There’s nothing in the world like Carnival in New Orleans, but a little bit of common sense shouldn’t be banned along parade routes.
The new rules before the City Council would push back against some of what most parade-goers think of as abuses by the regulars, including the chaining of ladders together to stake out prime bead-catching territory. For most people, the notion that ladders be a few feet back from the route makes a lot of sense.
Sure, it’s a party, but it’s reasonable to make sure the streets are passable and the neutral grounds don’t blossom with hot grills to the point that people get burned. Or that you can get around the portable toilets people bring onto the neutral ground like it’s a backyard.
There have always been ordinances about Mardi Gras, and the tightening up proposed for this year mostly builds on existing rules — enforced or not, they have existed. The new proposals were developed after a great deal of consultation with parade krewes, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration and members of the City Council.
We support the idea that Mardi Gras be as safe as it can be. It’s a world-renowned event that draws an immense number of visitors from across the country and from abroad. Let’s show them a good time, and get them home without incident other than hangovers.