NEW ORLEANS — Today, the City of New Orleans provided an update on preparations, parking instructions, traffic restrictions and safety regulations in advance of the 2018 Mardi Gras season. Parades are scheduled to begin Friday, February 2. Click here to see the full list of parade routes.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will have officers staffed at 100 percent capacity throughout the city during the 2018 Mard Gras season. The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) will also have all hands on deck and be ready to respond in the event of an emergency.
Along parade routes, the New Orleans Health Department will be staffing First Aid Stations at the following locations one hour before the first float of the first parade arrives and until the crowds disperse:
- On Feb.2 - Feb.4 and Feb.7 - Feb.13: corner of St. Charles Avenue and Napoleon Avenue, St. Charles Avenue and Washington Avenue, St. Charles Avenue and Felicity Street, Lee Circle, and St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street
- On Feb. 10, an additional station will be located at Orleans Avenue and N. Hennessy Street
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will be monitoring all parade activity and will coordinate with local, state, and federal public safety partners.
To keep residents and visitors fully informed this Mardi Gras season, the City will provide live updates to the public about weather, traffic and general parade safety. Parade goers are encouraged to text MARDIGRAS to 888777 to receive text alerts.
FRENCH QUARTER TRAFFIC CLOSURES
As was done for New Year’s Eve and past Mardi Gras seasons, the NOPD will implement an exterior (soft) and an interior (hard) closure of French Quarter streets for the Carnival Season.
Beginning on Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4, and Wednesday, Feb. 7, until Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 6 a.m., vehicular access in the French Quarter will be more restricted and on-street parking will be limited.
From 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. on the days listed above, there will be an interior (hard) closure of all streets leading to Bourbon Street from Royal and Dauphine Streets. Bollards will be in place on all streets leading to Bourbon Street, creating a pedestrian mall. No vehicles will be allowed to enter. Bollards will be placed behind the last driveway to any hotel or parking garage.
Parking will be prohibited in the 700 and 800 blocks of all streets from Iberville to St. Ann Streets between 12 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the days listed above.
Beginning on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14, there will be an exterior (soft) closure for all streets leading into the French Quarter from Canal, N. Rampart, Dumaine, and Decatur Streets.
From 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night of parades:
- Only taxis, TNCs, limos, hotel guests, and vehicles needing to access their businesses and residences will be allowed to enter the French Quarter from Canal, Decatur, Dumaine and Rampart Streets.
- The 100-800 blocks of Bourbon Street will be a pedestrian mall. Vehicles will not be able to cross Bourbon Street, and will be detoured at all points along Dauphine and Royal Streets.
- Large trucks, buses and vans may be directed to detour out of the area and only access the French Quarter on exterior streets. Exterior streets are all streets leading into the French Quarter on Canal, Decatur, N. Rampart and Dumaine Streets.
Motorists should be prepared for heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic as security measures are increased.
ST. CHARLES AVENUE
The $4.3M St. Charles Avenue Repaving Project between Louisiana Avenue and Calliope Streets, which is a joint effort between the City of New Orleans and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, will be substantially complete by the end of January. Crews will demobilize by Jan.31 in preparation for the first Uptown route Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 2. Crews will return after Mardi Gras to place sod, install permanent striping and complete other minor punch list items. The entire project will be wrapped up in spring 2018.
The City will provide over 650 portable toilets for public use. On Jan. 31, 2018, the Department of Property Management will begin placing portable toilets along parade routes. See map of portable toilet locations.
MARDI GRAS PARKING ENFORCEMENT
In addition to permanent "No Parking" signs posted along parade routes, the City will install approximately 3,000 temporary signs. Drivers are encouraged to pay close attention when parking to avoid being ticketed or towed.
Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed.
Parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades:
- Tchoupitoulas Street between Jackson and Nashville Avenues;
- Napoleon Avenue between Tchoupitoulas Street and S. Claiborne Avenue; and
- St. Charles Avenue between Napoleon Avenue and Canal Street.
On Saturday, Feb. 10 only, parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets from 6 a.m. until two hours after parades end:
- Canal Street from S. Carrollton to St. Charles Avenues;
- N. Carrollton Avenue from Canal Street to Orleans Avenue; and
- Orleans Avenue from City Park to N. Carrollton Avenues
This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).
Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to keep the route clear so that it can be cleaned by the City’s Department of Sanitation (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).
