Ch-ch-ch-changes: Convention Center Development May Mean Traffic Switcheroos

Curbed New Orleans

renderings via MCCNO

Plans to turn the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and its surrounding area into its own little riverfront mini-city with a hotel, retail, and entertainment spots just got more detailed. Uptown Messenger reports that Team Convention Center has been studying the traffic patterns around the Lower Garden District/CBD site, and they're interested in switching up the street grid (see the draft proposal here).

The plan, which would turn some failing intersections into smooth sailing corridors (ideally, at least) includes turning some of the one-way streets into two-ways, and whittling Convention Center Boulevard down to one lane to make room for a landscaped linear park. There's also talk of taking all bus and taxi traffic off of Convention Center Boulevard and putting an "intermodal" station under the Pontchartrain Expressway for pick-ups and drop-offs. An airport-style moving walkway would transport conventioneers, and there are possible down-the-road plans of a riverfront streetcar extension.
In an effort to stay relevant and keep luring in the convention crowd, it was decided that a 47-acre swath of land between Henderson Street (the upriver side of the Convention Center) and Market Street (where the old abandoned power plant sits) would be developed. A request for interest has already gone out and apparently, "some of the top developers in the world" are checking in. Construction is expected to kick off sometime in 2016.
· Convention Center proposes realigned street grid to prepare for Lower Garden District expansion [Uptown Messenger]
· Convention Center coverage [Curbed NOLA]

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