With its narrow streets, numerous intersections, and high-speed vehicle traffic, historic Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans had become one of Louisiana’s most hazardous routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The Paths to Progress Program, a coordinated transportation improvement program between the Federal Highway Administration’s Louisiana Division Office, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and local agencies changed all of that.
The esplanade was completely revamped, converting two of the four vehicle lanes into dedicated bicycle lanes with “share the road” markings, the addition of accessible curb ramps, and a lower posted speed limit.
Completed in 2013, the Esplanade Avenue corridor now serves as a backbone for bicycling commuters by providing connectivity to key destinations like the French Quarter and Central Business District. Bicycling traffic has increased 226 percent and pedestrian traffic has increased 132 percent.