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Building a Social Scene Around a Bike Path

The “crown jewel” of New Orleans’s cycling network isn’t just a way to get around town. It also promises a vibrant space to live, shop, and grab a drink.
relates to Building a Social Scene Around a Bike Path
Shannon Sims/CityLab

In a city known for bar-hopping, endless festivals, and maybe even a little debauchery, a bike path isn’t the likeliest place for a budding social scene. But in a narrow strip of central New Orleans, the 2.6-mile Lafitte Greenway is poised to become a new hub of activity—a commuter path that’s a destination in its own right.

Historically a transportation corridor, the Lafitte Greenway cuts through neighborhoods rich and poor, linking several of New Orleans’s disparate yet adjacent communities. Since it officially opened in November 2015, the Lafitte Greenway has quickly become the central artery of New Orleans' bike culture. It’s also steadily attracting attention from developers looking to build apartments, offices, coffee shops, and even a place to grab a drink. In March, the city granted its first permit for a pathside bar, and in June officials outlined plans to add sports and art facilities, playgrounds, and more.