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Old 03-07-2012, 03:00 PM   #43
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Jeff, I agree. That same type of system is set up in Chicago, and it has helped me kill time in more than a few instances.

I understand why cab drivers would get upset, but heck these are the same guys threatening to strike the week of the Final Four, if they don't get certain accomidations from the city. Sometimes a little push is good for progress, and if the cab folks like it or not, they arent the end of transportation from the airport to your detination.

I just think the city could be a lot greener, and add a huge experience to somebody visiting the city for the first time.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #44
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This is stupid drob. Why are we not seeing any of those lines now? Think how helpful those tracks would be to people in those pockets of the city. We really could become a green city if we had those trains.
The problem is that the up-front costs to install new lines are incredibly expensive. From what I've read, creating a new nine-block long track down Loyola Avenue from the Amtrak/Greyhound station to Canal Street will somehow cost in the neighborhood of $40 million. I think that ridiculous cost is due to some particular problems involving the tracks being placed over an old filled-in canal, but even in ideal conditions it's not cheap and more money won't be pouring in from the city, state or federal governments to fund these kinds of infrastructure projects in this political environment.

Those tracks WERE all there, in New Orleans and in cities across the country, but for whatever it's worth the story is that General Motors systematically purchased and dismantled streetcar systems across the entire country in order to replace them with buses. For an overview, see

General Motors streetcar conspiracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 03-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #45
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This is stupid drob. Why are we not seeing any of those lines now? Think how helpful those tracks would be to people in those pockets of the city. We really could become a green city if we had those trains.

Is it the taxi, and bus salesmen that are trying to keep these ideas of coming to fruition?
It really is a shame all of them were taken down with the exception of the St Charles line. Back in the 30s/40s/50s the buses that replaced them were seen as the "future" -- they were supposed to be faster and have airconditioning.

Hopefully we're seeing the beginning of a streetcar revival in the city - the Loyola line looks promising, and the Rampart/St Claude line will be fantastic for the Marigny/Baywater/St Roch neighborhoods.

This isn't a streetcar/tram, but Veolia (who is contracted by the RTA to run the buses) runs a free bus system in Baltimore called Charm City Circulator. It's a great way to get around the downtown and harbor area. I think something like that could be extremely popular in the Warehouse District/CBD/FQ/Marigny. Home | Charm City Circulator
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #46
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mb, I remember when my father told me that same story about the auto industry and goodyear trying to do away with the trains, btu I thought he was foolish for those kind of thoughts. Now that more people are saying it, its hard to deny that this is real.

So it costs $4mil or whatever to lay lines on some streets, well then just don't go on those streets. Start with the tracks going to other places that wont cost as much. Allow the program to make money, and then you can build your $4mil rail line.

One way or the other MSY would be done a huge service by these improvements, and the citys tourism would go much higher.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by El Caliente View Post
This is stupid drob. Why are we not seeing any of those lines now? Think how helpful those tracks would be to people in those pockets of the city. We really could become a green city if we had those trains.

Is it the taxi, and bus salesmen that are trying to keep these ideas of coming to fruition?
70 years ago you could easily live in NOLA with no car and get anywhere in a few minutes. Then we became completely enamored with autos and tore up all the lines or deserted them. The great thing is that as we turn back to needing more light rail transportation, cities like NOLA that were designed around light rail and which still have the avenues and lines spacing intact rather than under new malls and neighborhoods, we will be able to reconstruct and rebuild them. I'm fairly sure that's what's going to happen in NOLA and it's going to be great.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #48
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Back in 1926 (which was the height of the streetcar in New Orleans and the year my map references) there was near 100% coverage of the city.

New Orleans East, Broadmoor, Gentilly, Lakeview, Midcity, and much of the Westbank and Jefferson Parish were either swamp or farms.

