Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Route 66

Residents of Mid City probably feel like the citizens of Radiator Springs when the Mayor endorsed the Police Chief's recommendation to move the Endymion parade from its traditional Mid City route to Uptown due to safety and security concerns.

Mid-City residents cheered last week when six members of the New Orleans City Council said they favored letting the Krewe of Endymion parade on its traditional Mid-City route for Carnival 2007, rather than the Uptown route that it followed in 2006 and that Police Superintendent Warren Riley has said he wants it to follow again in 2007.

The residents' spirits fell this week when Mayor Ray Nagin said that as far as he is concerned, the Mid-City route is out of the question for next year.

Nagin said Monday that Endymion's procession, the largest of the Carnival season, will have to roll Uptown, like all of the city's other east bank parades, because it would be too dangerous to let it roll through what he depicted as an area of abandoned homes and buildings.

"It's not about money," Nagin said. He said Riley is concerned that he wouldn't have the resources to handle a serious crime along the Mid-City route on the same day that other parades will be marching Uptown.

But there appears to be a slim hope that Endymion could yet roll on the route it has followed almost every year since the 1960s.

Nagin said Tuesday he might change his mind if Riley tells him he no longer objects to the Mid-City route.

Mid City residents have a legitimate concern that their neighborhood will end up like Radiator Springs, forgotten. I think the Police Chief's concerns are legitimate also. However, I would also like to see Endymion roll in Mid City again.

So rather than continuing to fight to keep the 2007 route in Mid City, they should start fighting for 2008. As long as people don't forget about Endymion's tradition, it will roll in Mid City again.

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