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«Mission Statement The following Mission Statement was adopted by the Board of Directors on March 28, 2000: The Committee for a Better New Orleans is ...»

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5.4 OPCSO in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety to develop family-oriented prevention programs to compliment the substance abuse and/or prevention education offered within the criminal justice system for ex-offenders and probationers, including long-term and multi-family counseling.

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6.0 The need for greater awareness, resources and programs to address the problem of domestic violence.

Next to the violence associated with the traffic of drugs, domestic violence incidents represent the second highest contributor to the murder rate in the City of New Orleans. While many of these problems have their roots in social and economic deficiencies in the broader society, there are numerous tools which can be employed to mitigate the impact of domestic violence in our community.

Improve public health and safety by reducing the incidence of domestic violence.

6.1 The New Orleans Public Relations Society, in cooperation with University Counseling Centers, Loyola Twomey Center, Family Services, and other organizations, with support of CBNO, to complete a public awareness campaign to combat domestic violence.

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6.2 New Orleans faith-based organizations, in cooperation with University Counseling Centers, Loyola Twomey Center and Family Services, to develop a family counseling program to assist families in resolving domestic issues without violence.

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6.3 YWCA, Catholic Charities and other agencies to seek public and private funding that will provide additional safe havens for victims of domestic violence.

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6.4 CBNO Public Safety Task Force, in conjunction with the New Orleans Police Department, to review the application and implementation of existing domestic violence laws and procedures, and to support recommendations to enhance efforts to curtail domestic violence.

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The status of transportation in the New Orleans region -- and transportation is a subject permeated by regionalism -- could be summed up thusly: the resources and facilities are in fairly good shape, but planning and cooperation are poor to nonexistent.

Regionalism is addressed broadly in the Overarching Issues section of this document, but examples of its importance to transportation abound. With a significant number of our citizens transit dependent, it is absurd that metro area bus service is severely limited in terms of available routes throughout the parishes, hours of operation, transfer points and timeliness. A passenger can travel from downtown New Orleans to Kenner more easily than from downtown to the Lakeside Mall. Regional fighting and distrust surrounding New Orleans International Airport must be resolved. And with the increasing federal focus on funding regional initiatives, area-wide cooperation will be essential to maintaining and increasing the federal transportation dollars flowing into the metro area.

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA), which is regional largely in name only, must live up to its appellation and mandate. This requires equitable leadership from New Orleans and active participation by all surrounding governmental entities. This is a key people issue as well as an economic development issue.

In addition to area-wide bus service, greater emphasis needs to be given to light passenger rail service in the region, including the streetcars in New Orleans. An airport-to-downtown rail line, which has been discussed for many years, must become a reality. The State of Louisiana and the Regional Planning Commission, with the strong support of Mayor Marc Morial and Jefferson Parish President Tim Coulon, have already initiated a two-year multi-modal environmental impact study of the Airport-to-UPT (Union Passenger Terminal) line and the surrounding corridor. Anyone driving on the region’s major artery, Ion a daily basis will attest to the fact that I-10 has reached capacity despite recent improvements.

With recent funding from the hotel/motel tax as the local match, the streetcar lines are being expanded along Canal Street to Carrollton Avenue and into City Park. And as of March 2001, the Preliminary Engineering/Environmental Impact Statement (PE/EIS) project to determine the feasibility of instituting service in the Desire Corridor from Canal Street to the Industrial Canal and from the Mississippi River to St. Claude Avenue/Rampart Street has been initiated, based on the service route (Locally Preferred Alternative) selected by the public through an intense series of public meetings. While the Task Force had discussed and initially recommended an Elysian Fields spur, the Locally Preferred Alternative should better serve the community and tremendously expand the ability of the citizens to travel through their City. With the high percentage of people who do not own vehicles in New Orleans, this is a critical issue.

These lines should have adequate linkage to each other as well as to the airport line and other regional transportation lines. Neighborhood focus, safety issues and overall efficiency should be core considerations in the planning of this light rail network.

While New Orleans recently lost out on the federal MagLev project, the issue should not be allowed to disappear from the table. This is the transportation mode of the future, and in New Orleans, has potential to be a key aspect of hurricane evacuation methods in addition to its many other advantages.

An added benefit of an expanded, efficient passenger rail system will be less congestion on I-10 and less wear and tear on City streets. Within the City, the condition of the streets is a huge concern of the citizens. While financing for street repairs and maintenance is reasonably adequate, manpower and bureaucracy are substantial obstacles. The height of absurdity is the fact that, depending on the depth of a pothole, any of three different entities may be responsible for filling it. All the agencies involved with the streets, including the Department of Public Works, the Sewerage and Water Board and Entergy, among others, must establish a formal working process to improve efficiency and street quality, while minimizing disruption.

Equally important to better streets is a better system for prioritizing street repairs. A citywide rather than district by district approach is essential. A central inventory of street repair and maintenance needs must be established and kept current, with street work prioritized based on this information.

While streets are on the minds of the people every day, the New Orleans International Airport is equally important to the big picture of the City's future. The major economic force driving the airport is the New Orleans tourism industry, and it cannot be stated strongly enough that no new airport can successfully serve this industry. The Transportation Task Force emphasized that the present airport must be allowed to grow as needed to remain competitive nationally and continue its service to tourism; no alternative airport is truly viable.

