City Council chamber finally gets Wi-Fi network

Back in November 2005, while most of us were still wringing out our houses and trying to figure out how to piece our lives back together, Mayor Ray Nagin announced a plan for free Wi-Fi – citywide! But even before Nagin’s tech guru, Greg Meffert, was convicted of corruption, reality had fallen well short of  the hype.

What's with City Hall's ongoing campaign to kill District Councils?

The New Orleans City Council will soon vote on the future of citizen participation in our city. It’s an ideal mandated by both a post-Katrina amendment to the City Charter and the city’s long-overdue master plan. But despite overwhelming popular support, it appears to be in grave peril.

Making 'Complete Streets' a policy makes complete sense

By Matthew Rufo, The Lens contributing opinion writer |

In recent years, New Orleanians have witnessed a transformation of their streets from motor vehicle speedways to multimodal havens for a variety of users. Since 2004, the city’s bike lanes, paths and shared lanes have grown to over 40 miles.

Pedicab success pivots on City Council opting for merit selection

By Alan Williams, The Lens contributing opinion writer |

Finally, New Orleans has joined the ranks of cities that permit pedal-powered cabs to carry residents and visitors around town. Soon, New Orleanians and tourists alike will be able to cruise Magazine Street, roll to the Superdome for a Saints game, or get from a downtown hotel to a downriver restaurant without setting foot in an automobile.

New public comment rules inspire confusion as well as criticism

“Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.”             — Alice in Wonderland

By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |

See related video at end of story. Broadcasts of City Council proceedings cut cleanly from the dais to the speakers microphone — omitting the confusion that generally prevails among would-be orators over who gets to give public comment and for how long.