ALGIERS, La. (WGNO) – Some changes may be coming to Algiers that would affect cyclists and drivers.
The bikes lanes, one on MacArthur Blvd. and the other on Newton Street, prove to be a point of contention in Algiers. Some people like them; some people don’t, and soon, they may be part of the past.
According to New Orleans City Councilman Freddie King, once he took office, he was approached by many in Algiers who believe the protected bike lanes along MacArthur Blvd. and Newton St. were more of a disruption.
“There was outcry, saying that we simply weren’t heard,” District C Councilman Freddie King III said. “We weren’t given an opportunity for our voices to be heard and to have a part of the design.”
King authored an ordinance that would revert the two streets to their original layouts.
King says that would mean an unprotected bike lane on Macarthur Blvd. and no bike lane on Newton St.
Some, however, say they like the bike lanes for safety reasons.
So many people want to feel part of regular society, so they may ride their bikes in the street, and that could be very dangerous,” said bike lane supporter Miranda Williams.
King says he’s not against some form of a protected bike lane.
“One idea that everyone seems to like is putting the bike lanes on the neutral ground on MacArthur,” King explained. “A lot of people say that’s a great idea. Maybe had we been asked about this in the beginning, we wouldn’t be at this point.”
The District C councilman says his main priority is ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table.
“Moving forward, there will definitely be a process where neighbors will be heard, and those who are supportive of the protective bike lanes will be heard,” King said.
According to the city’s website, the Office of Transportation hosted a series of public input meetings in 2019 and 2020 regarding their Moving New Orleans Bikes initiative.
The council will vote on the ordinance during Thursday’s regular meeting.