August 01, 2017
By Michael Andersen, PlacesForBikes staff writer
Unlike urban freeways, which have the sometimes deliberate effect of separating neighborhoods from one another, New Orleans is finding that an off-street path seems to be doing the opposite.
The city's Lafitte Greenway, a converted railway that opened just north of downtown in 2015, has become a common road for people of many backgrounds, CityLab reported Tuesday.
Today the Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile walking and biking trail connecting six diverse neighborhoods in the heart of New Orleans, from the French Quarter, where tourists congregate on Bourbon Street, to the city's bayous, where locals chill and host crawfish boils during the spring. Along the way, the greenway passes through the upper-middle-class streets of Mid-City, past a neighborhood made up of Section 8 public housing, past the historically African American music-drenched neighborhood Tremé, and finally, into the French Quarter.
It's that connectivity across socioeconomic lines that greenway supporters say helps Lafitte stand out from other bike paths around the country. Indeed, on any given day along the greenway, you can see hipsters on expensive fixed-gear bikes zoom past young musicians carrying instrument cases on their way to gigs in the Quarter. While in other cities some principal bike paths are geographically confined to well-off neighborhoods, in New Orleans the path runs through them all.
Source: People for Bikes