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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS- It's a chronic problem across the city of New Orleans - broken and missing street name signs and traffic signs in just about every neighborhood.

Just two blocks from WWL-TV, at North Villerie and Ursulines in Treme, the brackets are there, but the signs are gone.

Contractor Shorty James was working on a nearby church. 'I can't see no sign on some of the streets and I don't know where I'm at,' said James. 'I'm not from here.'

Shakti Bellway and her brother got tired of hearing about the missing sign down the street at Treme and Governor Nicholls and took matters into their own hands. 'We were in the process of renovating our house and we pulled some old floor boards from this house from the 1800s, just painted them and wrote up our own street sign and climbed up and nailed it down,' said Bellway.

Bellway says they are now working on a new, more colorful sign in honor of her new baby girl Phoenix.

'Now that this little precious baby is here with us, we thought we'd make a new one and add her footprints to it,' she said.

There are still a lot of corners in New Orleans that have the old black on white paper streets signs. The letters are starting to fade. At Leonidas and Spruce in the West Carrollton neighborhood, the Spruce Street sign is barely readable.

'I think you need a special pair of eye glasses because you know, you get lost around here,' said neighbor Jon John. 'You can't read the signs you get lost, you know.'

Help is now on the way. The city just set aside $1.5 million for street sign repairs. Crews are now hard at work replacing street name signs and broken traffic signs. Ricardo Ortiz and his fellow New Orleans cab drivers appreciate the effort.

'If you don't have the street signs, for some of us that are not well seasoned, haven't been out here 20 years, yes, it's a little bit difficult for us,' said Ortiz.

So far, city crews have installed 438 new street name signs along with 773 new traffic signs. The city is now taking inventory of the missing and broken signs.

If you have one on your block, you are urged to call NOLA 311 or report it in the NOLA 311 page of the city of New Orleans website, www.nola.gov.

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