Archive for charlie london

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade Could Get Love in Triangles if Machines Scaled Down

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2017 by katrinafilm

photos courtesy Google Street View

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

 

Bike Share Update – Transportation Committee 2.22.17

 

Recently, Robert Thompson, a long time Faubourg St. John resident, highlighted the new Bike Share program promoted by the City of New Orleans. You can read more about Robert’s concerns and the proposed plan in the link below:

http://fsjna.org/2017/02/pedal-power-advocate-raises-concerns-commericial-bicycle-rentals-parks/
Robert’s concern, one shared by many neighbors, is the possible placement of long bicycle vending machines in or around neighborhood parks. I began to think about where I would put bicycle vending machines on Esplanade if I wanted to maximize use and profit potential. It certainly would not be in parks.

What about placing smaller units in areas that do not take up any existing vehicle parking or use neighborhood park land? Many of Faubourg St. John’s parks are maintained by Faubourg St. John neighbors.

Commercial bicycle vending machines in commercial areas would get more exposure and therefore use. Since the vendor operator has refused to meet with Robert and other concerned neighbors, it gives more credence to Robert’s concern that the goal may be to place large vending machines in neighborhood parks.

Scaling down the size of the machines to fit on the following City-owned properties could get more support from neighbors:

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

The triangle of land on the corner of Esplanade and Ponce de Leon is City-owned land.

This triangle of City-owned land would be perfect for a small bicycle vending machine. It’s next to the popular Cafe Degas and just steps from some of Faubourg St. John’s most frequented businesses. However, placing a bicycle vending machine here would take more thought and planning as the area has been landscaped by Cafe Degas and it is unlikely neighbors would want that disturbed. Click on the photo for a closer look at the City-owned land next to Cafe Degas.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

The triangle of land on Esplanade at Grand Route St. John is City-owned land.

This triangle of City-owned land at the corner of Esplanade and Grand Route Saint John is currently used as a bus stop. Bicycle vending machines located here would be an “impulse buy” and very convenient for those who may have been considering taking the bus but don’t want to wait for it to arrive. Click on the photo for a closer look at the bus stop shaded by a large oak tree.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

This lot at the intersection of LePage and Esplanade is City-owned land.

I suggested earlier that the vendor may want to consider smaller vending machines for areas along Esplanade. Here is a swath of City-owned land that could accommodate a larger bicycle vending machine. Click on the photo for a closer look at the area on Esplanade that could accommodate a larger bicycle vending machine.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

This triangle of City-owned land is across the street from a school and next to a coffee shop.

What better place for a bicycle vending machine than next to a coffee shop and across from a school? This area on Esplanade at Desoto is perfectly suited for this purpose.
Click on the photo for a closer look at the area by CC’s Coffee that could be used for a bicycle vending machine.

 

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

Area at the corner of Broad and Esplanade.

This location is in the middle of an area surrounded by successful businesses frequented by many patrons. A bicycle vending machine located here would have the potential for much use. Click on the photo for a closer look at the area on Esplanade at Broad.

This has been an opinion piece by Charlie London

Update March 5, 2017:
Robert Thompson suggested that the area on Esplanade next to the Rent-a-Center on Broad would be a viable alternative to placing a bicycle vending machine in a park
Click on the photo for a closer look:

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

UPDATE:
The placement of bike sharing machines will be discussed at the neighborhood association meeting this Tuesday, March 7th.

The meeting will be held in the Black Gold room at the Fair Grounds at 6:30 pm
The Fair Ground is located at 1751 Gentilly Blvd in New Orleans.
The Black Gold room is at the rear of the facility.

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The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced it will extend the preview of the City’s bike share program through March 31. 
 
During the extended preview, residents and visitors can sign-up and use one of the 35 bicycles to ride between seven temporary stations setup in Iberville, Downtown and Central City. Two additional bicycle racks will be available to end a ride or find a bike. 
 
“Bike share is the City’s newest and most convenient form of public transportation,” said Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, City Council Transportation and Airport Committee Chairperson. “It’s a network of bicycles and automated kiosks that allows users to arrange public transportation on their schedule. I am pleased that the City is extending the bike share preview to allow more users the opportunity to experience and embrace this service.”
 
During the extended preview period, riders can pay $15 to enjoy a 60 minute trip every day through March 31. The hourly rate is $8 per hour, pro-rated by the minute. Sign up using either the website https://nola.socialbicycles.com/ or by downloading the Social Bicycles app for iPhones and Android phones. There will also be greeters at various stations to help people signup and get started biking.
 
To allow more residents to participate in the preview, two bike stations will be relocated on March 1. Find a bike at anyone of the listed preview stations:
  • Basin Street & Bienville Street (near Magnolia Yoga Studio)
  • 501 Loyola Ave. (Near Hyatt)
  • Lafayette Square at Magazine Street
  • Decatur Street & Bienville Street (Through Feb. 28)
  • Baronne Street & Common Street (Near the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel)
  • Decatur Street & Barracks Street (near U.S. Mint through Feb. 28)
  • Magazine Street & Erato Street (Beginning March 1)
  • Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard & Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Beginning March 1)
  • 1000 Tchoupitoulas St. (near Cochon Restaurant)
  • 219 Loyola Ave. (Library Main Branch – existing bike racks)
  • Polymnia Street & St. Charles Avenue (near Avenue Pub – existing bike racks)
 
The full program, launching this fall, will consist of 70 stations with 700 bicycles and a guaranteed minimum future expansion of 90 stations with 900 bicycles. 100 percent of the bike share program will be privately financed through sponsorships, advertisements, and rental fees.
 
