It used to be that New Orleans was notoriously bad for bicyclists…when I lived and visited there in the late 80s and early 90s, riding a bike was an exercise in danger and frustration…badly-maintained streets, no bicycle infrastructure to speak of, zany motorists and pedestrians everywhere. Oh, and don’t discount the “alcohol factor”…lots of folks on foot and behind the wheel soaking up NOLA’s legendary cocktails.
It seems the city has turned the corner, so to speak, with an influx of new bike lanes and lockup points and transportation/urban planners who are eager to make New Orleans much more friendly to those on two wheels. Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has quadrupled the amount of bike lanes and bike-friendly routes — that’s pretty huge! One of the masterminds behind this cycling “reawakening” is The Urban Conservancy’s 2011 Urban Hero, Jennifer Ruley. There’s a great article in the online edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune about Ms. Ruley and her efforts to make the city safer for cyclists.
Another article that popped up in the newsfeeds recently is an editorial by Alex Gecan that appeared on the MyNewOrleans.com site. Gecan takes a humorous look at the many positives (and a couple of negatives) of negotiating the city via bicycle. Take a look at the editorial by clicking here.
Finally, if you follow some of the other sites on our blogroll, you may know that one half of the dynamic duo behind Bike Skirt now makes her home in New Orleans. Elisa’s got a lot of good things to say about the city…bike-friendly events and the joy of getting around NOLA on a bike. Pay those ladies a visit and catch up if you haven’t lately!