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CITY OF NEW ORLEANS ISSUES PUBLIC SAFETY REMINDERS AHEAD OF MAJOR PARADES FOR MARDI GRAS 2023

NEW ORLEANS — Ahead of major parades, City officials, alongside state and federal partners, prepare parade routes and keep residents informed to ensure the 2023 Carnival season is safe, sustainable, and celebratory.

“Our entire public safety team, consisting of a unified command of local, state and federal agencies is ready and prepared for Mardi Gras 2023,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It takes great coordination, collaboration and preparation to bring everyone together to create an enjoyable environment for all. We are well-equipped with the necessary tools and will once again demonstrate to everyone why New Orleans is the best in the world at executing major events and festivals with a rich culture that is absolutely unmatched.”

KEEPING RESIDENTS INFORMED

The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) will provide public information leading up to and during Mardi Gras events through the NOLA Ready campaign. Tips and resources about transportation, safety, what to bring and permitting are outlined online ready.nola.gov. Real-time updates related to weather, safety, traffic and parade delays will be provided on NOLA Ready's social media (@nolaready) and via text message. Residents and visitors are encouraged to text MARDIGRAS to 77295 to subscribe to text updates.

PREPARING PARADE ROUTES

Neutral Grounds and Sidewalks

The Department of Parks and Parkways has trimmed trees along parade routes and will keep the neutral grounds clear throughout the season. Residents are reminded not to rope off areas of the neutral ground, public sidewalks or other public property, which is prohibited by law. Additionally, all items placed on the public right of way, including the neutral ground, four hours or more prior to the start of the parade are subject to removal by the Department of Parks and Parkways and Department of Sanitation. Residents should not leave ladders, tents, grills or any other item on the neutral ground or along curbs and sidewalks overnight.

Anything left will be disposed of. For more information on what to bring and what not to bring to parades, visit ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/what-to-bring/.

Trash & Recycling

Again this year, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will install "gutter buddies," or barriers that block solid objects from entering drains, along parade routes. Residents and visitors are also encouraged to do their part to keep trash off the streets and out of the drainage system. Tips include cleaning up your area before you leave, depositing trash in public receptacles or carrying your trash with you to dispose of later. For more information, visit ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/what-to-bring/. Department of Sanitation crews will follow parades each day to clean routes. Parade goers are urged to stay clear of sanitation crews and their heavy equipment.

The Office of Resilience and Sustainability and NOLA Ready are working with community partners across the city to expand existing sustainability efforts through the pilot program, "Recycle Dat!" Volunteers will collect beads, cans and glass along St. Charles Avenue during the day parades of February 11, 12, 18 and 19. They will also offer bead collection bags to parade goers to return or take home to fill throughout the season. Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit ready.nola.gov for more information on Mardi Gras sustainability, including drop-off sites and krewes that are championing sustainable throws.

First Aid & Lost Children

First aid stations along the parade route provide basic care for parade goers’ minor injuries, which reduces the strain on first responders and local hospital emergency rooms. First aid stations are staffed by volunteers from the NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps, the New Orleans Health Department Medical Reserve Corps, the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) VIGOR program and the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross. Parade goers are encouraged to go to a first aid station if in need of minor medical assistance; however, always call 9-1-1 during a medical emergency. On parade days, stations are open one hour before the first float of the first parade and until crowds disperse:

  • St. Charles Avenue & Louisiana Avenue

  • St. Charles Avenue & Jackson Avenue

  • St. Charles Avenue at Harmony Circle

  • St. Charles Avenue & Canal Street

  • North Carrollton Ave & Bienville Street (Feb. 18 only) or North Hennessey & Orleans Avenue

  • North Broad Street & Canal Street (Feb. 18 only)

Lost child stations are staffed by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). Because most families are quickly reunited near the area they were separated, residents are encouraged to tell the nearest public safety official if a child is lost. On parade days, stations are open one hour before the first float of the first parade and until crowds disperse.

  • St. Charles Avenue & Napoleon Avenue

  • St. Charles Avenue & Jackson Avenue

  • Canal Street & Baronne Street

NOPD will also distribute free, reusable identification bracelets to families at these locations. If the child is lost for any reason, law enforcement officers can immediately contact parents with the information on the bracelet.

Accessible Charging Stations

The Footprint Project is partnering with the City of New Orleans to offer three solar-powered charging stations along the parade route. These stations are free and open to all but will prioritize assistive devices such as electric wheelchairs or accessible communication tools. Stations will be available Feb. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at the following locations:

  • St. Charles Avenue between Josephine Street and St. Andrew Street

  • Harmony Circle and St. Charles Avenue

  • Lafayette Square

Public Restrooms

The Department of Property Management provides nearly 550 portable restrooms for public use along the parade route. View a map of restroom locations at routewise.nola.gov. Portable restrooms are allowed on private property; however, residents are reminded of the following regulations:

  • If you plan to charge a use fee, you need a permit.

  • Do not place private portable restrooms on neutral grounds, public sidewalks or other public property.

  • Portable restrooms on flat beds in parking spots are considered abandoned property that can pose a security risk and will be towed at the owners’ expense.

Sober Safe Spot

Avenues Recovery encourages residents in recovery to celebrate the joy and culture of Mardi Gras while staying committed to sobriety. The brainchild of Avenues Recovery alumni, the Sober Safe Spot is a place to fully join in the revelry of Mardi Gras in a warm and welcoming atmosphere with like-minded members of the recovery community, their families and friends. The sober safe spot is strategically placed along the parade route in New Orleans and in Metairie from Feb. 10 through Feb. 21. Everyone in or supporting recovery is welcome. Residents and visitors can find the Sober Safe Spot under the white flag near Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue.

