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The Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes, is a 31 member board of local elected officials and citizen members, appointed to represent you on regional issues. This board is supported by a staff of 23 professionals with broad experience, and doctorates or masters degrees, in a variety of areas including urban and regional planning, community development, economics, engineering, government, history, law, landscape architecture, political science, sustainable development, transportation, geography and other disciplines.

CLICK IT OR TICKET National Enforcement starts May 23, 2016

The New Orleans and North Shore Regional Traffic Safety Coalition is reminding motorists to Click it or Ticket.  As a part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement May 23 to June 5th.

Motor vehicle crashes remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 9,385 individuals lost their lives as a result of not wearing their seat belts. Additionally, males are almost twice as likely to be killed in car accidents as a result of lower seat belt use. Seat belts are a proven safety precaution, and NHTSA indicates that between 2010 and 2014 63,000 people's lives were saved as a result wearing them.

Of the 9,285 unrestrained individuals killed in 2014, NHTSA indicated that 57% took place between the hours of 6pm-5:59 am. As a result, one of the key focuses of Click it and Ticket will be nighttime enforcement. State and local police agencies will be using a no-excuse approach to seat belt enforcement, and will be on high alert for seat belt infractions.

The Click it or Ticket campaign is not about citations, but a vital tool in helping to reduce unrestrained vehicle deaths. According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Research Group, in 2015 Louisana had a seat belt use rate of 85.9%. While Louisiana has made great strides in seat belt use in the past ten years, it is imperative to continue to advocate for their use in order save lives. By utilizing high visibility enforcement through the Click it or Ticket campaign, the goal is to increase seat belt use in the region and ensure that our friends, family, and loved ones remain safe while on our roads and interstates.

US Highway 11 Widening (Spartan Drive to Lake Pontchartrain) Public Hearing

OPEN HOUSE PUBLIC HEARING

US Highway 11
Spartan Drive to Lake Pontchartrain

State Project No. H.004983
Federal Aid Project No. H004983
St. Tammany Parish

The Regional Planning Commission (RPC) for the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will hold an open house public hearing to discuss the results of the US Highway 11 (US 11) Widening Environmental Assessment (EA). Those interested may review detailed information contained in the EA, copies of which have been made available at Slidell public libraries, RPC (10 Veterans Blvd., New Orleans), and DOTD District 62 (685 N. Morrison Blvd., Hammond). The EA is also available at the RPC, DOTD, and St. Tammany Parish (STP) websites:

DRAFT US Highway 11 Environmental Assessnent

All interested parties are invited to review the EA and are encouraged to attend the public hearing scheduled at the following date, time, and location:

Thursday, June 23, 2016
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Salmen High School Cafeteia
300 Spartan Drive
Slidell, LA 70458

The public hearing will use an open house format. A prerecorded presentation describing project location, design features, impacts, schedule, and right-of-way requirements will run continuously during the hearing. Protect team representatives from RPC, DOTD, STP, and the engineering consultant (GEC) will be present to answer questions. Written statements may be submitted at the hearing or mailed prior to July 5, 2016, to Mr. Jeff Robinson at 8282 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806).

In the event a member of the public desiring to participate in the public hearing requires special assistance due to disability, please contact Mr. Jeff Robinson by mail at 8282 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806 at least five working days prior to the meeting.

THE RPC HAS HEARD FROM YOU!

RPC is in the midst of a public outreach effort aimed at engaging citizens on transportation priorities and challenges. Several community meetings have been held around the region, including New Orleans East, Kenner and on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. Additionally, a survey has been disseminated to identify the public's transportation needs and ideas. The survey period is closed and RPC is compiling the results. Upon completion (Sept. 2014), a report will be available online and in print. Please check back here for a report on the results of your feedback.

If you would like to know more about this outreach effort, please call Nik Richard at 504-483-8535 or email at nrichard@norpc.org

RPC transportation planner and Title IX Coordinator Nik Richard, left, listens to residents’ thoughts about transportation-related priorities at a public meeting held June 11 in Kenner. .

RPC Commemorates Bike to Work Day

Several RPC staffers participated in New Orleans Bike to Work Day, celebrated this year on Wednesday, April 10. One of numerous similar events held at different times of year across the country, Bike to Work Day aims to encourage the public to try bicycling as a mode of transportation and to call attention to the rights and needs of bicyclists as legal users of the road. In this photo, RPC staffers, from left, Karen Parsons, Meredith Soniat, Tricia Keffer, Dan Jatres, Maggie Woodruff and Emilie Bahr, head out to grab lunch on their bikes.  

Photo by Megan Leonard

Regional Planning Commision Assists with Conceptual Designs for Kenner Streetscape Improvements

The RPC and the City of Kenner, working with consultants GEC Inc. and M. Johanna Liebe, recently concluded a conceputal design process aimed at bringing a series of capital improvement projects outlined in the city's Kenner 2030: Strategic Plan for a Prosperous Future one step closer to implementation. The designs focused on three streetscape improvements that will enhance access, safety and quality of life for city residents.




















Williams Blvd, at Airline today (on left) and proposed (on right)

New Orleans Tourism Chief Discusses New Strategy for Attracting Visitors

Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the city's leisure travel-promotion agency, spoke to the RPC Board in March about his organization's new approach to selling the city to visitors.

New Orleans has much more to offer than Bourbon Street, Romig said. "We need to be marketing what's found elsewhere in the city." To that end, the NOTMC has created a new website, followyournola.com, and online and TV ads that promote the architecture, food, music and people found outside of the French Quarter. The agency is marketing specifically to a group Romig dubbed "the experiential discoverers," those he described as drawn to the city in pursuit of authentic experiences unique to New Orleans.

Romig touted the economic value of tourism to the region. Visitors to New Orleans spent $6 billion in 2012, he said, adding that the New Orleans tourism industry is responsible for 78,000 jobs.

Although areas outside New Orleans are not presently included in the NOTMC's campaign, Romig said subsequent iterations of the website and other initiatives could promote activities and attractions beyond the city limits. "We look at New Orleans as the base camp of a visitor to this part of the state," he said.

New Orleans hosts roughly 9 million visitors annually, Romig said. Tourism numbers for 2013 had not yet been released at the time of his presentation, but Romig said the city is on pace to record the highest visitation

Magnolia
NOTMC's website followyournola.com is one component of the organization's new tourist-attraction strategy.

Census

CENSUS 2010: Download GIS files

(PL-171-redistricting data)

Census 2010 parish, tract, block group and block geographies joined with total population, population by race, and housing occupancy data.  These files are formatted as shapefiles for use in GIS software (download is a zipped file).    A methodology paper describing the RPC process of downloading and formatting categorical names and of summarizing race data is available with each download. 
For a quick map view demonstrating demographic changes between 2000 and 2010 please click on the hyperlink below and zoom into your specific area of interest:

NY Times: Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census


Census
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