Councilwoman comes out against parts of French Quarter plan

Finds a lot of good in Civic Spine Plan, but constituency is not in favor of pedestrian-only streets
Photo credit NOLA.gov

Kristin Gisleson Palmer, who’s District-C encompasses the French Quarter and Algiers, has dropped her support of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s pedestrian plan for the French Quarter and the Civic Spine, a pedestrian right of way linking the Lafitte Greenway and the Mississippi River. 

In a statement letter, Palmer says that due to continued input and research, I cannot support the Orleans Civic Spine project and have requested its removal from consideration of the French Quarter Pedestrianization Plan. While I support a safe connection between the Lafitte Greenway and the River, I do not think this is best accomplished on a residential street.

Palmer says she has held countless meeting with stakeholders and residential and business associations in the French Quarter.  This includes a number of Zoom meetings with upwards of 300 participants. 

While she is no longer backing the initial spine project, she believes a lot of what is contained in the project could serve to do well around the Quarter. 

“There are many aspects of the administration's initial proposal I welcome, including reducing the speed limit of interior streets to 15 mph, traffic calming measures on North Rampart to improve the connection between the Quarter and Armstrong Park, and the proposed one-block street closure around French Market,” Palmer writes in her statement. 

“However, after studying the plans and hearing from residents and businesses owners, I think there are outstanding concerns around the maintenance of existing infrastructure and regulation of existing pedestrian malls that will need to be addressed for the community to feel confident that further efforts will work and be a benefit to the neighborhood and businesses,” her statement continues.   

Palmer continues to point out the points of the plan that she supports:  “I am encouraged by the fact that the administration has dedicated $2 million in sidewalk repairs and hope that additional funding can be secured at the state level for similar projects.”