NEW ORLEANS, LA - By day, the corner of St. Charles and Peniston is a pleasant boulevard shaded by oak trees. By night it is so dark we needed the light on our camera to take the pictures. Three streetlights are broken, two burned out, one knocked down.
"It is dark enough to be dangerous, it is dark enough for adults for it to be dangerous," said Jerry Speegle of the Delachaise Neighborhood Association.
Brent and Nicole Massey say being in the dark takes a lot of the fun out of attending the parades, or marching in them.
"It's like midnight pitch black," said Nicole. "You'd fall over yourself, and not see your feet. It's very dangerous. What are you planning to do? We are bringing some lanterns and camping gear out."
"It's dangerous for the the people that are in the parade, they're tripping over beads and bags and horse manure and all kinds of things that are in the street," added Brent. "And it is dangerous to us because we can't see things that are coming at us."
The neighborhood association has been asking City Hall to fix this for months.
"We're very concerned, because not only do pedestrians and children and a lot of bike riders go by, it is just such a dark area that, you know, the crime potential is there," said Delachaise Neighborhood Association president John Buckner.
As soon as I was contacted about this problem, I emailed officials at City Hall yesterday, asking them to hurry up with the repairs, because parade season is under way. Well, the only thing I heard back yesterday from the mayor's office yesterday was one line, was I doing a report on it that night? Well, I'm doing a report on it tonight, and asking them once again to get the repairs done as quickly as possible, because the parades are taking place right now.
"I thought once again somebody is dropping the ball," said Speegle.
"I was shocked," added Buckner. "We definitely need to get this issue addressed."
A city spokesman now says even temporary repairs cannot be done because it is parade season, but adds the broken streetlights are on the immediate list for repair.
"It's not like Mardi Gras was a surprise, it's this time every year," pointed out Brent Massey.
I'll let you know if the city does shed light on the parade crowds at Peniston and St. Charles.