Tulane Ave Improvements

Charity Hospital on Tulane Ave 1951, Times Picayune

MCNO has been hearing rumors for years that the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) plans to put the neutral ground back on Tulane Ave. The Times Picayune even did some “Blast from the Past” photo coverage of Tulane Ave in the 1950’s when the neutral ground was first removed. But recent discussions stemming from the VA Hospital have resurfaced the idea of rejuvenating Mid-City’s “Miracle Mile”.
MCNO contacted the RPC with some questions and received a very helpful response from Chris Aghayan, Transportation Planner. Our questions and his responses are below:

  1. Is it realistic to expect that a neutral ground will be reinstalled on Tulane, between Carrollton and Broad? Yes, The Stage 0 Planning Study calls for the project to be divided into three phases [1. Claiborne to Broad 2.Broad to Jefferson Davis 3. Jefferson Davis to Carrollton], by and large resulting in a 15’ landscaped median with two 10.5’ travel lanes and a 5’ bike lane along the corridor.
  2. Will members of the community be invited to participate in the design process? Yes, a minimum of two public meetings will occur during the environmental phase.
  3. What, if any, plans are being made to accommodate left turns from Tulane onto side streets? Is this goal part of the project? An initiative of the project is to improve the access along the corridor and alleviate the current no left scenario.
  4. Can you give us any ROUGH sense of a timeline for moving the Tulane project through the design and construction phases? The Stage 0 feasibility study is complete.  The Stage 1 Environmental Study will soon be underway, and is expected to take approximately 1 year or less.  The Design phase will follow, and could take approximately 1 year.  Therefore, the project is potentially approximately 2 to 3 years from construction.
  5. Have you established benchmarks for landscaping and curb cuts for parking along Tulane? Preliminary landscape and curb cut plans are outlined in the attached planning study.
  6. Does the Tulane project also include in its scope possible changes to be made to contributing thoroughfares, especially Jefferson Davis Parkway and Broad St.? The major focus of the study is Tulane Ave, though other thoroughfare may be impacted.
  7. What, if any, influence are the needs of University Medical Center, the new VA Hospital and other BioDistrict Projects exerting on this reconsideration of Tulane Ave? The needs of the Medical facilities were considered during this study, as they applied to the scope of this project.  Therefore, the facilities’ parking needs, emergency access points, security issues, and other traffic related concerns were evaluated.
  8. Are plans for improved transit being considered for Tulane Ave., and if so, what are these plans? RPC and DOTD coordinated with RTA throughout the planning process and will continue to do so as the project advances.  Details are provided in the attached study.

This is a few years away from fruition, but it is information like this that will begin to spark positive development on the Tulane Corridor. Already MCNO, with the assistance of Council Representative Stacy Head, has accomplished an inner city urban design corridor overlay on Tulane Ave that requires all Alcoholic Beverage Outlets to be approved through a public hearing process and also requires design review requirements.
If you would like to receive updates from the RPC on this project, send your information to secretary@mcno.org. If you want to contact RPC directly, send an email to caghayan@norpc.org and ask to be added to the stakeholders list.
Hooray for left turns on Tulane!

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