It is no secret that our city thrives on tourist dollars.
For a tourist, New Orleans is the greatest destination in this country for culture, events, fun, and so much more.
Which is exactly why we love to call it home.
What happens when crumbling infrastructure starts to get noticed by the people that pump blood through the economic veins of New Orleans?
They stop coming.
They stop spending.
Fix My Streets received the following email, completely unexpected, from a tourist who had recently explored New Orleans...
To Whom it May Concern,
I'm an American in my 40's, but until last month I had never been to your culturally rich and historically significant city. I stayed in an independent hotel near the garden district and explored N.O. on foot and by car.
Long story short: the streets were so bad that it put a damper on my entire visit.
I almost regretted visiting in the first place. I'm not exaggerating. The potholes, missing street signs, sidewalks, faded/worn crosswalk paint, etc.. were all so bad that I decided I will never return to NOLA unless I see a report on the national news stating that your city has completed a major street repair project.
This may sound melodramatic, but I have to say that I was truly shocked at the condition of the streets... I've never seen anything like it.
I visited some neighborhoods where I found it hard to believe residents drove on the streets on a daily basis. I could not drive close to the speed limit for fear of damaging my vehicle.
I saw nice homes for sale on streets that were absolute deal breakers for any buyer. At one point I said to myself that if I had to live here I'd have to drive a large SUV just to safely navigate the street terrain.
Why should my experience and opinion matter to your city's leaders?
My experience and opinion should matter simply because I'm the kind of person that your city wants to have paying your city hotel tax, and employing your over 70,000 tourism workers. I'm here to spend money on historically/culturally oriented things like tours, musical performances, museums, and historic hotels...as well as dining, shopping and gambling.
My household income is $150,000+. I tend to return to places I've visited and enjoyed (i.e: Key West, Savannah, Orlando, etc.) I'm here to have a good time without being destructive or rowdy. So, in these regards, I'm the type of tourist your city should want as a repeat visitor... my opinion should be of great concern to your city and business leaders.
I realize that your city has faced one of the most significant crises in our country's history. I'm sure Katrina decimated the city's funds. Unless you are planning to close up shop completely, the roads are a pretty basic priority after water and electricity.
Sincerely and Regretfully,
St Petersburg, FL
Here's what is really scary.
Geoff probably told plenty of friends and family about his experience. Are those people going to skip out on coming to New Orleans because they're afraid of the scarred roadways?
If this letter doesn't scare the you-know-what out of every citizen and city leader of New Orleans, nothing will.
If you care about the future of our great city, please share this letter with everyone you know. By staying angry and organized, we can keep the pressure on our leaders to fix the streets of New Orleans.
Hopefully this process gets started soon so we can welcome tourists like Geoffrey back to New Orleans with open arms... and smooth streets.
Sincerely and regretfully,
Your friends at Fix My Streets.