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New Orleans and evacuating the carless

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  • John Bredin
    Over the last couple of days, I ve been reading a fair number of people complaining (rightly) that there was little or no means of leaving the New Orleans area
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 1, 2005
      Over the last couple of days, I've been reading a fair number of
      people complaining (rightly) that there was little or no means of
      leaving the New Orleans area without a car and that most of the
      people who "stayed behind" did so because they couldn't leave.

      Does anyone know if New Orleans RTA made any effort to move its
      buses out of the city before Katrina struck? Because it seems to me
      that:

      1) given adequate warning, as there was here, it's damned stupid to
      leave any relatively-expensive piece of PUBLIC property that MOVES
      to simply be destroyed by submersion under dirty water.

      2) filling up the fuel tanks of the buses before they leave would
      allow the buses to get as far away as possible and also leave less
      fuel behind in the city to be wasted and pollute the floodwaters.

      3) oh, yeah, the buses could be sent out of the city CARRYING
      EVACUEES who don't have cars and had no other way out of town!

      I can understand to a degree Greyhound, Amtrak, and the airlines not
      wanting to send their people and equipment **into** harm's way to
      evacuate the city. But using NORTA buses to assist in the pre-
      hurricane evacuation would have been sending personnel and equipment
      **out** of harm's way.

      If this was done, I apologize, but nothing I've read in the last few
      days would indicate that NORTA buses were a significant factor in
      evacuating New Orleans in advance of the hurricane. That seems like
      a failure of basic common sense.
    • Todd Edelman
      Hi, As soon as rescue stage is over in New Orleans, or even before that, a working group of some sort will be formed to determine the next steps. Much of this
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 1, 2005
        Hi,

        As soon as rescue stage is over in New Orleans, or
        even before that, a working group of some sort will be
        formed to determine the next steps. Much of this will
        involve long-term yet still temporary housing, clean
        up, levee repair and physical/mental health.

        But,as has been discussed on this list already, it
        will also include a longer term plan, so:

        We need to assemble a small team of carfree advocates
        who will be able to (at least at first) volunteer
        their skills, either directly in this group, or more
        likely, as advisors to someone on it (most likely an
        elected representative).

        The small carfree team must be available to be in New
        Orleans area (and possibly Washington DC) on a regular
        basis.

        Goals? Well, we seem to know most of them, but one
        important strategy is that their methods are
        non-partisan.

        So, do we have a contact to an elected representative
        in New Orleans, or thereabouts? It could be to another
        elected rep. who is friendly with the N. O. person,
        for example,and who is on a same committee in U.S.
        House of Represenatives, Louisiana legislature, and so
        forth.

        Finally, a carfree city near New Orleans would be a
        second tourist attraction, possibly a "Big Easier".

        Todd, Green Idea Factory





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      • Todd Edelman
        Hi again, It seems I have a good connection to UITP (www.uitp.com) and APTA (www.apta.com) which could help with us with some kind of lets do things
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 2, 2005
          Hi again,

          It seems I have a good connection to UITP
          (www.uitp.com) and APTA (www.apta.com) which could
          help with us with some kind of "lets do things
          differently" approach to people and politicians of New
          Orleans and surroundings concering carfree cities,
          transit-oriented design, etc.

          If - as I mentioned already on Carfree Cities -
          someone or a couple people have the capacity to be
          part of initial outreach and follow-through in
          Louisiana and DC then let me know off list.

          APTA has a big expo in Dallas in a few weeks.

          Todd, Green Idea Factory



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        • Karen Sandness
          No, the public transit buses were NOT used to evacuate the non-drivers. I was monitoring a political website that was following developments in New Orleans,
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 2, 2005
            No, the public transit buses were NOT used to evacuate the non-drivers.
            I was monitoring a political website that was following developments in
            New Orleans, and someone reported at that the bus system had been shut
            down at 6PM Sunday. Just shut down, not used to transport people out of
            the city. Furthermore, I saw a news photo of a parking lot full of
            school buses submerged up to their windows.

            This was just another example of the incredibly bad planning that went
            into preparations for the hurricane. If they had used the transit buses
            and the school buses to take people out of the city, they would have
            saved countless lives and would have dozens, maybe hundreds of intact
            buses.

            In transit,
            Karen Sandness
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