Parade goers park in the middle of streets on Fat Tuesday, causing gridlock

Mardi Gras Parking Issues

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Some parade goers parked in the middle of streets on Fat Tuesday, causing a major gridlock off St. Charles Avenue.

One business owner said the cars blocked her employees in or out for hours.

"When they couldn't find parking, just parked in the middle of the street and blocked all traffic. I mean, it was gridlocked, you couldn't go anywhere and they turn their cars off and went to the parade for hours," The Avenue Pub Owner, Polly Watts said.

They lined all the way down Polymnia Street by The Avenue Pub.

"My employees needed to get into the parking lot, they weren't able to get down the street, or in some cases got stuck in the middle of the street, because some people pulled in right behind them and just left," Watts said.

Watts said the gridlock is a big safety hazard.

"If you can't get an ambulance close to my door, that can mean the difference between life and death in terms of the equipment they can get to the people. Thank goodness we had no emergencies yesterday, but had we had one, and we've had them in the past, we woulod've not been able to do anything about it," Watts said.

Some residents said they're not surprised.

"Living here in New Orleans, you know that in Mardi Gras, you know what places are going to get busy, so you're going to avoid those places," Vladimir Costa said.

He owns an online business, and said he had to maneuver around the traffic to mail his orders.

"I have to go around it. I have to go around the traffic, i have to park in certain parts, and make sure that i have access to my car, and to my product, so I can ship it on time," Costa said.

Watts said she called tow companies, but officers told her the cars had to be ticketed twice before they could be towed.

"Parking enforcement had to come out, ticket each car twice before they could send a tow truck. So it would be great, if that rule could be suspended in terms of Mardi Gras and completely blocking a street, because obviously, that process takes hours," Watts said

FOX 8 reached out to the city administration but didn't hear back.

Councilmember Jay H. Banks said he was not aware of the situation, but said he will discuss with the Mardi Gras Task Force to see how it can be better enforced.

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