The fees for bike rental are:
  • Monthly Pass: $15 for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter).You can take as many trips as desired that all together add up to 60 minutes. For example, a 15-minute ride to work in the morning, a 5-minute ride for lunch; a 30 minute ride home with a quick stop to pick up some food totals 50 minutes for the day
  • Low-Income Pass: $1.67 per month ($20 per year) for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter)
  • Pay-as-you-go: $8 per hour of riding (pro-rated)
 
New Orleans has been growing rapidly as a bicycling city. The city was recognized as a bicycle friendly community in the Fall of 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists.
Last month, New Orleans was selected by People for Bikes as one of ten cities to participate in their Big Jump Project to reimage bicycle infrastructure.
For more information, please visit
http://www.peopleforbikes.org/placesforbikes/landing/the-big-jump-project
 
For additional information on the preview and the full program, please visit http://www.nola.gov/bikeshare

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March 7, 2017 statement from Dwight Norton:

In advance of tonight’s neighborhood association meeting, I wanted to provide a written response to some of the information/inquiries that have been raised thus far by those included here and I hope you will share with all other neighbors as well. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss further and address any and all concerns. I have also attached the status update presentation I gave to the City Council transportation committee for reference and will add this and additional materials to the website: http://www.nola.gov/bike-share/

First of all as an introduction, I am the City’s point person and project manager for bike share implementation as one of my jobs in improving transportation more holistically and efficiently for a more resilient and equitable city. Through a very open and public selection process last summer (link), the City awarded a 5-year exclusive use agreement to the best proposal, led by Social Bicycles, Inc. (SoBi) for 700 bicycles and 70 stations in phase 1.

1. Station selection process has only just begun and will be a public process. Many concerns have been voiced about the determination of the station locations. This process has always and continues to be an open one, designed for public participation. The oft referenced feasibility study was conducted in 2014 and merely serves as a reference point for our current efforts. It in no way is deterministic on station locations and furthermore was never intended as such. The maps are labelled as “conceptual” and do in fact have an unfortunately obscure disclaimer “Note: Station locations are roughly assigned to illustrate optimal station spacing…” The process for station location identification, which will be further discussed tonight, is as follows:
· January – April: introductions at neighborhood association meetings (I have completed 14 to date)
· March: potential candidate sites being developed by SoBi/City based on best practices and stated City goals (see #4)
· March 27 – April 11: Public workshops with maps for station siting recommendations/feedback
o Bayou St John/Mid City workshop is tentatively scheduled for April 3 at 630p
· April/May: online voting for station locations
· June: draft map of 70 stations incorporating public input
· August: final map
· October: launch

2. No paving any public parks, particularly small neighborhood ones. There is no budget or intent to pave over any green space for bike share stations. Despite the suggestion, the only possible exception would be in the case where there is a significant destination, connection transit or other protected bike infrastructure, technical problems with on-street alternatives, and strong community support. As an example, the very large neutral ground of Jeff Davis and Canal has a separated bike path, streetcar, active commercial and street flooding at the curb. Parks that will be considered would require other sounding destinations and excess paved area. An example is the large paved area off to the side of the entrance of Armstrong Park, set well back from the sidewalk, and across the street from a streetcar stop. Mr. London’s article recommending paved space adjacent to commercial nodes along Esplanade is exactly in line with best practices and our placement thinking: connect to local destinations: where would you as residents want a station to make it useful. This will be validated/refined at our aforementioned workshops.

3. Station size will be right-sized to meet demand and are more efficient use of public space. While stations have been referenced as “vending machines”, transit stations is a more appropriate analogy – they take up some public space and are gateways for accessing the system, including transaction. Most stations will not have a dedicated kiosk – our agreement with SoBi only includes 10 which will be strategically placed in areas with lots of pedestrian activity. There will be either a small or large panel based on residential or commercial nature of the area with wayfinding information and, in the case of large panels only, limited advertising – analogous to a bus station. Regarding the number of racks at a station, again the 2014 Feasibility Study is a reference and in our opinion inappropriate for recommendations on Esplanade. As noted by Mr. London, stations in neighborhoods are typically much smaller than in downtown core and busier commercial areas. The goal will be to anticipate demand and provide sufficient racks so bikes do not end up parked on poles. This may need to be adjust over time as the neighborhood finds the service increasingly desirable. Nearly all sites will be existing paved surface on street or sidewalks where space allows. Private space may be used only where the location is highly desirable and the land is publically available 24/7 (e.g. plaza outside a downtown high rise).

