From potholes to dips in the streets that create lakes after rainstorms, New Orleans streets are known for their bad, and at times nondrivable, conditions. However, when the neutral grounds are cut and neatly trimmed, I tend to be a lot more forgiving of the deplorable streets — well, at least slightly. I love when city workers cut and clean up the neutral grounds and I wish it would happen citywide a lot more often.
I argue that the neutral grounds are an enormous quality-of-life issue. When they are taken care of, it demonstrates that the city cares. When the city cares, citizens care more and take care of their streets in regard to trash, weeds, and so forth. Neighborhoods feel cleaner, nicer, and safer when the neutral grounds are kept up. I have three questions. First, who is in charge of scheduling the maintenance of the neutral grounds in Orleans Parish? Secondly, can neutral ground upkeep occur more frequently than it does now? Third, is there designation or priority to which streets and neutral grounds receive treatment? For example, I’ve noticed for quite some time that South Carrollton above Claiborne is trimmed weekly. South Carrollton south of Claiborne gets cut much less frequently. And then North Carrollton — well, that never gets cut. I hope we can maintain our streets more consistently and frequently so that our citizens can take even more pride in their daily drives as we pass by our famous neutral grounds.
If you don’t believe me, I suggest you take a drive down Broadway in Uptown. The combination of the recent street repavement plus the now more noticeable upkeep of the neutral grounds has led to a beautiful streetscape. I am impressed!
doctoral student, urban studies, The University of New Orleans