A mugging, or a voodoo curse maybe...
June 14, 2011 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Is Mid-City in New Orleans an unsafe area?

I'm taking the JeT bus into NOLA from the airport, and it drops off at the intersection at Airport Dr. and Carrollton. Then, I'm going to head NE on Carrollton to Canal St. and take the streetcar to my hotel.

However, I've read that Mid-City can be a bit rough. Does anyone have any input or (cheap) suggestions on how to get to the French Quarter from the airport? Thanks.
posted by elder18 to Travel & Transportation around New Orleans, LA (17 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh yes, I should mention I'll be walking through there and waiting for a streetcar around dusk.
posted by elder18 at 7:31 PM on June 14, 2011

Any particular reason you're taking the bus?

That part of Mid-City can be a little sketchy. Not so much Carrollton and Canal but the intersection of Airline and Carrollton (Airline actually turns into Tulane at that point) is not great. I wouldn't necessarily recommend rolling a suitcase 6 blocks down any part of the city, it flags you as a tourist.

What hotel are you staying at? I'd recommend taking the Airport Shuttle instead. It will take you to any hotel. You can also take it back from your hotel.

There are also cabs at the airport...It's $33 from the airport to the city, plus $1 per extra passenger. If you make friends with another passenger who is going downtown you could split the cab.
posted by radioamy at 8:11 PM on June 14, 2011

Just in case it's relevant, when are you coming?
posted by radioamy at 8:12 PM on June 14, 2011

It's been a long time since I went to New Orleans, so I don't recall the areas you're talking about specifically. But... let's just say that upon arriving in New Orleans, I understood why the hotel I was in had a special bus to take you several blocks from the hotel to the Quarter. This was before Katrina and the streets were... dicey. We walked it and we survived, but I like to think it's because my friend with me looks really, really mean when she wants to.

I would look for the airport shuttle. It's what I took.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:19 PM on June 14, 2011

Best answer: Mid-City is a pretty big area that covers a diverse range of neighborhoods, but I agree that that area around Airline Dr. (not Airport Dr.) is a little sketchy. I wouldn't characterize it as "rough," just somewhat seedy. But at the same time, Carrollton Ave. is a busy road. I'd walk it at dusk to the streetcar stop, but that's me.

If you don't want to walk the six blocks, you can take the #32 (Leonidas) bus from the airport bus stop to the streetcar line. A ride costs $1.25, and pay extra for a 25 cent transfer when you get on. You can use it on the streetcar.
posted by Leontine at 8:51 PM on June 14, 2011

I'd recommend taking a cab from the airport instead, not because it's so dangerous but just to make your life more convenient (though yes, the cab ride is pricey at $33, and the cabbies are often truly horrible). Your plan is fine in principle; there's not a huge likelihood of getting mugged just walking that half a mile. While it's not the highest-rent stretch of the city, it's not desperately bad either, and it's fairly busy; if you have basic city safety instincts and don't look too much like a rich tourist, you'll likely be fine. Still, that stretch of Carrollton is not such a pleasant place to take a walk, especially in the heat of summer; it's a high-traffic bit of road and not too lovely. On balance, you'll probably have a nicer New Orleans experience if you take a cab or the airport shuttle, put your stuff in a hotel, and then explore.
posted by RogerB at 8:53 PM on June 14, 2011

On the other hand, if you walk up to Canal as you've planned, you can stop at Angelo Brocato's for a gelato before you get the streetcar. This might be reason enough to go that way.
posted by RogerB at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice. I'm just going to have a backpack, and I certainly won't look rich, so there's that.

Please keep it coming!
posted by elder18 at 9:33 PM on June 14, 2011

I'm just going to have a backpack, and I certainly won't look rich

Criminals don't generally look for big scores, they look for easy ones.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want some actual data, you can check the crime map for that area at: http://www.crimemapping.com/map/la/neworleans - you can zoom in on the neighborhood you'd be walking and set the date range you want it to include (the default is for the most recent week, but it goes back at least for all of 2011 - be sure to zoom in before setting a broad date parameter or it will overload with too many crimes to map).
posted by unsub at 10:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

It'll be hot and the sidewalks will be full of places to trip and this won't be the loveliest scenery in town, but I really don't see it as the mugging kind of situation. Carrollton is one of the busiest streets in town. It isn't a back alley and you aren't walking that far. Seven blocks past a Jesuit school and a burrito restaurant? Unless you are hauling gold plated luggage or you decide to run down sidestreets all googly eyed looking for a voodoo shop or something you'll be fine.

That said, as a caution, that trip might take forever on a weekend. I'd rather be mugged than wait 40 minutes for a transfer in July. If it's not a weekend? The Jefferson airport bus goes downtown.
posted by gordie at 10:52 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, if you want to save some money, and if you are leaving during 'business hours', the Jet bus will leave FROM downtown on the weekdays. I took it, took awhile (like an hour) back to the airport with a suitcase, etc. But it was $2.00
posted by sandmanwv at 6:11 AM on June 15, 2011

Yeah...talking about the safety of burrito shops and high schools is fine, but I wouldn't do this. I'm a young-ish, not easily frightened woman who uses public transportation every single day, and I definitely wouldn't do this at night.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:57 AM on June 15, 2011

I would not be concerned about walking that stretch during daylight hours, but it is going to be very hot and the sidewalks are not that great (not to mention the mosquitoes if you are out at dusk). I know there is a bus from the Airport to downtown, which would be a better bet. And Brocato's is awesome, but is not on the way, it's about a block and half the other side of Canal.
posted by lawhound at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2011

nthing consider your other options, I would really only do this if $30 for a cab / shuttle / whatever would mean skipping a couple meals. Not because I think you'll get shot, but because you will probably FEEL like you're going to get shot, because it's like walking down any other busy street that isn't made for walking down, and because the streetcar is not very predictable. If you're charismatic, you could always try making some friends on the plane and splitting a cab or getting a ride... exercise judgment of course.
posted by ista at 4:36 PM on June 15, 2011

For the record, there have been two shootings in that area in the past 24 hours. They are thought to both be gang-related (and one in response to the other), but still...
posted by radioamy at 5:05 PM on June 15, 2011

Response by poster: Okay, so initially I was going to be tough and take the bus/streetcar route, but holy shit, some dude got slashed with a machete there? No thanks.

I'm going to take the shuttle in Friday evening and the JeT bus back to the airport on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks so much for the heads up. My wife and kittens appreciate it as well.
posted by elder18 at 8:49 PM on June 15, 2011

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