4. Station convenience is essential to a successful, equitable bike share program. The convenience of bike share, and thus is usefulness, is based directly on stations being evenly distributed. You should not have to walk more than 3 or so blocks to get to station. If so, it become far less convenient and people will not use it. When these basics are respected, not only does it prevent limited usage and thus financial insolvency (e.g. Seattle), it also has demonstrated people start driving less. In fact 25-52% less (study link; also click here and here for more information on best practices). Here again we deviate sharply from the 2014 Feasibility Study. Being a few blocks from a station means the stations will 4 to 7 blocks apart. Also remember it is a stated goal that we use bike share as a means to provide convenient, more reliable and cheaper alternatives to access jobs and other opportunities for improving lives. Cutting down on people’s transportation costs and travel time is shown consistently to be one of the biggest enablers of upward mobility (more time to raise kids, go back to school etc.). This clear evidence is what drives our equity goals as applied to transportation. We want to ensure access to bike share service extends as far as possible without compromising usability/sustainability.

5. Designing the system for residents knowing tourists will use it. In major tourist cities the world over, bike share does not compromise benefits to residents. Like any good transit system, if it is designed for residents, tourists will use as well. If it is design for tourists only they will use it. The City will ensure the system is designed for residents through two means: 1) station location process and 2) the pricing plans. For station locations, the previous section discusses how residents will inform that process. On the later, a higher cost $8 per hour plan subsidizes the significantly lower cost $15 per month plan (3 months equals one parking ticket!). There is also a $1.67 per month (or $20 per year) low income plan. In addition, the low income program will allow any residents to participate with or without credit card so that we can ensure the 12.5% unbanked (and 25.5% underbanked) members of our community have every opportunity to participate. And from a purely economic perspective, at $8 per hour, longer bike trips for touring or recreation will still make more sense on a rented or personal bike. In addition, the monthly passes are limited to 60 minutes of pedal time, which is a lot if you just think about it as transportation, but not very much if you plan on sightseeing. Bike share a one-way transportation system meant to get you from station A to station B and the pricing reflects that.

6. For-profit vendor model has historic precedent and is a win-win for residents. There have been several references and concerns that the model the City has chosen represents a commercialization of the city. First and foremost bike share is a transit system. Yes, it will be provided by a private entity, but it’s important to remember the service is still public and works very differently than rental. It is also worth remembering our beloved streetcars were all originally built and operated by private companies and only municipalized once labor costs and automobile adoption made service unable to break even. By using a 100% privately financed model, the vendor assumes financial risk for its performance – this is a great thing. This means all of the incentive for great customer service, excellent maintenance and marketing to attract users all falls on the vendor. Given the city’s limited resources for a major capital investment and ongoing costs, this structure is a great example of true public-private partnership for public benefit.

Thank you and look forward to discussing tonight and beyond,
Dwight

Dwight Norton
Urban Mobility Coordinator
City of New Orleans | Office of Resilience & Sustainability
1300 Perdido Street | New Orleans, LA 701116
Office: 504.658.7677

**********************************************************

Bike Share Update – Transportation Committee 2.22.17

 

Faubourg St. John Discusses Short Term Rentals

Posted in CRIME, Featured, HISTORY, More Great Posts! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2016 by katrinafilm

Lisa Amoss writes, “This is a problem that is rapidly spiraling out of control. While, in our post-Katrina recovery and rebuilding mode, we haven’t been paying attention, our neighborhood (and many others) have been invaded by short-term rentals and they are drastically changing our character and culture. I am NOT talking about neighbors renting out rooms in the homes they occupy, nor about anyone occasionally renting out the entire home they occupy for Jazz Fest while they are out of town. I am talking about developers coming in and buying up multiple houses, then renting them out as a business venture. These are hotels in residential neighborhoods. They are creating parking and noise problems on our residential blocks, and they are helping to drive up housing prices so that young families cannot afford to buy homes here any more. Our neighborhood is becoming increasingly occupied by transients who have no vested interest in keeping this a vibrant, diverse and safe place to live. If your block has not yet experienced this, there are many in FSJ that have. And it’s changing faster than you can imagine. ”

Cynthia Scott writes, “The ‘hotel’ on my block has now graduated to an events rental venue. Last week, for 3 or 4 days running, the space was rented to someone from Tales of the Cocktail for a daily party from early afternoon to 7 pm each day, with a DJ blasting extremely loud hip hop and other music and a constant stream of people being ferried from the CBD to the location via Uber. A week or two earlier the space was rented for the day to a HUUUUUGE (to paraphrase a certain candidate) birthday party which drew people from all over the city, with cars racing up and down our one-way street and parking in people’s driveways. They departed by sundown, so neither of these rentals could be considered a “home rental” by any definition.

