MacArthur Boulevard bike lane construction continues

It was late afternoon on Wednesday, Dec. 15, when the city’s Neighborhood Engagement Office sent out a notice on Nextdoor, informing Algiers residents that contract construction crews would be installing concrete curb barriers on MacArthur Boulevard to supplement the 29-inch high bollards.

While the city kindly told its citizens there’d be no street closures, it barely gave the residents time to react. Work was expected to begin the following day. That didn’t appear to happen. However, seven days later, on Dec. 23, the work began in the eastbound lane of MacArthur next to the Winn-Dixie.

Armed with a rotary hammer drill and a gas-powered generator, laborers employed by Hardrock Construction began anchoring the concrete pieces to the roadway using short lengths of rebar. According to the city’s notice, these barriers will supplement the bollards from Holiday Drive to Woodland Drive, much to the dislike of residents who use the thoroughfare daily and who’ve loathed the Cantrell Administration’s unsightly and grossly underused “protected bike lanes.”

According to an informal poll on Nextdoor, 81 percent of the 254 respondents who live in neighborhoods most affected by the city’s MacArthur redesign want the roadway’s four vehicular lanes restored. These results were noted on the afternoon of Dec. 23, as the laborers were installing the barriers. In early 2021, the city implemented its “protected bike lane” design on MacArthur by eliminating two of the motor vehicle travel lanes.

Clearly, the city continues to snub the residents and is moving forward.