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What’s going on in New Orleans?

By December 8, 2005katrina

On a mass-scale, what is going on in New Orleans?  Hard to say.  Even people who live here probably don’t really know. All they know is what they see when they ride around.  And riding around you can be either hopeful or depressed.  Want hope?  Drive down Magazine St and visit Uptown.  Wanna be depressed?  Take a tour of New Orleans East or the Lower Ninth Ward.  But I recommend you save your gas.

The best way to figure out the overall state of affairs is to look at key demographic data.  The Brookings Institution has a Katrina Index (PDF file) that’s worth checking out, along with this page of general information.  Here’s one small factoid from the Katrina Index: How many public transportation riders were there in the city at various times from August to November?  Here’s a quick breakdown, starting with the day before Katrina hit:

  • 8/28/05       124,000 riders
  • 10/2/05               33
  • 10/9/05           3,017
  • 10/16/05         7,060
  • 10/23/05         9,397
  • 10/30/05        14,463
  • 11/6/05          20,497
  • 11/13/05        29,693
  • 11/20/05        36,114
  • 11/27/05        44,287

So, we’re back up to 35% of our transportation level.  Is that good or bad?  I don’t know, but I suspect we need a much better system to transport people in our city.  I guess it helps that, for now, most of the inhabitable parts of the city are closely connected.

By, the way, here is another great link for information about New Orleans neighborhoods.  It’s from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.

3 Comments

  • This story definitely needs to get out. 35% is definitely positive in the sense that something was done, however much more needs to be done to rectify the situation.

  • Talked to New Orleans client (small business) today and asked him how life in New Orleans was. “Fragile, ” was the word I got. Thought he meant as to himself mentally but meant as to the city as a whole.

    Talked as to infrastrucure of electricity, mail, telephone and the other things we take for granted. In New Orleans I hear those things are up and down. Yesterday he says he got shopping bag full of mail, some from months ago. In response to my inquiry, he tells me that included the first junk mail.

    Fear that those businesses without very strong emotional ties to New Orleans may up and move if they have not already. For those that do not, we appreciate you telling us what is going on down there.

    Take care Ernie.

  • Dave Winer says:

    Ernie, I’m thinking about coming to New Orleans as a reporter, to take pictures and if possible talk with people, maybe do a few podcasts, and report back to the blogging community, in an admittedly superficial way, what it’s like in New Orleans.

    I think this is a story that isn’t getting out there, and I want to try to help get it out there. Part of the reason is I want to find out how I feel about New Orleans.

    Do you think it would be worthwhile? Would you be willing to help me plan a few days in the city? I’m thikning about coming next week.

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