SHORT TERM RENTALS

brinkman_j_lgby Emile J. Brinkmann

intlunionI am submitting these comments in connection with the City Planning Commission’s reconsideration of the issue of Short-Term Rentals (STRs) in Orleans Parish, and the City Council’s directive that a proposed zoning ordinance be drafted. As a point of background, I am the retired Chief Economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington and spent years running a research group dedicated to housing and housing finance issues. I have appeared on all of the major network and cable news shows, and have been quoted in newspapers through the US and other countries. Even though I retired and moved back to New Orleans two years ago, I am still the US representative on the executive committee of the International Union of Housing Finance, a 100-year old organization dedicated to housing issues around the world.

strdestructionBased on my background, I cannot think of an action that would be more destructive to the fabric of our neighborhoods and the well-being of our homeowners than the legalization of STRs for the benefit of a few, thereby rewarding those who take advantage of a lack of enforcement to violate existing laws with impunity. In Part One of my comments, I will make three basic points about the negative economic effects on homeowners. In Part Two I will address comments that have been made to the effect that AirBNB, VRBO, and similar operations are like Uber and are merely part of the growth of the so-called sharing economy.

Part One
1) STRs fundamentally upset residential valuations by introducing unsustainable commercial valuations into residential neighborhoods.
We have already seen home prices in historically significant neighborhoods increase at rates far in excess of the local incomes needed to support those prices. A significant portion of those home price increases are due to ability of some of the properties to earn upwards of 20 percent to 25 percent return on investment through illegal renting. This is great news if you already own a home in one of these areas and will be selling soon. Because the Assessor’s Office has no way to separate out house sales for STR usage, this is great news if you are the city collecting residential property taxes based on values inflated by STR commercial use. It is bad news if you are trying to buy or rent in Mid-City, Treme, the Bywater, or other impacted neighborhoods in order to live in the city.

It is terrible news if you are a long-term resident with no intention of moving, but are now faced with an annual property bill driven up by the valuation effects of illegal renting.

The valuation and property tax problem will likely be exacerbated by the idea that the city can mitigate the negative impact of STRs by limiting the number allowed per block face. The owner of the first one on the block makes a killing, and the value of that property goes up. However, the other owners on the block not only have to deal with the disruptions caused by the STRs and the higher property taxes, they are precluded from selling at the higher STR-driven prices because no other STRs will be allowed on their block (assuming for the sake of argument that the city would actively enforce density limitations). Therefore, the idea that the negative impacts of STRs can somehow be ameliorated by reducing the permitted densities can actually make more people worse off from a valuation perspective.

Given the instability of this structure and the lack of equitable treatment in terms of valuation and who is allowed an STR and who is not, I do not believe density limits would survive legal or political challenges, and are therefore not a viable option to prohibition.

Crown Point neighborhood signsThe result is that if you are a New Orleans resident with no intention of selling and moving, you would not only face the prospect of having weekly fraternity parties next door, you get to pay higher property taxes for the privilege. The result is that if you are looking to buy, you risk over-paying and being underwater on your mortgage if something were to happen suddenly to impact negatively the STR business, as will be covered in the next point.

2) Short-term Rentals directly inject the business risk of tourism into residential neighborhoods.
keepneighborsHotel owners and operators are accustomed to the business risks associated with the travel and hospitality industry. These risks are reflected in their operational plans, capital investments, and equity and debt financing costs. They understand that in a recession, travel is disproportionately impacted as businesses cut back on discretionary travel as a first response. They learned in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks that terrorism can interrupt air travel, and that even when flights are restored, companies will impose travel restrictions on key personnel.

In New Orleans and other hurricane-impacted areas, they have learned that even the threat of a storm, with or without a mandatory evacuation, can cause their rooms to empty and disrupt operations for some time. (As a side note, would operators of STRs be required to maintain enforceable hurricane evacuation policies for their guests, or would responsibility for these visitors fall on the city?)

In contrast, the health of the hospitality industry has a more muted impact on the traditional residential housing market in New Orleans. Tourism is only one of the legs of the New Orleans economy, and there are other legs to support the New Orleans jobs market and home prices. STRs, however, directly inject the risk of the tourism market into every neighborhood of the city where they exist. Demand for houses and high prices exist when owners can earn high returns, but what happens in a downturn? What happens when tourism suddenly slows for one of any number of predictable and unpredictable reasons? What happens is what we have seen in other housing markets dominated by investors and speculators. At the first sign of a reversal, they sell with a vengeance, driving down prices and leaving the long-term residents suffering the consequences of rapidly falling prices and “For Sale” signs everywhere. If the properties are leveraged, they can sit for months and years as they work their way through the mortgage foreclosure (and probably bankruptcy) process, further depressing values.

Real estate speculation is a fact of life. Some people win and some people lose. When a strip mall goes bankrupt on Airline Highway, the negative consequences (other than to the property’s owners and lenders) are limited to having one more eyesore around town. When that speculation, however, is driven by STRs and is occurring in some of the city’s most important and historic residential neighborhoods, the negative consequences of a drop in tourism will go right to the hearts of these neighborhoods, and will be much more severe and widespread than any normal downturn.

