Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Many of the 'walk' / 'don't walk' signs in downtown New Orleans don't work.

Crossing the busy city streets can be potentially life threatening certain times of the day and night.

Pedestrian signals, posted at most intersections, are supposed to tell people when its safe to leave the curb.

But, along Canal Street and in the CBD, it appears there is a broken signal on just about every corner.

'I have a five block walk to and from work and several of the crosswalk signs don't even work,' said Char Thian, who lives in the CBD. 'Where we're standing now, I think five are inoperative and this is our tourism corridor.'

Tuesday night, New Orleans musical ambassador and Trumpter Jeremy Davenport was returning from a walk a long the river. He says he was nearly killed because of a broken pedestrian signal at North Peters and Canal.

'I just kind of gave it a shot and walked out and sure enough here came a guy flying through the intersection,' said Davenport. 'I was walking with a pack of tourists. It was scary.'

Tourists we spoke with are urging the city to repair the signals.

'When I see a walk sign, I know it's safe to walk, but otherwise you don't,' said Boyd Timm from Michigan.

'I think you really better be careful cause there's so much traffic,' said Lisa Connerly from Pennsylvania.

The Regional Planning Commission's Brake It Down campaign featuring the '610 Stompers' is everywhere you turn along Canal Street. Signs encouraging pedestrians to use the crosswalks safely are on buses, billboards and even on some sidewalks. We found one 'Strut Safely' placard is located under a pedestrian signal that's not working.

'I'm a big fan of (the campaign) and I noticed that it said, strut safely, use crosswalks, but I can't use the crosswalks because they don't work,' said Thian. 'Some (signals) aren't even up. They were down before Isaac and they still haven't been replaced.'

'I would say 75 percent of the pedestrian signals are out in the CBD and the French Quarter area, downtown,' said Davenport. 'We love our visitors here and we want to make it as safe as possible for people walking around. We want to encourage people to walk around our streets. If the pedestrian lights aren't working, it's a bad situation.'

According to a city spokesman, many of the pedestrian signals are not working because of wiring issues.

He said the city will be upgrading the countdown timers in the coming months.

Read or Share this story: