NEW ORLEANS - David Cameron rode along the newly-opened Lafitte Greenway Friday morning; it's now his normal way to get to the French Quarter.

The Mid-City resident says he can safely ride between the most popular parts of the city with less close encounters with cars.

"It helps me get off of Canal Street and really helps me get to the Quarter much faster," he said.

City leaders gathered at the Greenway Friday to celebrate its opening and the neighborhoods it connects.

It's a nearly three-mile stretch of land that was once an old rail line that lay dormant. More than $9 million later and it's a pathway city leaders say bridges the gap between several parts of the city.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "This is just the beginning. We are not just building a bike path, but we are building a place. The connection is all of you."

Councilwoman Susan Guidry said, "These diverse neighborhoods have history and stories and we celebrate them. This Greenway will foster the connection for years to come."

The city says the Greenway has yet to reach its full potential, but will grow over the years to come. That includes pathway lighting, more trees and new recreation fields.