Royal and Conti streets intersection closure extended to mid-June for utility upgrades

(Photo: Looking down the 700 block of Conti Street. | Dave Minsky)
The temporary closure of the intersection at Conti and Royal streets was extended to mid-June, allowing crews to continue utility upgrades under the road, according to New Orleans Department of Public Works officials.

Signage and flaggers will remain in place to direct vehicular and pedestrian traffic, respectively. All businesses will remain open during construction.

The upgrades are a part of a $4.3 million reconstruction project along Conti Street, which includes repairing and/or replacing existing sewer lines and electrical duct banks; removing and replacing the existing pavement; replacing and upsizing drain lines and catch basins; replacing the water lines; swapping low pressure gas lines with high pressure ones; and installing disability-compliant curb ramps along intersections and at mid-crossing at Exchange Place.

A set of bollards will be installed along Coni Street on the Esplanade Avenue/Supreme Court side as part of the upgrade.


The Conti Street construction project was designed by Mott McDonald, LLC and performed by Hard Rock Construction. The project is anticipated to last until winter 2021, or approximately four months per block, according to Public Works.

Once construction is completed in the 700 block of Conti Street, the fence will be removed and work will begin on the adjacent sidewalks, according to Public Works officials.

Construction crews will shift their operations into the 600 block of Conti between Royal and Chartres streets once Entergy completes utility upgrades along the same section and once work is completed in the 700 block.

Crews are working up to seven days each week from 8 a.m. until sunset to ensure work is completed, according to Public Works officials.

For more information about the project, visit or call 504-658-7623.

City Council amends French Market zoning restrictions to expand hours, include pedestrian-friendly signage

(Photo: The French Market | Richard Martin | CC Flickr)
A motion amending French Market zoning restrictions was passed Thursday by New Orleans City Council members, which extended merchant hours and made changes to sign use, including adding a new set of pedestrian-friendly signs as part of a package of provisions intended to expand use of the location.

The motion established the French Market Overlay District and was passed unanimously, 7-0, expanding the flea and farmers markets to allow seafood and produce vendors to open as early as 4 a.m. and allow vendors to stay open as late as 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Indoor and outdoor live entertainment, however, ends at 8 p.m. each day at the French Market itself, although this restriction doesn’t apply to nearby venues, according to District C Councilmember Kristen Gisleson Palmer, who introduced the motion that recognizes the “unique geographic configuration” of the French Market District as a separate entity within the French Quarter.

“I would also like to emphasize that this restriction is for venues directly within the public market and would have no impact the operations of venues that are in the immediate vicinity but independent of the market,” said Palmer, citing B.B. King’s Blue’s Club as an example.

In addition, the motion allows a unified package of pedestrian-scale signage, permits freestanding multi-tenant monument signs and multi-tenant monument signs identifying individual tenant space within the breezeway between buildings at St. Ann, Dumaine, St. Philip and Governor Nicholls streets in lieu of the freestanding signs.

There was no public comment on the motion, which was passed during City Council’s first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Speaking at the meeting, City Planning Commissioner Paul Cramer said an analysis found that the zoning modifications will allow more opportunities for activating French Market space and improve wayfinding experiences through the area.

The district encompasses the area generally bounded by the riverside of Decatur Street, the downriver side of St. Peter Street and its direct extension to the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River and the upriver side of Barracks Street and its direct extension to the river.

Planning commission staff consulted with the Vieux Carre Commission, which found no objections to the proposed overlay and the modified language and recommended approval of the zoning changes, according to Cramer.

Person of interest wanted in connection to battery incident near Molly’s on Decatur Street

(Graphic: Eric T. Styles | Picture: NOPD)
New Orleans Police on Wednesday released a picture of a female who is wanted as a person of interest in connection to an aggravated battery incident that occurred near Molly’s at the Market on Lower Decatur Street last week.

The incident occurred shortly before 11:30 p.m. on May 12 and involved two males and a female, who were not identified, who were involved in a verbal altercation that began at Molly’s and turned physical a block away at the intersection of Dumaine and Decatur streets, according to New Orleans Police.

The males fled in a blue Toyota RAV4 down Dumaine Street and toward North Rampart Street after the incident.

The Toyota RAV4 allegedly seen fleeing the May 12 incident in front of Molly’s on Decatur Street. Courtesy NOPD.

Detectives say the pictured female is not wanted on criminal charges, although they believe she knows the identity of the female suspect involved in the incident, according to New Orleans Police.

Anyone with information regarding the identity and/or whereabouts of the pictured person of interest is asked to contact Eighth District detectives. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or Crimestoppers at 877-903-7867. 

25 applicants selected for new Jackson Square artist occupational license

(Photo: Artists camp along Decatur Street near Jackson Square. | Michael Gaylard | CC)
Twenty-five artists who applied for permits to set up shop near Jackson Square were selected via a city lottery process that concluded last week.

The New Orleans Bureau of Revenue announced the lottery for the new “Artist A” permits on April 14, with the lottery concluding on April 30 and the winners were contacted on May 5. It was determined that all applicants who met all deadlines and qualifications will be awarded a permit, officials said.

Artists have until May 21 to complete the registration process in order to obtain the permit. Applicants who want to complete registration can visit the Bureau of Revenue at City Hall, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., located at 1300 Perdido St. in Room 1W15.

Applicants can contact Todd M. Ecker, Revenue Field Agent, at for any questions or assistance.

City code requires artists who sell art on or around Jackson Square to obtain an occupational license and a mayoralty permit from the department.

Those eligible to obtain an “Artist A” permit are qualified applicants who either have a current Pirates Alley “Artist B” permit or have an application on file for a Jackson Square Artist Permit on or before March 31, 2021, New Orleans officials said.

All Pirates Alley permit holders who seek to upgrade to a Jackson Square permit must also present their current “Artist B” permit.

The total cost to complete the registration process and obtain the permit is $175.25.

For more information on the permits, contact the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Revenue Application Unit at 504-658-1630, 504-658-1694 or 504-658-1621, or visit

Arrest made in Bourbon Street shooting that injured 5 people; 2nd suspect identified

(Photo: Darran Boykins, left, Dorrell Boykins, right. | NOPD)
A man was arrested on multiple warrants Wednesday and a second suspect was identified in connection to a shooting on Bourbon Street that injured five people last month.

Darran Boykins, 26, pictured left, was located and arrested in Kenner without incident on suspicion of five counts of aggravated battery from the shooting that occurred shortly after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Bourbon Street, according to New Orleans Police.

The arrest was conducted by New Orleans Police’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad and U.S. Marshals, with assistance from the Kenner Police Department.

Boykins was wanted as a suspect in three additional incidents since March, according to New Orleans Police, including a March 20 aggravated assault incident in the 1700 block of Tonti Street on March 20, an assault and kidnapping incident with a firearm in the 1500 block of Numa Street on March 25 and a shooting in the 2100 block of Jackson Avenue on April 24.

Boykins was booked into Orleans Parish Justice Center on suspicion of several charges, including five counts of aggravated battery and a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police have obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Dorrell Boykins who, though an investigation, police identified as a second suspect in the April 25 Bourbon Street shooting.

Anyone with additional information on this incident or on the whereabouts of Dorrell Boykins is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-7867.