3) Weekly bachelor parties are more than a nuisance. They represent a real loss of value for the neighbors.
Many of the comments presented to the CPC and the City Council on this issue have dealt with the horror stories of late night parties and the problems that occur when out-of-towners believe that they can freely extend the revels of Bourbon Street to the residential neighborhood where they have rented a house for the weekend. The problems go far beyond loss of sleep, frustration with the inability of an under-staffed NOPD to deal with noise issues, and the absence of a private right of action to move against the owners of the offending properties. They represent a real loss of value to anyone attempting to sell an impacted home to anyone other than an STR operator. (I do not know whether the failure to disclose a nearby nuisance STR in a real estate declaration has been tested in a Louisiana court, but I am fairly certain it would be actionable in other jurisdictions.)

The logical outcome is that once an STR opens on a block, the only informed sales that would not be negatively impacted by the existence of the STR would be those to another STR operator. As already noted, however, such a sale would be prohibited if density limitations were put in place as part of an attempt to make STRs politically palatable.

This points again to the utter fallacy of putting any faith in density limitations. The idea that the CPC and the City Council would not be inundated with requests for exceptions, and that many of those requests would be granted, simply ignores political reality. That assumes, of course that the many illegal operators of STRs would even apply for exemptions to the density limits. The reality is that the city has failed for years to deal with illegal STRs. Based on this history, it is reasonable to expect that any density limits would be ignored or gutted in a few years.

keepneighborhoodsIn conclusion, the adoption of a legal STR framework for residential neighborhoods, particularly for non-owner occupied structures, would have tremendous and largely irreversible negative impacts on the fundamental character of the city for years to come. Ignoring the quality of life issues, the economics alone will lead to a further hollowing out of the city’s full-time residents. Homeowners will see that the rational action is to sell. They would avoid both the higher property taxes and the risk of a speculative bubble bursting with downturn in the tourism industry.

Part Two
AirBNB is not like Uber
It has often been argued that AirBNB and similar operations are nothing more than Uber for houses, that they are simply one part of an irreversible movement toward a shared economy where technology brings together the buyers and sellers of various services. At their best, such arguments are facile and do not stand up to even a modest amount of economic scrutiny. At their worst, they are a bald-faced attempt to direct attention away from what is illegal activity by saying that it is no different from what everyone else is doing in other areas of the economy. In reality, the only similarity between Uber and AirBNB is that both rely heavily on computers and smart phones.

Uber is an example of what the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter described as “creative destruction”. The idea is that in a capitalist system, economic growth occurs when innovators put their money behind new ideas for goods and services. While the creative process is the key for creating new markets and new opportunities, it comes at the cost of destroying old products and services, and the capital invested in delivering those old goods and services.

A prime example is Blockbuster versus Netflix. Blockbuster invested huge sums in brick and mortar stores and an inventory of video tapes, and later DVDs, to fill the shelves in those stores. It had a large complement of employees to man the cash registers and stock those shelves. Along came Netflix with the idea that people could go to their computers, select what titles they wanted to see, and have the DVDs delivered a few days later by the postal carrier. Immediately successful, the service Netflix created began the destruction of the hundreds of millions of dollars Blockbuster had invested in its system. Later, when Netflix switched to streaming content, it effectively destroyed the capital Netflix itself had invested in DVDs and its mail order business.

In Uber’s case, it challenged the existing way of summoning a taxi, as well as introducing a model that matched supply and pricing to peak periods of demand. Uber was challenging the economic model of the taxi business, but, more importantly, it challenged the local regulatory framework for taxis that existed in each of the cities where it sought to operate. Its success has come in exposing and differentiating between those regulations that were necessary for the public’s protection and those regulations that merely existed to protect the status quo. After all, until Uber, the method of summoning a cab outside a hotel had not really changed since the 1800s. This is Schumpeter’s creative destruction process at work.

The key difference between Uber and AirBNB (and similar companies) is that there is nothing fundamentally illegal about the service Uber provides. Paying someone to take you in his or her car from Point A to Point B is not inherently illegal, provided appropriate licensing requirements are met. The only ones harmed by the Uber innovation are those invested in the old ways of doing business.

In contrast, AirBNB and similar services are providing technology platforms that offer services that are fundamentally illegal. The regulations of which AirBNB facilitates the violation are not there to protect capital invested in the hotel industry. Rather AirBNB is facilitating, for a profit, the violation of zoning laws that were enacted to protect individual homeowners from this type of commercial activity. If the only harm was to the established hotels and legal bed and breakfast establishments, it could be argued that AirBNB is just another example of Schumpeter’s creative destruction. However, the true harm and destruction is to the residents of the neighborhoods disrupted by the illegal short-term rentals. The residents of these neighborhoods do not have capital at risk in the hospitality industry like Marriott or Hilton. Rather the capital they have at risk is in homes that they trusted would be protected by zoning laws and the enforcement powers of the city government. It appears that trust was misplaced.

Therefore, AirBNB has nothing to do with Uber or Schumpeter’s growth through creative destruction, but is simply a case of making a fast buck at the expense of someone else by facilitating an illegal activity. The closest parallel to AirBNB is not Uber, but hiring prostitutes with Craig’s list.

