NEW ORLEANS — With a 7-0 vote, the New Orleans City Council approved Councilmember Freddie King's ordinance to remove 2.2 miles of bike lanes from Algiers.
The vote came after nearly two hours of debate from people on both sides of the debate.
Some Algiers residents and biking advocates testified to the safety protected bike lanes provide bikers on busy New Orleans streets.
"I do think Mr. King has good intentions as a councilman," one Westbank resident said. "But I do believe that he is deadly wrong on this issue."
Other Algiers residents spoke to the inconvenience these lanes have caused in their neighborhood, saying they'd like to see them moved to different roads in the area.
"Algiers had no clue," another Algiers resident said. "You wonder why Algiers people are angry, the bike lanes are on the wrong streets, they're designed wrong, it's not good for Algiers in any way shape of form."
The Department of Public Works will now have 60 days to remove the plastic bollards, better known as "flex posts" protecting the bike lanes and return stretches of Newton Street and MacArthur Boulevard to their original configuration.
Biking advocates with Bike Easy have said that this vote will set a dangerous precedent for New Orleans, possibly leading to the removal of more biking infrastructure in the city.
“I think that it’s a step backward and I think that even though the focus right now is just in one district, it will set a precedent that affects the whole network," Allene La Spina, Acting Excutive Director of Bike Easy, said before the vote.