French Quarter business owners ask city to relax parking enforcement during reopening

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 9:29 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Some business owners in the French Quarter call for the city to ease up on parking citations and towing.

Andre Noujaim, the owner of several shoe stores in the French Quarter said he was towed, then ticketed during street cleaning this week.

"I got towed on Tuesday. Actually, the tow truck gashed a hole in the side of my car. I have to be honest, I was at fault for Tuesday's incident, but there have been many incidents that i did not deserve a ticket," Noujaim said.

He said he lives across the street from his business, and noticed cars ticketed during lockdown.

"The first few weeks, I kept photographing meter maids ticketing the one and two cars. There might've been only two cars on this whole street. You know, we're under lockdown but you're still going to give us a ticket? We're not allowed to leave our homes, but you're going to get a ticket," Noujaim said.

One retail owner said they're depending on business from locals, who don't want to worry about parking.

"Even if people want to do curbside pick up, they're not coming because they're scared that if they park for five minutes, they're going to get a $30 ticket," Earth Odyssey Owner Joy Debnath said.

She said her business is making twenty percent of what they normally would since reopening.

"The city could help a lot in allowing businesses to have the most opportunity for success during Phase One and Phase Two if they would just relax the parking restrictions and possibly not charge for the meters during this time," Debnath said.

Some business owners say they offer curbside delivery to eliminate the hassle for customers.

"We say please call us, we'll run it out to you, not a problem. We do that often, because a lot of ladies who live uptown or in metairie don't want to take the trip down here, and then have to worry about paying for parking if they're only going to be here for an hour," Wise Buys Manager Charlene Rhodes said.

"I love this city on so many levels, but lately, I feel like the city's not being loyal back to me. I feel like the city should take care of us, and they're not," Noujaim said.

FOX 8 brought these business owners’ concerns to the city, and whether it would consider loosening parking enforcements during this time, but did not hear back.

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