Sincerely,
Emile J. BrinkmannNO-short-term-rentals

 

 

 

 

An open letter to the Tales of the Cocktail Community regarding the effects of Short Term Rentals in New Orleans

Dear friends,

This open letter is not about AirBnB as such, but about the challenge of supporting your industry and community amidst new paradigms of travel and tourism. When Tales of the Cocktail was founded, we deliberately placed the event in July, one of the most difficult months for our local economy, in an effort to help increase revenue for New Orleans’ many hospitality businesses and employees. The hotels, bars, restaurants and thousands of hospitality workers they employ have been grateful for Tales of the Cocktail, and we want to continue to do right by them. In this spirit, we write to you today to help raise awareness about the effect short term rentals, such as AirBnB, are having on residents, business owners, and event producers, like ourselves.

Bar manager at Erin Rose, and former CAP, Rhiannon Enlil was given a notice of eviction last week, after four years in her apartment because her landlord wants to list the property on AirBnB. This is by no means an isolated incident. There are now over 4,316 AirBnBs operating in New Orleans.

“There are a finite number of homes in this city, and the demand is high for workers and residents who keep the economic engine running. If you allow short-term rentals to eat away at that supply, the appeal to live and work in this city diminishes. All of the visitors who use short-term rentals, who want to eat in our restaurants, listen to our live music, drink in our bars… who will serve them if we in the service and entertainment industry cannot afford to live here?”

Rhiannon Enlil
Erin Rose
Newly evicted tenant

This issue is also having a significant impact on the hotels and licenses B&B’s in New Orleans. Hotels are one of the longest standing harbingers of hospitality. They employ hundreds to thousands of people, provide insight and infrastructure to guests, and work with event organizers to facilitate events that would otherwise not be possible, such as Tales of the Cocktail. Every tasting room and seminar we facilitate is done so in a hotel, and it’s hard to imagine where else we could possibly produce so many events within one week. Because of our longstanding relationships with these hotels, we’re able to negotiate special rates for Tales attendees year after year. Hotels are experienced in the practice of hospitality, and legally qualified to accommodate our guests, whereas short term rentals, which are illegal in New Orleans, fundamentally upset residential valuations by introducing unsustainable commercial valuations into residential neighborhoods.

In this spirit, we encourage you to stay with one of our partnering hotels (or even another local hotel if you prefer), but please avoid staying at an AirBnB or other short term rental property that is not legally sanctioned to operate in New Orleans. Each short term rental takes revenue away from our own hospitality industry; if the hotels are operating below projected capacity, staff hours get cut, and employees get laid off. Tales of the Cocktail is one of many organizations in New Orleans working to have these illegal rentals addressed by our city government, but in the meantime, we encourage you to consider the matter for yourself. Everyone wants the best deal they can find, but sometimes the best deal results in an exceptionally rotten deal for everyone else. We employ you: help us keep locals in their homes and guests visiting our city in the many beautiful and hospitable hotels and B&Bs New Orleans has to offer. Thank you for your time and consideration. If you support this effort, please share this post.

Respectfully,

Tales of the Cocktail

Thank you to our partnering hotels: Hotel Monteleone, Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans, Ace Hotel New Orleans, AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, Bienville House, Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Dauphine Orleans Hotel, Hotel Le Marais, Hotel Mazarin, MOXY NOLA, Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, W New Orleans – French Quarter.

TODAY, Tuesday, June 14, at 1:30 p.m., the City Planning Commission will propose a CZO amendment to allow all categories of short-term rentals, and make short-term rentals permitted and conditional uses in all neighborhoods. The CPC Staff Preliminary Report makes these and other recommendations, and has little information on enforcement mechanisms to control and penalize illegal operators.
For information on today’s meeting and a link to the Preliminary Staff Report, please use the link, below – short-term rentals appear as agenda item 9.
Call the CPC at (504) 658-7033 before you go to make sure the vote will take place today and that there will be time for public input.
If you are able, please attend the 1:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 14 CPC meeting in City Council Chambers to voice your opinion. Thank you.

Preliminary Staff Report

Bayou St. John Cutter Sails Through Grass

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2016 by katrinafilm

post and photos by Charlie London

BSJ-cutter2016july21

This morning at 8 a.m, on July 21, 2016, weather reports indicated it “felt like” 103 degrees at 8 in the morning!  

The high temperature didn’t keep the Orleans Levee Board from keeping the grass trimmed along the banks of Bayou St. John.  

Many thanks to the Orleans Levee Board for decades of dedicated service to the citizens of New Orleans.

***

The Orleans Levee District is dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Orleans Parish by constructing, operating and maintaining the Mississippi River and Hurricane Protection Flood Control Systems and to providing safe and secure facilities for aviation, marine and recreational activities.

 VISION

The Orleans Levee District is to be a proactive, public orientated, fiscally responsible, ethical and highly respected flood protection and service organization.

 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The Orleans Levee District (the District) was established by Act 93 of the 1890 General Assembly (Legislature) of the State of Louisiana. The District is primarily responsible for the operation and maintenance of levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water basins, and other hurricane and flood protection improvements surrounding the City of New Orleans, including the southern shores of Lake Pontchartrain and along the Mississippi River. The District is responsible for the maintenance of 104.8 miles of levees and floodwalls, 200 floodgates, 103 flood valves, and two flood control structures. To enhance flood protection, the District, and the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE), participate and cost share in several joint flood protection projects relative to the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Plan (LPVHPP).

