The front page on the local newspaper's website* discusses the urban renewal plan to tear down the section of Interstate 10 through New Orleans that is elevated above N. Claiborne Avenue. They want to tear it down from Elysian Fields in the east to the Pontchartrain Expressway in the west, and restore N. Claiborne Avenue to an oak-lined boulevard, possibly with streetcars.
I think this would be a welcome change, as the current atmosphere under the I-10 elevation is one of the most blighted and non-commercial neighborhoods in the city, despite the fact that it should be the major east west corridor through the city.
Though it seems counterintuitive, these types of projects have met with success in other cities.
This kind of stuff is what I think about while driving around the city (I do my honest best never to take the interstate from one side of the city to another), and this idea has been banged around the blogosphere and at the bars in the past.
So I came up with a quick list of common sense things that would/have to change should New Orleans remove its I-10 over North Claiborne Avenue. At least, these are what I think are common sense things. Then I put them on a map. You can check them out below.
View New Orleans Interstates in a larger map
* (I'm going to try not to send any traffic to the local paper's website until they get some sort of handle on all the racist comments that follow every single article online.)