Bill Capo / Action Reporter
NEW ORLEANS - The parade reviewing stand where the mayor toasts the Kings of Carnival is brightly lit, but just behind the bleachers across the street, Lafayette Square is a dark place. The ten city streetlights in the park have been burned out so long that federal magistrate judge and Lafayette Square Conservancy leader Sally Shushan emailed the Action Line.
"What worries me is that we've got hundreds of residents in the neighborhood now, all of whom have dogs, and they come through and they walk, and they have injuries," said Judge Shushan. "We're also scared for tourists who come through and can't see what may be hanging out in the bushes."
They've been asking the city for months to repair the lights in the park.
"I would hate to hear that somebody got mugged during Mardi Gras," said Judge Shushan.
A few blocks away on Julia Street, residents are fed up with broken streetlights.
"We haven't had lights since Katrina," said Cassandra Sharpe. "Two days ago a young man that was just moving in on the corner had his truck broken in right across the street, $6,000 worth of clothes stolen."
I sent the city a series of emails, asking them to get the burned out streetlights repaired during the Mardi Gras season. They responded that burned out lights along the parade routes and adjacent to them, including Lafayette Square and Julia Street are their priorities. But lights are still burned out. Those who live and work here don't want to hear words. They want action.
"It's just not what the city needs in the middle of Central Business District New Orleans," said Judge Shushan.
"We want the lights fixed," added Sharpe. "We don't want to have problems in this neighborhood."
A crew did fix two lights along Julia. Three were repaired in Lafayette Square, but with the rest broken, Sally Shushan worries about the danger continuing past Mardi Gras.
"We start March 14, twelve weeks of Wednesday concerts, and people are here after dark," she said.
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