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Foot traffic has never been slower on Rampart Street

Businesses have seen fewer customers and some RTA passengers have nearly two-hour commutes to get around the site of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.

NEW ORLEANS — The coffee's still flowing at Arrow Cafe on North Rampart Street -- but not like it was before the Hard Rock Hotel collapse on Oct. 12.

“Nobody really wanted to go down Rampart this way when they heard about the giant disaster,” said Nicholas Christian, co-owner of the coffee shop. “It's usually a little bit busier than this. We'll usually have a lot more walking people, especially the day after Halloween.

“This is a huge day when people are doing the last things on their vacation, but as you can see, there isn't a lot of foot traffic down here anymore. It's really dried up on Rampart”

Rampart and Canal will be closed for the foreseeable future. The property owner is now getting bids to demolish the Hard Rock Hotel, a City Hall spokesperson says.

The bids were due Nov. 1, but it's still expected to be a slow process going forward.

Most of the shops, bars and restaurants along North Rampart have reopened, but the Rampart streetcar line is still closed, and there's no telling when it might reopen.

That means the RTA has had to shift around bus and streetcar service.

And it means longer rides for those like Eden Abraham, who works on Rampart and relies on public transportation.

“I live off of Causeway in Metairie. So usually to get from my house to the shop, it would take an hour,” she said. “But because the bus lines have pretty much closed on North Rampart, I've had to add 30 to 45 minutes to my trip every day.”

She's not sure how long this will last.

“I thought, 'This has to be something that's going to … affect my life for two weeks,'” Abraham said. “And now it looks like -- is it going to affect my life for the next few months? The next year?”

Christian, from Arrow Cafe, said he hopes it won’t take that long.

“I really hope they do find the right contractors and get this done correctly and safely.”

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