Beginning Friday, Feb. 9, at 6 a.m. until the Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 6 a.m., no on-street parking is allowed and no vehicular traffic except those with issued permits are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville, N. Rampart, Dumaine and Decatur Streets (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).
Crews will be towing on all cross streets of Bourbon Street during the events, including the 700-800 blocks of Iberville Street, St. Ann Street, and the 700 block of Royal Street.
Parking of recreational vehicles, campers and oversize vehicles is prohibited in residential areas. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season particularly in the Uptown/University area, Central Business District, Warehouse District and Garden District.
Before, during and after the parades, the City will extend enforcement efforts into the neighborhoods adjacent to the published parade routes. This will minimize non-residential intrusion. Parking officers will primarily enforce the following safety violations:
- Blocking a fire hydrant ($40 fine)
- Parking in a fire lane ($40 fine)
- Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant on either side ($40 fine)
- Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign ($40 fine)
- Parking on a sidewalk ($40 fine)
- Parking on a traveled portion of the roadway ($40 fine)
- Parking within 3 feet of a driveway on either side ($40 fine)
- Parking on the neutral ground and subject to seizure ($75 fine)
- Parking adjacent to the neutral ground ($40 fine)
- Parking in freight/loading zone ($40 fine)
- Parking in a handicapped zone without proper permit displayed ($500 fine)
- Parking at an expired meter ($40 fine)
- Parking in a Residential Permit Parking zone without a permit displayed ($75 fine)
- Parking in the wrong direction (vehicles must park in the direction of travel on one way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two way streets) ($40 fine)
- Vehicles that have unpaid parking tickets will be booted and/or towed.
Additionally, parking enforcement, towing staff and auto impound offices will work the following extended hours during the 2018 Mardi Gras season:
- Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11, 7 a.m. – 3 a.m.
- Monday, Feb. 12, 7 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Tuesday, Feb.13, 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.
For more information on parking enforcement, citizens may call:
- Department of Public Works parking enforcement and information, (504) 658-8100 (answered 24 hours)
- Residential Parking Permits information, (504) 658-8200
- Release of boot, (504) 599-5652
- Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings, (504) 658-8250
Parking enforcement personnel will be monitoring for illegal parking, including blocking hydrants, driveways and sidewalks, or parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop signs. Motorists are also reminded to park in the direction of travel on one-way streets and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets.
PARKS & PARKWAYS NEUTRAL GROUND ENFORCEMENT
The city’s neutral grounds are the direct responsibility of the Department of Parks and Parkways; therefore, any prohibited items that are placed on the neutral grounds will be removed and disposed of immediately.
The following rules are being enforced:
- All ladders used by parade spectators shall be structurally sound. No ladder, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills, and other similar personal effects shall be placed in intersections or between curbs of public streets during a parade.
- Ladders, tents, grills and other personal effects shall be placed six feet back from the street curb.
- Fastening two or more ladders together is prohibited.
- Roping off areas of the neutral ground, public sidewalks, or other public property is prohibited.
- All items placed on the neutral ground must be removed immediately after the parade and cannot be left overnight. Items left unattended are subject to be cleared by City crews. Leaving items on the median negatively impacts post parade clean-up operations.
- Citizens are encouraged not to set up before 8 a.m. on the day of parade excluding Mardi Gras Day.
- Portable toilets are allowed on private property. A permit is required for those who charge a fee for usage of private portable toilets. Private portable toilets will not be allowed on neutral grounds, public sidewalks, or other public property without written consent from the appropriate governmental agency. A fine of $250 per day will assessed against the owner of the portable toilet.
- No structures can be erected (i.e. viewing stands, bleachers) without a permit. The only allowed structures are those that are provided by the City Of New Orleans in city designated areas or those on privately owned properties that have been granted permission and issued permits by the City’s Department of Safety and Permits.
- No bulky furniture can be placed on neutral grounds.
- Please stand behind the barricades when they are placed along streets while the parade is passing.
- Please do not run between floats or vehicles while the parade is in progress.
- Ladders should not be placed in the street or be tied together and should be placed back six feet from the curb.
- Parade viewers may not throw any object at any participant in a carnival parade. Violation of this provision includes a $250 fine per violation.
- Please do not stand or walk close to heavy equipment used in the clean-up process.
- The juvenile curfew will be enforced during Mardi Gras. City curfew hours for juveniles are Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. In the French Quarter, the hours are Friday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Closed tents are prohibited on the parade route. While canopy tents are allowed, they must be 6 feet away from the curb.
