District A CitY Councilwoman Susan Guidry was one of the first supporters of the Lafitte Greenway.
"I was still an evacuee when I pulled up on my laptop an email from someone that had gone out to a lot of people talking about the possibility of building a greenway along the old railroad track. I actually cried because it was the first time I had read or heard or thought that there was anything positive that could come out of what we went through. And so, you know, it was a revelation that there could be good things in our future. ... When we got back home, eventually we learned that this group was forming, the Friends of Lafitte Corridor, and my husband and I joined it.
"It's still difficult for me to talk about without choking up. I think it's that it will be a connection between so many diverse neighborhoods. It will connect, basically, the French Quarter to the Lakefront. Of course, it's a very healthy connection.
"It's exciting that along the Treme area and Faubourg Lafitte the Greenway is going to be much wider, sort of park-like. There used to be playing fields there for the kids in that area, and we're going to be able to put some of that back. ... When we did the design charettes, that's what the people in that area wanted. Down by the Carrollton area, they just wanted a passive walking and biking path, and that's what we'll have there. So the structure of the Greenway actually fits the people in the different areas.
"We did put money in the budget for maintenance, so that will be taken care of, and it's going to be under the direction of Parks and Parkways. The management piece has been a topic of conversation for quite some time and of course, we should have that in place right now. But I think it may involve some combination of the Trust for Public Land and the Friends of Lafitte Corridor. ...
"I know that we have the security with the lighting. We're talking about other types of security. But there's no way to close this park. It's more of a pathway, for the most part, so it will remain open. Of course (I am worried about crime). That's a concern across the city in open spaces, and it's something that we're going to have to look at very carefully.
"I certainly think that having the Greenway run through the neighborhood is going to be a positive thing for the neighborhood. I think property values pretty much are rising all over the city. I would not think that the Greenway would have the kind of impact that would mean that someone who owns the house now in the area of the Greenway would get to a point that they could not afford their property taxes. It would not have that kind of impact."
New Orleanians talk about the Lafitte Greenway
• Susan Guidry, District A City Councilwoman