WHAT IS CONNECT THE CRESCENT?
Connect The Crescent is a demonstration of a continuous, protected network consisting of enhanced crosswalks, improvements to transit, and protected bikeways which featured barriers separating people biking from automobile traffic on routes leading to and through New Orleans’ French Quarter and Central Business District.
This 3-month demonstration, which ended in mid-December, served as an opportunity to start a community discussion. Connect the Crescent was experienced by thousands of bikers, drivers, and pedestrians, and we have been working over the course of the demonstration to get feedback from residents and businesses about their experience with the project. While we will continue to gather feedback until the end of January, so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive! Stay tuned for a report with detailed findings of the demonstrations successes and lessons learned to be released at the end of January.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Connect the Crescent?
Connect the Crescent is a 3-month “pop-up” demonstration that will engage the community in a conversation around how our streets can be transformed safely, inexpensively and equitably for everyone in our city. It showcases a connected network of low-stress bikeways, pedestrian safety measures, and improved transit-stop access in the downtown area.
How can I get involved?
Sign up to volunteer and learn about upcoming events you can participate in!
Who is doing this project?
The New Orleans community -- the entire project was built by more than 200 local volunteers with a total of over 1000 volunteer hours! Bike Easy and a broad coalition of partners worked with the City of New Orleans to plan and guide implementation of these temporary street redesigns. The Connect the Crescent Steering Committee includes 16 organizations and businesses, and the project is made possible by many donors, sponsors, partners, and supporters. The work is being coordinated with support from the City of New Orleans through its Office of Resilience and Sustainability and related departments. See the full list of fans and sign up in support on the Support page.
Why focus on downtown?
With a focus on equity, Bike Easy, working with its partners and the City of New Orleans, identified the downtown area as the focus area in order to improve job access for residents. Over 71,000 jobs are in downtown and the French Quarter, almost 40% of total jobs in the city. Over 50% of those jobs earn less than $40,000 a year. Access to the jobs and services in this area is critical to continuing to attract workforce, employers and visitors. The City of New Orleans through its participation in the People for Bikes Big Jump Project has committed to creating safer biking connections in this critical area that connects to all direction: Uptown, Central City, Mid-City, downriver, Algiers and beyond.
How were routes chosen?
Bike Easy and the City hosted two design charrettes in early 2018 to engage community members to identify route ideas and options. The Connect the Crescent steering committee then selected a large-scale option that would allow residents to try a complete network. The Department of Public Works developed detailed designs that met local and national safety standards and within the limitations of using temporary materials. The temporary “pop-up” nature allowed the community at large to evaluate the design through experience, as walkers, cyclists and drivers, and provide feedback on the performance.
Who is paying for Connect the Crescent?
Connect the Crescent is fully funded by grants and sponsorships, including support from Wend Ventures, AARP, People for Bikes, Cities of Service, Dero, the American Heart Association, University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Programs, Asakura Robinson, Basin Street Station, District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer / Harrah's Community Grant, the Downtown Development District, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Traffic Solutions, American Public Works Association - GNO Chapter, AECOM, HNTB, Command Construction, and Pavement Markings.
Where do I give feedback and share my thoughts?
This is a community engagement project, and we definitely want to hear from you. Bike Easy and partners have begun surveying local residents and businesses in and around downtown. Once the network opens September 15th, an online survey will be available and you can leave any and all of your thoughts on the specific street designs and project overall here at www.connectthecrescent.com.
Alright, who do I complain to?
While we’re very excited about the potential of this demonstration, it’s also a community conversation that needs lots of community feedback. You can share your feedback at www.connectthecrescent.com/contact and it will get to all of the participating decision-makers. If you want to reach the City of New Orleans directly, please email email@example.com and someone will follow-up with you within five (5) business days. .
Why are you doing Connect the Crescent?
This pop-up demonstration project was designed to foster community engagement and discussion. Residents, workers and all community members will have an opportunity to engage about street design and participate in the process of reimagining the whole idea of mobility in New Orleans. There will be surveys and feedback activities, an interactive website, family-friendly events to experience the bikeway network, traffic studies, and more!
This ultimate goals of the project are to further health equity, increase job access, improve roadway safety, stimulate economic benefits, support environmental sustainability and resilience, and contribute to a high quality-of-life in New Orleans. Stay tuned for a report that outlines how we we were able to track successes in some of these goals and what lessons we learned along the way.
Who really benefits from Connect the Crescent?
Everyone! Improving the transportation options, particularly in the densest, most congested part of the city, means people can more easily and safely access their places of work, residence, shopping, and other services. More people walking, biking and taking transit relieves pressure and cost of having to drive and park which results in more foot traffic for businesses. Reliable non-automobile options are a necessity for many employees and preferred by others. Creating calmer and better organized streets, means drivers also feel safer by reducing concerns of bicyclists weaving between traffic.
What happens next?
All streets have been returned to their original configuration. The evaluation results will be shared publicly and the City of New Orleans will use those results to determine routes and facilities for permanent installation using existing bond funds dedicated for its Complete Streets program.
Connect The Crescent - Steering Committee
Downtown Development District
Friends of Lafitte Greenway
Greater New Orleans Foundation
UNO Transportation Institute
Ride New Orleans
Music & Culture Coalition of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
GNO Housing Alliance
NO Regional Planning Commission
Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs