18-wheelers targeted in FQ group's fight to strengthen law

18-wheelers targeted in FQ group's fight to strengthen law

Even with the recent crashes and all of the videos and photos documenting the problem, some say big trucks and buses keep rolling through the French Quarter.

"Daily. If you are out on the streets, you will frequently see vehicles that dwarf the buildings," said Kim Rosenberg with the French Quarter Management District.

Now, the group is pushing for law changes. During a meeting Wednesday, members talked about tightening up the existing city ordinance.

"We're addressing, specifically, the 18-wheeler trucks," said Gail Cavett, who heads up the FQMD's infrastructure committee.

The current law spells out specifics for buses, but it does not ban 18-wheelers from barreling down the historic neighborhood's narrow interior streets. Group leaders are drawing up proposed changes to present to the city council.

"There's a little loophole now. So, (18-wheelers) can legally be in the French Quarter. We are seeking to remedy that," Cavett said.

Whether drivers are simply being led into the tight spots by GPS, or they're intentionally looking for shortcuts, some residents and businesses are feeling the impact. Last month, a truck overturned and crashed into a nightclub's balcony support beam on Decatur. A few days later, another big rig crushed a man's front porch, leaving neighbors outraged.

"(The driver) didn't just hit it a little bit. He didn't just hit the corner. He was on his porch," said neighbor Nadine Kujawa shortly after the Oct. 18 incident.

Before sending the law change proposals to the city council, FQMD board members must first approve the proposals. Cavett said that could happen during a meeting in early December.

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