This may be one of the busiest intersections in the City of New Orleans. (Hard to document. I have tried to get traffic counts but no one at City Hall will answer the phone, return a message or return email. Insert choice of curses and insulting observations about the attitudes and competence of city workers, from the mayor on down, here.)
It is also oft visited by tourists, since the St. Charles Avenue streetcar terminates here, and will again soon when its up and running. Yet it is one of the ugliest and most poorly developed intersections in the City as well. And that is saying a lot in a City full of the same. I wonder what the reaction of most tourists who got dumped here was: Were they fearful? Alienated? Or merely miserable, waiting in the heat, with no shade, until the next car took them back downtown?
The four quadrants are:
NW: A large Walgreens is now under construction where an abandoned, rotting retail development sat for at least the past 10 years.
NE: An abandoned gas station (4 years now?).
SE: A suburban-style bank branch, still unrestored since Katrina. Plans to build a bigger suburban-style branch, minus the oak trees, is in the works.
And in the very center of the intersection, there is a concrete island with some overgrown bushes and this–perhaps a Gateway to Hell?