The Department of Sanitation is responsible for cleaning the streets, neutral grounds and sidewalks after parades held on both sides of the Mississippi River in the City of New Orleans.
Up to 600 City workers, temporary workers, contracted employees and 87 pieces of equipment may be utilized each day in clean-up efforts.
The success of Mardi Gras depends upon returning public rights of ways to normalcy and cleanliness as soon as possible after each parade. In order for this to occur efficiently and effectively, cooperation from the public in following parking restrictions along parade routes and the placement of items such as ladders, tarps, and furniture on neutral grounds is vital.
Vehicular traffic will be restricted until clean-up crews have passed for the safety of the workers and the general public. The City urges the public to avoid walking in areas where heavy equipment is in operation.
The City encourages everyone to recycle Mardi Gras beads and other recyclable items. The Young Leadership Council (YLC) is collaborating with ARC of Greater New Orleans, Republic Services, Krewe of Freret, Krewe of Thoth, and the City’s Department of Sanitation to launch a pilot recycling initiative. After the parades of Freret on Feb. 3 and Thoth on Feb. 11, paradegoers can recycle their beads and recyclable plastics and metals along the parade routes. YLCRecycles and ARC volunteers will distribute recycling bags before, during and after parades to krewes and paradegoers. Along the parade route, volunteers will staff six recycling stations on Napoleon and St. Charles Avenues. Paradegoers can drop off recycled throws and disposable waste in the bins at each station. To view station locations, visit ylcnola.org/mardigras. YLC and ARC will also have volunteers pick up bags from paradegoers between stations.
Residents can bring their recyclable plastics and metals home to recycle curbside or to the City’s Recycling Drop Off Center (2829 Elysian Fields Ave.). The next Recycling Drop Off Event will be held on February 17.
MARDI GRAS 2018 PERMITTING INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
REVENUE AND PERMIT ENFORCEMENT
City of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue field agents and collectors will be canvassing neighborhoods in and around parade routes to ensure businesses (including ABOs) and vendors are properly permitted. Additionally, residents or businesses charging for parking at commercial properties must be properly permitted. 501c3 organizations may apply for an exemption for a portion of the fees associated with the appropriate permits.
The sale of silly string, snap pops, and stink bombs is prohibited. Bureau of Revenue field agents and collectors will confiscate any snap pops found on mobile vendors.
Food Trucks Inspection
Unless a Food Truck Permit holder also obtained a Mardi Gras Fixed Location Vendor permit, no food trucks are allowed within two blocks of a parade route, from two hours before the parade starts until two hours after the parade has passed any part of the route.
Mardi Gras Event and Vending Permits
Please Visit http://www.nola.gov/onestop/events/mardi-gras/ for information on:
- Concession Stands
- Reviewing Stands
- Temporary Parking Lot Permits
- Portolet Permits
- Vendor Permits (including Walkers and Fixed Location Vendors)
You can also download the 2018 Mardi Gras Guide and 2018 Mardi Gras Procedures
Fixed Location Vendors Key Dates
Mardi Gras Fixed Location Vendors may come to City Hall (1300 Perdido St., Room 1W15) to chose their fixed locations in the order in which they pulled during the vendor lottery. Vendors selected in the lottery must attend the fixed location selection process with a valid picture ID. Names will be called according to their placement on the lottery board. Participants unable to attend the selection process must authorize one representative to attend in their place in writing ahead of time with the Bureau of Revenue. Representatives must have valid picture ID. Each participant is allowed 10 minutes to select one fixed location.
If you are interested in obtaining a Mardi Gras Walker Permit, please visit http://www.nola.gov/onestop/events/mardi-gras/mardi-gras-walker-permit/ to obtain relevant materials. The Bureau of Revenue will begin accepting applications on Jan. 29.
Individuals interested in obtaining Mardi Gras Walker Permits to sell novelties or pre-packaged food without a fixed location can go to the Revenue office in City Hall (1300 Perdido St., Room 1W15) during the week of January 29 to obtain the necessary permits.
Mardi Gras information and updates are also available on the City’s website at www.nola.gov/mardigras . The City compiled information regarding safety regulations, enforcement policies, permitting information and helpful suggestions, including interactive parade maps, in one location so that residents and visitors can be better prepared before heading out to the parades.
In addition, RTA services, including bus service, may be interrupted during this event. Details on any route changes are available at www.norta.com .
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