People behind the effort to expand the Convention Center have a plan they think will ease traffic in the Warehouse District.more>>
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Earlier this week, I took to my soapbox to protest the indifference and insufferability of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
In recently attempting the simple task of replacing a stolen drivers license, I descended into a two-day nightmare during which I was humiliated by a clerk, exposed to intolerable waiting room conditions, subjected to an uprising by agitated customers that ended with police intervention and, at one point, was locked inside an OMV office after closing time – without as much as an operable water fountain for relief.
The state should be ashamed of putting customers through this ordeal day after day.
And worse, for putting its employees in the impossible situation of dealing with and diffusing overflow, hostile crowds at chronically under-staffed, under-equipped offices.
One frequent witness to this Dante-esque scene called it: "An abomination" and "A horrendous example of what we should not be doing."
That witness was Stephen Campbell, the brand new Commissioner of the Louisiana OMV, who called me Tuesday.
Instead of denying the conditions, making excuses, blaming his predecessors or blaming the media, Campbell called my report "tragically accurate."
And then he laid down some unexpected good news: Our long, national nightmare is over!
At least, here in the New Orleans area it should be soon.
A new state-of-the-art facility will be opening at the site of the old Troop B headquarters, at the corner of Vets and the Pontchartrain Expressway in New Orleans.
A new satellite office will be opening in Kenner.
Both of these, Campbell said, should be open before the end of the year.
"A Christmas present to all of us," he said.
In addition, the state is shopping for a new location in New Orleans East, to replace the now-defunct office that used to be on Lake Forest Boulevard.
For folks who cannot wait until the end of the year to conduct their OMV business, Campbell offered these helpful tips:
Never go to the OMV on a Monday or Friday, when the average wait is at least two hours.
And the office at the Alario Center in Westwego is consistently the least crowded, most efficient office in the New Orleans area.
"That's our hidden secret," he said.
Until now, that is.
Happy motoring to one and all from the State of Louisiana – and your friends here at Fox 8 News.
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