January 24 2017
In a dramatic change for a city known for a culture of all-hours street parties, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration is seeking to crack down on pedestrians reveling outside of bars after 3 a.m.
Landrieu announced the proposal as part of a package of security measures Monday afternoon. He insisted that the idea would not amount to a full curfew. But details about how the proposal would work in practice were thin.
The broader security plan also includes a big expansion of police-monitored security cameras and the closing of Bourbon Street to vehicular traffic.
That ordinance would be combined with "sweeps" by the New Orleans Police Department aimed at "encouraging" people to leave the streets and move into bars, Landrieu said.
He did not provide specifics when asked what that encouragement would entail, and it's not clear whether anyone could be punished if caught on the streets after 3 a.m.
In addition, all bars will be required to have security cameras that feed into a centralized NOPD command center, which is expected to be set up in the next four to six months, allowing police to monitor what is happening outside.
The changes would likely have their most dramatic impact on Bourbon Street, where tourists can be found clutching go-cups as they wander the roadway until the early hours of the morning.
Those late-night crowds appear to be the target of the ordinance, which was developed after several shootings on Bourbon in recent years.