Although Napoleon Avenue construction may not be a major change to Mardi Gras 2014, New Orleans District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell is pressing forward with a series of changes to the city's Mardi Gras ordinances prompted by complaints she received as the 2013 parades began to roll shortly after she took office. The final ordinance was not available as of last week, but Cantrell presented the following proposals to neighborhood leaders from the Irish Channel, the St. Charles Avenue area and other associations along the parade routes in September.
All ladders should be 10 feet back from the curb, rather than the current rule requiring them to be set back as far as they are tall. A uniform distance will be easier to enforce, Cantrell has said. Grills would be prohibited from intersections, as furniture currently is.
Weight limits would be placed on throws, especially to prevent riders from throwing heavy objects such as whole bags of beads that can injure spectators.
Toilet rental companies could be fined for illegally placed toilets, so that they would do more to keep their customers within the law. At the same time, the city should provide more public toilets, with an online map so people can find them, Cantrell said.
Both sides of Napoleon and St. Charles avenues would be "no parking" zones during parades. Emergency officials want the traffic to flow, but eliminating parked vehicles would create more room for drivers, pedestrians and emergency workers, Cantrell said.
The Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Council would be given a similar role to the Mardi Gras Indian task force, meeting regularly to consider parade-related issues and offer opinions on new parades as well.
The number of parade permits would be limited to 30 (a reduction from the current 34), but all organizations that paraded the previous year would be grandfathered with seniority over new applicants.
Floats could not be used more than twice in a single parade season on the Eastbank.
In addition, Cantrell said she would try to incorporate a suggestion from residents to make better use of local food trucks. A special area of the route could be designated for them, or they could get some preference in the vendor lottery, residents suggested.