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Old 08-20-2009, 04:56 PM
3 posts, read 7,033 times
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How is New Orlean's cycling community? I'm contemplating a move to New Orleans from Louisville, KY, especially if accepted at UNO's grad school, however I'm without car. The more bicycle friendly the city, the better.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:02 PM
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I haven' t lived in NO full time in 20 years (maybe moving back soon!), but I'm an avid cyclist/commuter, so here are some thoughts.
--generally a typical American city:i.e. not bike friendly, and with city built on silt with not much money to repair the pot holes, the streets are pretty crappy
drivers generally crazy too, but again on par with other big cities. It is not a Portland or any other progressive city on that front by any means.

another negative: you should probably get fenders. a thunderstorm can blow in in minutes, or an entire system come off the gulf and sit there for days. but it's usually warm rain, which can actually be pleasant (as long as it's not the middle of a squall), IF you have fenders

on the positive side: I do think they have put in some bike lanes/paths;
UNO is out at the lake front and thus outside the busier areas; it's a pretty small city geographically, so you can get across it pretty easily; hardly ever snows or sees ice or other conditions that will keep you off the road, other than the T-storms and hurricanes; there used to be a fairly active road racing scene/community; while there are some areas that are best avoided, they are fewer than before, and there is a lot of the city to see on bike, and it is a remarkably preserved city architecturally; there are only a couple of raised highways through town so not too many on-off ramps and crazy commuters to deal with (i.e. pretty easy to circumnavigate the few hot spots), and finally, since it's very residential still, there are plenty of navigable side streets good for more relaxing routes. so all things tallied up, I would say that it is do-able sans car, and while not as bike-friendly as many places from a political/infrastructure standpoint, it's probably better than the typical sprawling big American city--once you've figured out which streets are strewn with pot holes--and watch out for the street car tracks: they're like ice when wet
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:11 PM
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I think its much more friendly than most cities to bikes. Low elevation (read: no hills) and everything is generally closer together.
I knew a woman down the street at UNO who was a professor of urban planning and rode her bike from near the river to UNO every day.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:44 PM
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Honestly, I think New Orleans is a difficult city to bike in. If you are on the levees on the Lake(near UNO) or on the River you are fine, but riding around the city in general is dangerous. Cars will not give you any right of way. You also need to know where you are riding at all times. Some neighborhoods I would never drive a car in let alone a bike. Just be careful and do your research.
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