New Orleans International Airport is a regional asset, and regional cooperation and support must be developed. While recognizing the complexity of the issue, the questions of governance must be resolved.

The City owns the airport, and any compromises on control must be matched by returns to the City.

Competitive expansion of the airport begins with the building of a new north-south runway. Concerns of other airport partners must be resolved on a timely basis, because the window of opportunity for this absolutely vital addition is only so broad. Other possible options for airport growth include increasing its air cargo volume; making it an aircraft maintenance hub; building an industrial park in its immediate vicinity; and looking for ways to reduce landing fees. All of these options and more should be considered as part of a comprehensive, long-term strategic planning process with regional participation. Such an approach is the only way to ensure the long-term viability of New Orleans International Airport -- and to a large degree, the entire region it serves.

Strategic planning is also needed for Lakefront Airport, another important City asset. The benefits of this facility need to be maximized, and its value to corporate air travel enhanced as a significant economic development tool.

Another major transportation asset of the City is the Port. This thriving entity is facing one significant threat, the quality of freight rail service in New Orleans, which at present is rife with disorganization and delays. Six major rail companies plus the public belt line use this system, yet there is little communication and coordination among them. A central point of coordination and control is desperately needed, probably under the auspices of the public belt line. There also needs to be coordination between freight and passenger rail systems.

Safety is a significant issue for the freight rail system. Substantial quantities of hazardous materials are transported through the City on a daily basis; yet cargo manifests are often incomplete and/or inaccessible, emergency planning for a hazardous materials incident is minimal, and responsibility in this area not clearly defined. This situation must be remedied as quickly as possible. Similarly, the safety of railroad crossings in the City needs to be studied and improved, and the impact of freight rail on the quality of life of City residents must be reduced as much as possible without excessively interfering with rail operations.

In many ways, transportation is in better condition than the other five issues discussed by CBNO. This makes it no less critical, as its impact on everyday quality of life as well as the City's -- and region's -economic future is tremendous. The overriding need in transportation is for comprehensive transportation planning based on regional consensus -- in effect, a master regional transportation plan, leading to a seamless, professionally managed regional transportation system.

Key crossover issues:

- The airport (Economic Development)

- Government structural inefficiency (City Management, Economic Development)

- Hazardous materials (Public Safety)

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Critical Issues and Goals

1.0 Ensuring long-term viability and competitiveness of the New Orleans International Airport and Lakefront Airport.

The City must develop the International Airport above all alternatives and take on the issues affecting the airport head-on. The City should take a leadership role regarding the completion of the new north-south runway by resolving governance, noise abatement and relocation issues related to its construction. The City should develop a strategic plan for the airport to maximize its economic impact in generating jobs and secondary economic activity and investment. It may also consider leveraging airport assets for maximum benefit, including but not limited to other regional transportation concessions.

Complete the new north-south runway by resolving governance, noise abatement and relocation issues related to its construction.

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The City cannot isolate itself from regional transportation issues. Instead, it must become the leader in the creation of a truly effective regional transportation/transit system, providing companies and customers easy and reliable access to products, suppliers and employees.

Create a truly effective regional transportation/transit system.

2.1 Regional Transit Authority (RTA), with support from the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB) and Jefferson Parish, to create a light rail link between the New Orleans International Airport and the Union Passenger Terminal, which will substantially reduce traffic congestion on I-10.

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2.3 Mayor to convene a Regional Summit, including the parishes of Jefferson, St.

Tammany, St. Charles and other concerned parishes, which will encourage participants to participate proactively with the RTA in expanding its bus services to provide convenient and affordable transportation to all residents within the metropolitan area.

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2.4 City, in cooperation with Regional Planning Commission (RPC), the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission (Causeway) and NOAB, to advance development of a Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) system, or other viable alternative, to connect St.

Tammany Parish and Jefferson Parish with Orleans Parish.

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3.0 Management and improvement of streets based upon an objective analysis of needed street repairs.

Street repair and improvement must be a function of professional management and coordination, not politics. The City should improve streets through aggressive management of all utilities and an objective, centralized system of prioritizing street improvements, beginning with the projects approved by the voters in November 2000.

Improve streets through aggressive management of all utilities and an objective system of prioritizing street repairs.

3.1 Mayor to create an ongoing Interagency Task Force (IATF), composed of the Department of Public Works (DPW), Entergy, BellSouth, Cox Cable, and other public and private utilities, and empower it to assume responsibility for addressing the City's need for adequate, well-maintained and repaired streets, and to make recommendations to the City Council.

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3.2 Interagency Task Force, with staff support from DPW, to manage aggressively and assess objectively the conditions of the city's streets, identify those in need of reconstruction or repair on a citywide basis, and recommend projects for implementation to the Mayor and City Council.

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4.0 More efficient freight rail system, emphasizing safety and hazardous materials management.

The City must take a leadership role in improving freight rail efficiency through the New Orleans gateway, with a strong emphasis on safety.

Improve freight rail efficiency through the New Orleans gateway with strong emphasis on safety.

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