Introduction

The City of New Orleans owns most of a 3.1-mile linear right-of-way along a former shipping canal and railway that once connected the historic French Quarter to Bayou St. John. The right-of-way is unique in that it traverses a cross-section of the City that captures its two hundred year settlement pattern, ranging from the colonial-era settlement of the Vieux Carre to the mid-twentieth-century suburban neighborhood of Lakeview. It has long been the objective of the City and community to convert this special right-of-way into a greenway, comprised of publicly accessible open space, recreation areas, and other amenities. The project is now one of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s “Committed Projects.” At the heart of the greenway a bicycle and pedestrian trail is desired that would facilitate travel among diverse, adjacent neighborhoods.

Following Hurricane Katrina, development of the Lafitte Greenway re-emerged as a City priority. In early 2007, the District 4 portion of the Unified New Orleans Plan listed the project as having high recovery value. In August 2007, the New Orleans City Council passed a resolution dedicating the remaining publicly-owned land within the Lafitte Greenway Corridor "for the purpose of establishing a continuous public open space amenity or Greenway." In addition, the Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee (LGSAC) was created by the New Orleans City Council in 2007 to advise and counsel the City Council on matters relating to the planning and implementation of the Lafitte Greenway and includes members appointed by the Mayor, each At-Large Council member, Council members representing Districts A, B, and C, and the Friends of Lafitte Corridor (FOLC).

This project will build upon past and current planning efforts and provide the detailed information needed to bring the greenway and trail to life, while revitalizing the surrounding corridor. This project is primarily funded by Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant (DCDBG) money approved through the State of Louisiana's Long Term Community Recovery program.

Definitions

  • The Lafitte Greenway is defined as a 3.1-mile long strip of land bounded by Basin Street, Lafitte Avenue, N. Jefferson Davis Parkway, and St. Louis Street and including the entire St. Louis Street right-of-way between N. Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Boulevard.
  • The Lafitte Greenway Corridor is the Lafitte Greenway and neighborhoods located within approximately one-quarter mile distance of the Lafitte Greenway.
  • The Lafitte Greenway Park is approximately 16.5 acres within the Lafitte Greenway Corridor (former Louisiana Institute for Film Technology property) bounded by St. Louis Street, N. Claiborne Avenue, Lafitte Avenue, the Lemann Pool, the Housing Authority of New Orleans Sojourner Truth Community Center, and N. Dorgenois Street.

 

Key Outcomes of the Process

Click the bars below to read details for each item.

Corridor Revitalization Plan

The Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan will be a document that will address and provide specific recommendations for land use, zoning, urban design, social equity, sustainability, public-private partnerships, capital investments, private market forces, economic development, infrastructure, parks and recreation, and transportation. Specifically, this plan will: 

  • Identify the demand and potential use of the greenway. Develop a profile of potential trail users from data obtained from the Community Workshop, a review of demographic/socioeconomic data, and the previously distributed community questionnaire;
  • Determine the compatibility of residential, industrial, and commercial land uses within the Lafitte Corridor with the greenway and trail. Identify strategies to improve the compatibility of existing businesses and other uses;
  • Verify City Planning Commission's land use inventory for the Lafitte Corridor.  This inventory includes existing uses by parcel;
  • Determine character analysis of Lafitte Corridor that may inform place-making concepts and possible design requirements;
  • Quantify spin-off benefits of the Lafitte Greenway on surrounding neighborhoods;
  • Identify appropriate development typologies and land uses; 
  • Analyze existing zoning parameters and in-progress zoning update. Develop zoning recommendations for inclusion in zoning update and future revisions;
  • Develop cross sectional diagrams that demonstrate the urban design of structures and public spaces such as streets and parks that interface with the greenway; 
  • Develop urban design guidelines that will create an aesthetically pleasing and safe environment
  • Determine locations of strategic importance due to the confluence of economic, social, transportation, cultural and/or other factors;
  • Identify key redevelopment sites in public or private ownership that have the potential to act as an economic development catalyst for the corridor.  Develop strategies for encouraging their redevelopment;
  • Meet with developers working in the Corridor and others with significant land holdings or interests;
  • Identify main transportation connections from the corridor to the greenway, including transit and other bicycle and pedestrian routes; 
  • Develop way-finding signage program for the greenway and trail;
  • Develop compatible future use scenarios for existing City facilities within the boundaries of the Lafitte Greenway; and
  • Develop an implementation strategy that includes a detailed action plan, timeline, phasing strategy and that identifies possible funding sources.

Design and Construction Documents for the Greenway

Conceptual/schematic plans, preliminary design plans, final design plans, specifications, and bid documents will be developed for the Lafitte Greenway that can be achieved within the project's construction budget. Specifically, these design documents will include:

  • Final construction plans,
  • Specifications,
  • Bid documents, and
  • Construction cost estimates.

Greenway Park Master Plan

The Greenway Park Master Plan will include a baseline level of improvements and a long-term, phased development strategy consistent with the overall Lafitte Greenway for the development of the Greenway Park. Specifically, this plan will: 

  • Ensure that the Greenway Park Master Plan incorporates and responds to community input;
  • Include the identified preferred alternative for the Lafitte Greenway as the baseline level of improvements to the Greenway Park site; 
  • Develop a park program that identifies compatible and appropriate uses for the Greenway Park, supports and enhances the Greenway, and is congruent with the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan;
  • Evaluate the ability of the Greenway Park to absorb any of the land uses recommended in the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan;
  • Evaluate the compatibility of the Greenway and Trail Design through the Greenway Park;
  • Develop a signage program for the Greenway Park preferred alternative that is compatible with the Lafitte Greenway;
  • Develop a park maintenance plan for the preferred alternative;
  • Develop an implementation strategy for the preferred alternative that includes a detailed action plan, estimated costs, timeline, phasing strategy and that identifies possible funding sources;
  • Identify agencies, organizations and other groups that will play key roles in implementing the Greenway Park Master Plan and identify their specific responsibilities;
  • Provide an assessment of potential revenues that could be generated from the Greenway Park; and
  • Develop a coordinated public and private investment strategy for implementing the long-range vision of the Greenway Park Master Plan.

Lafitte Greenway Management Structure Report

The Management Structure Report will analyze and provide recommendations for on-going maintenance funding, financial sustainability, appropriate cost recovery, alternative funding sources and partnership potential. Specifically, this plan will: 

  • Describe future management and maintenance needs for the project's determined amenities, facilities and design components;  
  • Determine on-going maintenance required for the Lafitte Greenway;
  • Estimate annual maintenance costs;
  • Develop a major maintenance / repair schedule with cost estimates;
  • Determine preferred management structure for operating and maintaining the park, trail, and greenway; and
  • Develop strategies to ensure Lafitte Greenway's financial sustainability.