Friday, June 28, 2013

Bicyclists celebrate new bike lanes on Esplanade Ave. in New Orleans.

WHITE LINE FEVER: Several bicyclists ride the new bike lane on Esplanade Ave. toward City Park during an informal celebration "welcoming" the lanes to New Orleans.
       A re-striping of traffic lanes on Esplanade Ave converting two narrow traffic lanes in each direction to one wider traffic lane and a bicycle route was "welcomed" by an informal parade of bicyclists who rode up and down the lanes for several hours the evening of Friday June 28.
       About 60 cyclists recruited from social media sites such as the New Orleans Outdoor Meetup Group formed ad hock pelotons to ride the less than two mile stretch of smooth asphalt with a white line separating car traffic from the cyclists, from Bayou St. John to the I-10 overpass (Claiborne Ave.) and back.
     Bicycles of all types were used for the ride from single speeds and fat tire bikes to at least one racing bike equipped with a high end Campagnolo gruppo; making the pale green stunner worth thousands.
     Cyclists have used Esplanade Ave., connecting City Park with the French Quarter, for years despite the rough pavement and narrow traffic lanes.    While there is still about a mile stretch of Esplanade Ave. from N. Claiborne to Decatur St. near the Mississippi River without bicycle lanes, (one lane already but still a tight squeeze between the traffic lane and parallel parking) the new paving and striping is a big step in making New Orleans more bicycle friendly.

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