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Erecting a gate to keep crime out the neighborhood

 
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    Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 1:13am
This rubs me the wrong way and I'm not sure why. But I also feel like people are hating.

Newcomb residents defend gate, attempt to purchase street



The residents of Newcomb Boulevard are pushing back against claims that they are trying to create their own private sanctuary, one week before the City Planning Commission considers their application to buy the four-block Uptown street near Tulane and Loyola universities.

If the commission and City Council approve their request, the 35 households that call Newcomb home will not be forced to remove a wrought iron gate erected eight years ago that turned the public road into a cul-de-sac.

Contrary to accusations from opponents, residents of Newcomb do not intend to close off the street to pedestrians, bicyclists or people who want to continue to use it for parking, said Christian Rooney, president of the Newcomb Boulevard Association.

Nearly half of the people who live on Newcomb Boulevard bought their homes after the gate was put in place in 2006 under questionable circumstances; they had nothing to do with the original process and are now trying to go through all of the correct channels to ensure the gate is legal and the residents assume their share of the responsibility, Rooney said.

"Our goal is to keep Newcomb Boulevard the way it is now and has been for the past eight years and we are offering to purchase the street from the City at fair market value and assume future maintenance costs," Rooney wrote in an emailed statement. "The city will only gain from this transaction: the purchase price, property tax collection, and forgone maintenance expenses."

Residents first petitioned the city in 2005 to close off Newcomb with a gate at Freret Street to prevent drivers from using it as a "speedway cut-through" that, they said, endangered children and pedestrians.

Public Works Director John Shires awarded the residents a permit to construct the gate Jan. 31, 2006, his last day in office, despite never putting the issue before the City Planning Commission or the City Council, or requiring the residents of Newcomb to buy the street and pay for future maintenance costs, as city law requires.

Civil District Judge Michael Bagneris in 2012 called the gate installation and the circumvention of city law an "abuse of power" and ruled the barrier to be illegal but delayed enforcing the order to allow the residents time to appeal.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the ruling a year later and the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear the matter last May, ending the appeals process.

The Newcomb Boulevard Association filed an application to purchase the street last July, prompting the city to request a stay on removing the fence. Bagneris granted the request in October, giving the association time to complete the process, but with no apparent progress, the 4th Circuit Court ordered the city Dec. 30 to remove the gate.

The city at first indicated it would comply with the ruling but later stated that the fence can only be torn down after Newcomb Boulevard is converted into a one-way street, an action that requires City Council approval.

The city's delay bought the residents of Newcomb more time as the City Planning Commission is scheduled to consider their application to purchase the street April 8. If the commission approves the proposal it next goes before the City Council; if the commission fails to approve the application the residents will have no further recourse and the city will eventually be forced to remove the gate.

The residents of Newcomb include four doctors, seven attorneys with some of the biggest law firms in the city, a family court judge, the owner of a funeral home company, the owner of a real estate firm, the director of Pan American Financial Services and the namesake of the LSU John P. Laborde Energy Center.

Over the past several years, 12 residents of Newcomb made significant contributions to councilmembers Stacy Head, $6,300, and Susan Guidry, $3,600, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, $6,500, and former councilman Jay Batt, $4,000, who advocated for the gate's installation.

However, the leading voice for the removal of the gate, Keith Hardie, who lives on the adjacent Audubon Street, alone contributed more to local political campaigns than all of the Newcomb residents combined.

The private attorney contributed $50,300 to the "Anybody but Batt" campaign, $11,000 to Guidry, $10,000 to Head and $4,500 to LaToya Cantrell.

Guidry represents the district where Newcomb is located.

Hardie said that the closure of a public road disrupts the traditional street grid design of New Orleans and goes against the Master Plan, which states that "with adequate connectivity, traffic flows are evenly dispersed through a network and streets receive the types of traffic that they are designed to handle. If connectivity is restricted to fewer intersections, automobile traffic faces bottlenecks."

Rooney notes that Newcomb is "a single block over a quarter of a mile in length, the equivalent of four blocks, without a single intersection."

"Although the process by which the City followed to allow the barrier has been determined to be flawed, the need for providing traffic safety given Newcomb Boulevard's unique design remains," Rooney said. "It wasn't designed to be a part of the traffic grid; rather it was designed in 1917 as a private street. Traffic studies have twice shown that there is minimal impact to traffic flow to surrounding streets with or without Newcomb Boulevard open."

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NJHairLuv View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NJHairLuv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 1:29am
Something like that happened here in the 1990s....I dont think that they petitioned to have the city to put the gates up tho...I dont really blame them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 2:05am

But every now and then, I wonder
If the gate was put up to keep crime out or to keep our ass in


/cee-lo (cell therapy)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 8:33am

trying to find the problem with this
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 9:11am
I see nothing wrong with it. Criminals need to be kept out of the way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote creole booty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 9:14am
I'm confused. Don't hated communities already exist? What's wrong with this?

I don't mean the philosophical reason, or legal what ifs, and white vs black, rich vs poor.

I mean, in reality with the way the world is now, what have they done wrong?


Hated should be gated, typo, but I'll keep it

Edited by creole booty - Apr 02 2014 at 9:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote melikey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 10:05am
there are gated communities all over the place out here.
not sure what purpose they serve other than keep out through traffic
criminals can get past the guards easily. it's not like it's ft. knox
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 10:18am
Originally posted by melikey melikey wrote:

there are gated communities all over the place out here.
not sure what purpose they serve other than keep out through traffic
criminals can get past the guards easily. it's not like it's ft. knox
 
That's why you always have a coon on the gate.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 11:03am
I guess whomever paid more money will win, and most likely they will have to take down the gate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Merin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 11:13am
I don't have an issue with this. They are going to buy the street and maintain it themselves correct? There is a part of my neighborhood that was constantly hit with home breakins because the criminals had actually made a path for an easy getaway. The break-ins were only happening in the areas accessible by the path and some houses were broken into as many as 3-4 times. The gate will not keep people out but it certainly is a deterrent and makes their homes less accessible. Think about how bad crime must have been if the residents came together and all agreed to (1) Buy the street (2) Put up a gate( gates are NOT cheap) (3) Maintain their streets which includes paying for their own trash collection.
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