NEW ORLEANS -- Read Lane is a short street that is a shortcut from the interstate to a residential neighborhood in New Orleans East. But what a dreary place.
Long, empty buildings are not in great shape, lots are overgrown, it is becoming a dump, and the abandoned car wash has open pits filled with water and debris.
"When I come to work in the morning, I'm excited because I'm going to see people who I love," said Lucinda Anderson. "I'm excited to see people who I love to work with, and do things for. But then I started feeling, my happiness and my hype, it started turning to depression when I turn that corner, and I have to come through here, and I see all this grass, and all this blight."
Lucinda Anderson operates Amazing Grace Adult Day Care Center, almost the only business open on the short street. She wants to get her clients away from memories of Hurricane Katrina, but a pleasant morning exercising outside brings unpleasant reminders.
"We kept calling the city about this grass," said Anderson. "They said they was going to come out. They never came out."
But it is the city's response to the hole in the street that she can't believe. It is a deep, hazardous, and very visible sinkhole, with an orange warning barrel lying nearby.
"Some cars that actually came so close to getting their cars damaged," said Anderson. "Sewerage & Water Board sent someone out. That was about six months ago, and the hole is actually fixed. They say the hole is fixed."
And you know what happens anytime there is an area left abandoned for a while. It's not long before it becomes a dump.
Now you can bet the mayor's office does not want to hear from me about this. They've got far too much on their plates already. But for those who live and work in this area, an area so close to the interstate, it's critically important that it get cleaned up.
So that's what I'm going to ask the mayor's office to do, clean this, fix that hole in the road.
Lucinda worries if nothing is done, the blight will drive her clients away.