The Streets of Lakeview New Orleans

streets of lakeview in new orleans

The Streets of Lakeview New Orleans

Even though Lakeview New Orleans is considered one of the most sought after places to live in the city, they are known for having some of the worst streets.  How can one of the most prominent neighborhoods in Greater New Orleans have streets in such a state of disrepair?

History of Lakeview Streets

The Lakeview neighborhood on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans has always been a vibrant part of the city of New Orleans.  Swampland was converted into waterfront property, with business and residential development coming up right behind.
It was the French explorers who first set up a trapper’s outpost at the mouth of Bayou St. John.  Then the Spanish reinforced it with a fort and turned this watery swampland into a vital part of rear protection for the city when it was manned by gunners from the pirate Jean Lafitte’s privateers.  Other than that it had no real value and the Spanish sold it off to a Mr. Alexander Milne.  He was the first to develop the area now known as Gentilly.

It wasn’t soon however, before massive development turned the area into a prime destination for Downtown dwellers to escape for day trips.  Various hotels, resorts, and other entertainment venues cropped up.  Soon there became a huge demand for residential areas and that’s when the streets began.
A massive engineering project got underway.  The water was drained, the old swamp cypress and other species were pulled up, the space was dug up and then filled in again with dirt proper for building on, and the rest is history…or so the builders thought.
Unfortunately, and especially for those engineers in charge of the project, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you build heavily on land once completely covered by swamp that you are going to have settlement; and it will be continuous.  Hence the battle for the streets of Lakeview began almost as soon as the last streets were laid.

Today Lakeview remains one of the few places in the city, if not in the country, that actually cheers in celebration when the heavy equipment is pulled out and the construction begins.  They begin to see hope for their car suspensions and being able to ride their bikes without disappearing into giant sinkholes never to be heard from again.

Residents of Lakeview Complain

Since street repair is generally taken out of the taxes that are gathered from property taxes, the homeowners in lakeview residents complainLakeview “took to the streets”.  Since the home values in lakefront are higher than the average, residents of Lakeview had a right to question why the city would not spend the money to fix their streets. A massive “Fix My Streets” campaign was the slogan of the neighborhood and once again the dwellers of Lakeview New Orleans stood up and showed what they were made of; if you want something done fight for it and don’t give up.  With many Lakeview Homes for Sale, you can see why homeowners would be upset that their streets were not being repaired.
Actually, a huge beginning of the campaign was entitled “Fix My Street! I Pay My Taxes”.  The only problem was that even though New Orleans has had its share of political corruption; the truth is that only a minuscule amount of property taxes was allocated to street repair.  To be more specific just 1.5% of property taxes were allocated in 2014 according to the tax assessor’s office.  Then to add insult to injury only 2% of the sales tax in the city was allocated to these types of projects.
Still, the resilience of the Lakeview community held sway.  The city began a massive restoration project after Hurricane Katrina.  Beginning around 2008 and finalized in the beginning of 2012 two major phases of street construction coming in just under $7,000,000 were completed.  Last year was the beginning, construction, and design of another $3,000,000 in street repairs; and 2016 is expected to bring in yet another $23,000,000 in repairs and restorations.

Progress on Lakeview Streets

The point is Lakeview is a thriving part of the City of New Orleans and perhaps finally the city understands that completely; and the city is showing that by putting the resources into it that it should have been all along.  Personally, I believe it has everything to do with the citizens in that neighborhood.  They have shown to the city, and perhaps the rest of the state, that we will thrive through adversity.  Lakeview residents have stood up tall and shouted we are rebuilding and nothing will stop us.  It is an extremely refreshing change of pace for the City of New Orleans to be seen supporting its hardworking citizens by saying…We are here for ya’ and we are here to help…WHO DAT!

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