Here are some great shots of old streetcar lines on Royal Street: http://www.shorpy.com/files/images/4a28933u_0.jpg
and Esplanade Ave: http://www.shorpy.com/node/6859?size=_original

I know you can still find exposed Streetcar tracks in the Lower Garden District -- I believe on Erato St -- and when they were resurfacing Magazine and S. Claiborne last year you could see the tracks once they stripped away the pavement.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #49
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I remember when Moisant Airport came into being, and it was state of the art at the time. When I moved to Houston in the 60's, I went to the grand opening of IAH, which was replacing Hobby. I looked at that facility and realized that NO would have to build an airport somewhere way outside of the city(as IAH was at the time) to compete. They never did. Moisant is landlocked and can't really grow. Politics and turf protection thwarted timely improvements. Corruption drove up costs of doing anything out there.

You could put lipstick on the pig, but there is no way the airport can grow to become anything more than it is now. The only reasonable alternative is the cargo airport JE mentions, but I think that died due to politics and I think there were also environmental objections.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:39 PM   #50
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the terminal for their regional commuter flights is like a crowded cramped train station. Not their main terminal.
I have been in a cramped train station before. I didn't think the IAH commuter terminal was nearly that spacious.

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When i went to Minniapolas last year, they have a train that goes from the airport, to the mall of america, to the metrodome, to their baseball stadium and downtime. its pretty awsome. NOLA would do well to put one in that stops at the superdome, the CBD, and the end of canal street by Harah's.

but yeh, your right, the cab drivers would throw a huge fit i bet.
I have never seen an airport with rail service that didn't have a line of cabs waiting out front. Some people will never use rail service, simply because the rail isn't going where they want to go. Those cab drivers who lose out on their jobs as drivers can all apply for jobs as conductors. Then they get to wave at their cab drivers buddies as the roll by in the train, stopping traffic.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:44 PM   #51
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Time sure flies. A senior engineering project I had was on building an airport in Sorrento. The writing was on the wall then too, that was early to mid 90's.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #52
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Time sure flies. A senior engineering project I had was on building an airport in Sorrento. The writing was on the wall then too, that was early to mid 90's.






Sorrento is way too far from New Orleans IMO.. it is near Gonzales/Baton Rouge.. i think the ideal spot for the new airport would be somewhere near Laplace, or slightly west, then it could serve BR but not be too far from NOLA.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:03 PM   #53
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The problem is that we're waiting for NOLA and BR to agree to something. They will never agree on anything. The state needs to take charge and go to the airlines. Then get the approval for the site and constructions. The airlines (market) need to dictate the location for service and not what interest groups think is "best".

With the tourism from NOLA and the business traffic from BR, there is a world-class facility just begging to be built. Run rail service to link the two city centers and the airport, and suddenly Louisiana is setting the pace instead of being lapped.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:31 PM   #54
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New Orleans is what it is.....the graff/corruption is in its culture. I've been flying out of MSY since the early 70's. I think the airport is a perfect size for the city and its location can't be beat. I was up in Seattle last year for a cruise to Alaska. There is lightrail that runs from the airport to downtown Seattle. We decided to take it....we were the only passangers to get on the train at the airport. I just don't see the cost advantage of building a lightrail system from MSY to the CBD. Lightrail is very expensive to build and opperate. I use to fly to the west coast often. Delta mostly nonstop to SFO or LAX. Problem was the planes were not at capacity. Now when I fly through DFW or IAH the pane to the west coast is full or nearly full. The hub system works well for the airlines. If you think MSY is a dump now you should have seen it back in the 70's, hard to find a parking spot, there was just a big lot outfront...no parking garage. There were only two concourses back then and they were packed. Getting your luggage took all day it seemed. Sure MSY is not a beauty like some other airports in America, but the money would be better spent upgrading so many other things that need to get done in New Orleans.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:34 AM   #55
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A buddy of mine has a commercial airconditioning company in Chicago. They specialize in airport systems.

They were looking to bid on a job for msy and didnt even get a shot at it because they didn't have any minority ownership. They were told though that if they needed minority ownership, it could be arranged....
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #56
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A buddy of mine has a commercial airconditioning company in Chicago. They specialize in airport systems.

They were looking to bid on a job for msy and didnt even get a shot at it because they didn't have any minority ownership. They were told though that if they needed minority ownership, it could be arranged....
true that, or I guess true dat.
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