OHL Sobering Center

Odyssey House Louisiana operates the Sobering Center (732 N. Claiborne Ave.) for 24 hours a day, year-round, including throughout Mardi Gras. The Sobering Center allows intoxicated individuals to voluntarily recover from immediate acute alcohol impairment under the care of trained staff. Sobering Center staff monitor individuals at the facility and provide opportunities to access higher levels of care such as medically assisted detox or substance use treatment. Transportation to and from the Sobering Center is available by call the Outreach van at (504) 439-5941.

PLANNING FOR TRANSPORTATION IMPACTS

Alternatives to Driving

Parades and festivities draw many revelers and heavy traffic. Residents are encouraged to consider alternative transportation options to get there, including bus, streetcar, bike or for-hire rides. Visit the Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) 2023 Mardi Gras Guide here. Download the LePass app to plan your trip, check service alerts, purchase fares and track your bus or streetcar in real time.

Riders can learn more by contacting Rideline at (504) 248-3900 or visiting norta.com/Mardi-Gras.

Street Closures

Before parades begin or when crowd size warrants, NOPD will close the route to vehicles. Parade routes can be found at routewise.nola.gov.

In anticipation of large crowds, NOPD will limit vehicles allowed to enter the French Quarter and will close some streets to vehicles completely. Additional intermittent street closures might be required as crowd size warrants.

VEHICLES LIMITED

Only residents, employees, hotel guests and taxis/TNCs will be allowed to drive vehicles into the French Quarter starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 through 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22:

  • Entering the French Quarter within the perimeter of Iberville Street, Decatur Street, Dumaine Street and North Rampart Street

NO VEHICLES ALLOWED

No vehicles will be allowed on the following streets from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. overnight Friday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 12, Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, Feb. 16. These streets will be closed to vehicles 24/7 beginning 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 through 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22:

  • Bourbon Street from Canal St. to Dumaine Street

  • 700-800 blocks of St. Ann Street, Orleans Avenue, St. Peter Street, Toulouse Street, St. Louis Street, Conti Street, Bienville Street and Iberville Street

Parking Enforcement and Restrictions

DPW will be enforcing parking regulations throughout the Mardi Gras season. Residents are reminded to pay close attention to posted signs and note that additions and changes are possible pending safety concerns. More parking tips and information are available at ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/transportation/parking.

Parking is restricted along all parade routes two hours before and after parades to ensure parade elements and sanitation crews can access the street.

UPTOWN

Depending on the specific parade route, parking may be prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades. Follow all posted signs.

  • Tchoupitoulas Street from Jackson Avenue to Nashville Avenue

  • Napoleon Avenue from Tchoupitoulas Street to South Claiborne Avenue

  • St. Charles Avenue from Napoleon Avenue to Canal Street

  • Tchoupitoulas Street from Poydras Street to Calliope Street

ENDYMION

On Saturday, Feb. 18, parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets from 6 a.m. until two hours after the parade ends:

  • Canal Street from South Carrollton Avenue to Elks/Basin Street

  • North Carrollton Avenue from Canal Street to Orleans Avenue

  • Orleans Avenue from City Park Avenue to North Carrollton Avenue

FRENCH QUARTER & CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT

Parking restrictions in the French Quarter and Central Business District will be in place from 12 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 15 through Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the following locations:

  • 700-800 blocks of St. Ann Street, Orleans Avenue, St. Peter Street, Toulouse Street, St. Louis Street, Conti Street, Bienville Street and Iberville Street

  • Bourbon Street from St. Ann Street to Dumaine Street

Additional or intermittent road closures and parking restrictions may be added at the discretion of NOPD or other law enforcement agencies.

CARNIVAL SAFETY TIPS FROM THE NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT

The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) would like to remind residents to take fire safety precautions throughout Carnival season:

  • All Mardi Gras costumes should be made of flame retardant materials.

  • Use caution when in the vicinity of flambeaux being used in parades.

  • Open flames are prohibited and cooking with portable BBQ pits or similar equipment is strongly discouraged. The use of such equipment along parade routes requires extreme caution to keep combustibles clear of large crowds.

  • BBQ pits and grills must be at least six feet back from the street curb.

  • Properly discard of any hot ashes, cinders or smoldering coals. Do not set up a BBQ pit or similar equipment in ANY intersection.

  • Be sure not to leave any cooking equipment on or unattended when you leave home.

  • Always ensure smoking materials are properly extinguished and discarded in approved receptacles.

  • Do not park in intersections or block fire hydrants. Do not park on the opposite side of the street of a parade route.

  • Be prepared to move out of the way of approaching fire apparatus or other emergency vehicles.

  • All tents or tarps shall be flame retardant and any tent over 120 square feet shall have an NOFD permit.

  • Discharging of fireworks is illegal.

NOFD would also like to remind residents of the following safety measures in place, per City of New Orleans ordinance 34-33:

  • All ladders used by parade spectators shall be structurally sound.

  • No ladder, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills or other similar personal effects shall be placed in intersections or between curbs of public streets during the pendency of a parade.

  • Ladders, tents, grills and other personal effects shall be placed six feet back from the street curb.

  • Additionally, the practice of fastening two or more ladders together shall be prohibited.

  • It shall be prohibited to use ropes or other similar items to create a barricade or otherwise obstruct passage along public property, unless otherwise specifically authorized.

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