Act 292 of the 1928 Louisiana Legislature authorized the District to dedicate, construct, operate, and maintain public parks, beaches

More information at:  http://www.orleanslevee.com/flood.htm

Charlie’s Neighborhood News

Posted in BlightStat Meetings, CRIME, Featured, HISTORY, HOME TOUR, Living Well, Magical Mystery Tour, More Great Posts!, Postcards from Home, Week in Review, Zoning Issues with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by katrinafilm

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/charlies-neighborhood-news

Charlie’s Neighborhood News


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Would you like to know what is happening in and around Faubourg St. John? Mid-City? Parkview? Desaix? Treme? Are you interested in architecture, art, music, or historic preservation? Sign up for Charlie’s Neighborhood News and get news about what’s happening sent personally to your inbox.

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Faubourg St. John to FEED THE FIRST During Mardi Gras

Posted in CRIME, Featured, HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2016 by katrinafilm


Faubourg St. John will again “FEED THE FIRST” during Mardi Gras weekend.  Our First District Officers work 12 hour shifts during this time and are very appreciative of the fresh breakfast and lunches we provide.

If you’re available to help FEED THE FIRST, please write to info@fsjna.org

Can’t donate your time?

Faubourg St. John is a 501c3 non-profit
Donations are tax deductible

Donations are always welcome in any amount.
Please mail checks made out to the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association to:

Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 19101
New Orleans, LA 70179

Thank you!

photos below by Charlie London

The officers of NOPD’s 1st District are very grateful for the support from neighborhood organizations and the Deutsches Haus

Heartfelt thanks to all those who donate each year
FEED THE FIRST is not possible without your support!

Linda Landesberg, Brenda London, Charlotte Pipes, Ronnie Brink, Bonnie Lee, Mona McMahon, Diane Angelico, Charlie London along with Joe & Doranel Stephany and  Deutsches Haus  have worked hard this year to make the annual Feed the First program work!   Your support is much appreciated.
 

 

article below by Alicia Serrano of the Mid-City Messenger

Feed-the-1st-banner

The Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual “Feed the First” event this Mardi Gras weekend.

Faubourg St. John provides a hot breakfast and lunch to the First District NOPD officers working during the Mardi Gras weekend, with shifts that can last up to 12 hours.

“You can’t believe how satisfying it is to see these poor officers come in from their shifts and we feed them and everybody’s in a much better mood,” Linda Landesberg, head of Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association events, said at last month’s meeting.

According to Landesberg, the association will provide breakfast and lunch for about 80 officers for four days at the First District station. Bagged lunches are also provided for officers along the parade route as well.

“There is a group of us that go and we actually bring a hot breakfast and serve our First District NOPD on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday and we also do two hot lunches for them on Saturday afternoon and on Monday afternoon,” Landesberg said.

This year, Faubourg St. John will partner with Deutches Haus, Parkway Bakery, Terrenova’s and The Ruby Slipper for breakfast and lunch food items.

Landesberg said the event normally costs the association about $1500 to get, prepare and serve the food. At the meeting, she described the hard work that goes into making the officers’ healthy breakfasts and snacks, with association members starting preparation at 4 a.m.

“We have a great time doing it, but we’re pretty exhausted afterwards,” she said. “It’s a really nice community event and the officers are happy.”

To read about one of the previous Feed the First events click here and to donate or find out how to volunteer for the event email info@fsjna.org.

Faubourg St. John FEEDS THE FIRST During Mardi Gras

Posted in CRIME, Featured, HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2016 by katrinafilm

FeedFirst2016officers

 

Hans Ganthier, the new Commander of NOPD’s First District, is all smiles during the FEED THE FIRST event. photo by Brenda London

Hans Ganthier is the new Commander of NOPD’s First District. photo by Brenda London

Faubourg St. John and Deutsches Haus once again joined forces to “FEED THE FIRST” during Mardi Gras weekend.  Our First District Officers work 12 hour shifts during this time and are very appreciative of the fresh breakfast and lunches we provide.

Can’t donate your time?

Faubourg St. John

is a 501c3 non-profit
Donations are tax deductible

Donations are always welcome in any amount.
Please mail checks made out to the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association to:

Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 19101
New Orleans, LA 70179

Thank you!

The officers of NOPD’s 1st District are very grateful for the support from neighborhood organizationsand the Deutsches Haus. 

Faubourg St. John and Deutsches Haus teamed up once again to provide meals for 1st District NOPD officers during Mardi Gras.Faubourg St. John and Deutsches Haus teamed up once again to provide meals for 1st District NOPD officers during Mardi Gras.Heartfelt thanks to all those who donate each year

FEED THE FIRST is not possible without your support!

