we completely support a marked and dedicated turning right turning lane (to the river) at Carrollton, we are concerned about the total lost of green space in the center of this intersection to allow for 2 turning lanes onto Carrollton toward the lake. We are also disappointed that NO effort has been made to provide a marked and dedicated turning lane off of Carrollton and onto Earhart toward Jefferson Parish. Anyone who has used this intersection knows that this is a traffic issue in the evenings.

    In the process of creating the plan for Earhart there has been no discussion of bike racks and very little thought given to green space and tree cover. There is a requirement to put in sidewalks and ADA crosswalks because of the associated federal dollars. But we see very little in the plan that looks at the whole picture or the long haul. Will people really use the sidewalks if they are right on top of the 3 lane “highway”? This is one of the last opportunities that we will have to improve Earhart for a long time. With all the planning that has been done in the city of New Orleans it would be nice to see some broader thinking. Many of the planning sessions that New Orleanians participated in discussed a need for better integrated streets, sidewalks and bikepaths, some of them specifically referred to Earhart.

    Why are we making what should be an “Urban Corridor” into a 6 lane highway? 8 lanes at Carrollton Avenue?

    Does anyone remember that Earhart was part of the horrible idea of a Vieux Carre INTERSTATE?

    What sense does it make to have Earhart be come 3 lanes on each side only to drop to 2 (on each side) as it crosses Carrollton?

    What sense does it make to have the overpass at the Jefferson/Orleans line drop to 2 lanes only to widen to 3 lanes in Orleans Parish. Won’t this only encourage speeding on what should be an Urban Corridor and partially residential street? Once traffic is slowed down from the 3 lane Jefferson part of Earhart by the overpass and narrows to 2 lanes in Orleans WHY allow it to spread out and speed up again?

    We hope that there are opportunities to tweak the plan to provide for more green space and to reassure residential and business owners that the intent is not to create a Veterans highway like environment in New Orleans. We CHOOSE to live in New Orleans and it is the character of New Orleans streets that we wish to retain. Please see that attached article written by a graduate student at UNO.

    We look forward to hearing from you regarding the concerns expressed by the neighbors of NorthWest Carrollton.

    Jenel Hazlett – President, NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association