NEW ORLEANS -- On Monday night community members got a chance to sound off on the future of the Claiborne Avenue Corridor.
The first of four neighborhood meetings was held in Mid-City at the First Grace Methodist Church on Canal Street.
"It's usually students, medical students in the area," said Jessica Falgout of the clientele that walk into Angeletto Pizzeria & Pub.
Right now, the Italian restaurant is surrounded by concrete not far from the Claiborne Avenue overpass and massive construction of the City's Biomedical Corridor.
Falgout and her family recently bought Angeletto's and are excited about future development in the area.
"I think it's worth it. I think once everything is built up and things are up and running, it'll definitely pay off in the end," said Falgout.
More change is coming. The city of New Orleans is now looking into revitalizing the Claiborne Avenue Corridor between Elysian Fields and Napoleon Avenue. The 3.9 mile long stretch is being studied and would impact nine city neighborhoods.
"The city received $2 million from the federal government to do this study. We're going through the analysis. Half of it came from the Department of Transportation and half of it came from Housing & Urban Development," said Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant.
The city confirms that a wide range of economic development and transportation alternatives are being looked at, including knocking down the Claiborne Avenue Overpass altogether.
On Monday night community members like Trishena Duventre got a chance to listen to a presentation about the study and then weigh-in on the process at a neighborhood meeting in Mid-City.
The New Orleans native supports progress but worries about what it could do to the city's unique traditions and communities.
"I understand what they're trying to say about the upgrading, bringing the money, and clean up the neighborhood. But can we still preserve?," asked Duventre.
As the City looks at ways to spruce up the long-neglected Claiborne Avenue Corridor, one business owner would like to see more foot traffic outside her front door.
"Definitely pedestrian friendly, it would definitely be good for us, that's for sure," said Falgout.
Three more neighborhood meetings are scheduled this week:
Tuesday, December 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Christian Unity Baptist Church, 1700 Conti St.
Wednesday, December 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Andrew Wilson Charter School/Cafeteria, 3617 General Pershing St.
Thursday, December 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dryades YMCA, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
The Claiborne Avenue Corridor study is scheduled to last about 10 months, wrapping up in August 2013.