FeedFirst2016gLinda Landesberg, Brenda London, Charlotte Pipes, Ronnie and Ayse Brink, Mona McMahon, Diane Angelico, Charlie London along with Joe & Doranel Stephany and  Deutsches Haus have worked hard each year to make the annual Feed the First program work!   Your support is much appreciated.

article below by Alicia Serrano of the Mid-City Messenger

FeedFirst2016b

The Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association is hosted its annual “Feed the First” event Mardi Gras weekend.

Brenda London, Leslie Capo and Ayse Brink prepare fresh fruit salad for the officers.At left, Brenda London, Leslie Capo and Ayse Brink prepare fresh fruit salad for the officers. photo by Diane Angelico

Faubourg St. John provides a hot breakfast and lunch to the First District NOPD officers working during the Mardi Gras weekend, with shifts that can last up to 12 hours.

FeedFirst2016a“You can’t believe how satisfying it is to see these poor officers come in from their shifts and we feed them and everybody’s in a much better mood,” Linda Landesberg, head of Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association events, said at last month’s meeting. According to Landesberg, the association will provide breakfast and lunch for about 80 officers for four days at the First District station. Bagged lunches are also provided for officers along the parade route as well.

“There is a group of us that go and we actually bring a hot breakfast and serve our First District NOPD on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday and we also do two hot lunches for them on Saturday afternoon and on Monday afternoon,” Landesberg said.

FeedFirst2016kThis year, Faubourg St. John will partner with Deutches Haus, Parkway Bakery, Terrenova’s, The Ruby Slipper and the Fair Grounds Racecourse and Slots for breakfast and lunch food items.

Landesberg said the event normally costs the association about $1500 to get, prepare and serve the food. At the meeting, she described the hard work that goes into making the officers’ healthy breakfasts and snacks, with association members starting preparation at 4 a.m.

“We have a great time doing it, but we’re pretty exhausted afterwards,” she said. “It’s a really nice community event and the officers are happy.”

To read about one of the previous Feed the First events click here and to donate or find out how to volunteer for the event email info@fsjna.org.

photos below by Diane Angelico:

Joe Stephany and Charlotte Pipes working hard in the kitchen at Deutsches Haus.

Joe Stephany and Charlotte Pipes working hard in the kitchen at Deutsches Haus.

Ronnie Brink serving up coffee to the volunteers in the kitchen at Deutsches Haus.

Ronnie Brink serving up coffee to the volunteers in the kitchen at Deutsches Haus.

 

Safety is a Train of Thought

Posted in More Great Posts! with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2015 by katrinafilm

OperationLifesaver1

CN2941web

For more than 20 years, CN employees at all levels of the company, as well as retirees, have been promoting rail safety at highway crossings and discouraging trespassing on or near railroad property. Help us put an end to accidents. Learn the safety rules. Click on any graphic in this post for more information.

cnsafetykidsweb
OperationLifesaver3
OperationLifesaver4
PrintTake the time to stop-look-listen and use caution at all railroad crossings.

Be prepared to stop and obey the signals at railroad crossings. crossbuckwebiconLook for the crossbuck sign, lights or gates at crossings.

Listen for warning bells and whistles.

Wait for the crossing gate to be fully raised before crossing the railway tracks and then look both ways before crossing the tracks.

Only cross tracks at designated areas. Never take short cuts across tracks or through railway property – don’t let a shortcut cut your life short.

Walking, playing or running on or beside railroad tracks is dangerous (and illegal): any time is train time.

Please remember that tracks and recreation do not mix. No pedestrians, bicycle or car is a match for a train.

Learn more about CN’s ALL ABOARD FOR SAFETY program at www.cn.ca/safety

 

10 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR LIFE

crossbuckwebicon Never walk or play on train tracks. It’s dangerous and illegal.

crossbuckwebiconBe prepared to stop at crossings.

crossbuckwebiconCross train tracks at designated highway/railroad crossings.

crossbuckwebiconLook for the crossbuck sign, lights or gates at crossings.

crossbuckwebiconListen for warning bells and whistles.

crossbuckwebiconObey the signals.

crossbuckwebiconWAIT for the train to pass through the crossing, then wait again, to be sure a second train is not approaching on any track in any direction.

crossbuckwebiconObey the directions of a police officer or member of a train crew directing traffic at a crossing.

crossbuckwebiconCross the tracks in low gear; do not change gears while crossing.

crossbuckwebiconStalled vehicle? Get out quickly and move far away from the vehicle and tracks.

 

Safety is a train of thought!

Stay focused around railroad tracks.

Train_pic_(2)

 

It’s important to THINK TRAIN
even in New Orleans City Park!

About City Park:

City Park is distinguished by its large menu of sports and recreational activities, attractions for children, and its natural beauty. City Park holds a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must-see for visitors to the city. As a popular place to picnic, play a favorite sport, wander through its gardens or take a boat ride, the Park receives millions of visit each year. It is located in the heart of the city and is the largest recreation area in the entire metropolitan area.

Attractions include: New Orleans Botanical Garden, City Putt, Storyland fairytale playground, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and numerous athletic venues. The 1,300 acres of parkland provide enjoyment for young children playing on our playgrounds and walkers, joggers, and bicyclists navigating the winding paths through the Park’s streets and trails.

cnsafety504