St. Claude Avenue Bike Lanes, New Orleans, LA
When Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans in 2005, it flooded 80% of the city. The floodwaters lingered for weeks, destroying the roads underneath. After the water receded, the Louisiana Department of Transportation set out to repave the streets. A local planning engineer took advantage of the opportunity to rebuild and convinced the city to include bike lanes on the new streets. The request was met, and New Orleans got its first bike lane on St. Claude Avenue.
St. Claude Avenue connects four neighborhoods within Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, running through the Lower Ninth Ward—the part of the city hurting most from Katrina. After the bike lane was installed, bicycling increased 57% and more than doubled among women. Because car ownership is too expensive for many Lower 9th Ward residents (1/3 of households earn less than $15,000), safe bicycling facilities are especially important. They can also draw people back to hard-hit areas, one of the goals of the city, which also has plans to build 50 miles of bike lanes within the next five years.
• 3 miles long
• Opened May 2008
• 140 riders/day
• City population: 337,000
• 1 in 3 nearby households earn <$15,000, making car ownership difficult
• 2/3 of Louisiana adults are overweight or obese
• Bicycling increased 57% after lanes were built
• Number of people biking in correct direction increased by 75%
• Bike lanes cost $93,000
• 80% of total was funded through STP
View and download a PDF of the project.