Charged with finding the latest way to make locals bitch and complain, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has shut down the busy intersection at Canal Street and City Park Avenue for four months while it extends the Canal streetcar line, laughs maniacally, and twirls the tips of any mustaches nearby as major traffic and transit detours pile up.
The project, which requires breaking up portions of the roadway along Canal Street, Canal Boulevard, and City Park Avenue, has baffled the officials in charge.
According to the latest reports, the now-shattered streets with countless chunks of concrete throughout are now reportedly smoother than 98% of the city’s roads and need no other repair or work.
“In New Orleans, this is an award-winning, immaculate street,” said Mark Hughes, Director of the Regional Transit Authority. “This street is smoother than almost all the others across the city. It’s crazy how all the pieces fell together like a dang Tetris game and there’s not a single ‘pothole.’ The best thing is, since we no longer have to do work on repairing these streets, we may actually be able to finish the project closer to the estimated timeframe of four months, in, say, eight months.”
The RTA plans to build a new streetcar shelter for the homeless in the existing bus turnaround on the Canal Boulevard neutral ground and, behind that, bus shelters for panhandlers in a new turnaround that will also cut through the neutral ground. New red light and speed camera will also be added at points along the intersection to beef up traffic safety and the city’s coffers.
Aside from extending the streetcar line, the RTA said that the plan also includes adding an unusually large bike lane that will really piss drivers off.
“We needed to get people talking again and on the public’s mind,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu spokesman Barry Goubler, noting the upcoming end of the mayor’s final term as he positions himself for the 2020 presidential race by demanding the spotlight. “Nothing gets people talking like inconvenience or change.”
To help navigate around closures, RTA has provided a detailed primer for bus, streetcar, vehicular traffic, bicycle and pedestrian detours in the Canal Boulevard-City Park Avenue vicinity. Click here to find detours that best suit your travels.