Roadblock devices aimed at preventing Bourbon St. terrorism
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It’s the latest effort to make sure the crowds that stroll New Orleans’ famous Bourbon Street are protected from terrorism.
City officials on Friday showed reporters the first in a system of road-blocking bollards installed to prevent would-be terrorists from driving into crowds. The cylindrical columns, roughly 3 feet (1 meter) high, are permanent, but they are installed on tracks so they can be moved aside when Bourbon Street is open to traffic.
Aaron Miller, the city’s homeland security director, said the bollards will be in place at night, when sections of the street of restaurants and bars are open to pedestrians only. They also will be used to block the street during events like Mardi Gras, which draws large crowds.
“Vehicle attacks on pedestrians are becoming all too common across the country, but also across the world,” Miller said.
The installation is part of a $40 million safety plan.
Miller said also officials are discussing other areas of the French Quarter where bollard sets might be installed in the future, such as on Royal Street and at Jackson Square.
The steel bollards will eventually be painted matte black — a decision that was made in conjunction with French Quarter groups. Although that could make them difficult to see at night, Miller said signs and temporary barricades near those intersections will be used to ensure drivers know the barriers are there.