Should New Orleans destroy ladders and other things left along the parade route?

Reaction is mixed

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
February 27, 2019 - 2:25 pm

Mardi Gras is one of the happiest things on earth. Unfortunately, anger and conflict get infused with turf battles.

I have often said that it saddens me when I see people along a parade route in an argument over space.  Some people set up hours - or days - in advance.  Others show up just before the parade and want to get close to the floats and other units.

This sometimes leads to disagreements and confrontations.  People get upset that others take the space in front of them or around them after they held that spot for their friends and family.  On the other hand, people who show up to find the route lined with ladders and other items can get angry that public space is being claimed.

All of this just drains the happiness that Carnival should be.

This fight was highlighted Tuesday when New Orleans crews started taking and destroying ladders, chairs and other belongings people were leaving along the parade route.  

Officials warned it would happen.

"Employees will begin enforcement of the code of the removing of ladders, tarps, personal items that are left on the route,"  City of New Orleans Director of Park and Parkways Ann Macdonald warned. "They will be destroyed, so please do not leave your items out overnight."


Mayor LaToya Cantrell added, "Please adhere to the laws."

She also insisted anything placed along the route will not be tolerated. "They will be removed." 

Officials said anything on the route more than three hours before a parade would be removed.

People who have been setting stuff out early for generations were not happy when the confiscations began.

"I think it is a waste of our city's resources," one woman told WWL TV after scrambling to pick up her preset stuff. "Why would this merit all if this money, time and resources?"

I wanted to know what our listeners thought.  Should the city be making sweeps to take away ladders, chairs, tarps and other stuff left on the route more than three hours before the parade.  You can sound off with the comment button at the bottom of this story.

More people who texted us at 870870 during the Early Edition of WWL First News supported Mayor Cantrell and the city picking up the stuff left along the route...

  • Staking a "claim" on public property is illegal. Go ahead Mayor Cantrell, confiscate everything left overnight.
  • IT'S THE LAW !!! If only they could find these people and fine them a lot. That would be great !!!
  • Good!! It's so aggravating to bring your child to the parade and you can't see due to a line of ladders!
  • About time New Orleans has a mayor that actually does what they say they're going to do!
  • The mayor is acting on behalf of homeland security. The parade route is a soft target and therefore they're doing their best to alleviate some of the clutter and prevent someone from staging an attack. If you notice this cleanup takes place every year, for the last three years the day after the mayor meets with homeland security.
  • It's totally fair! Ladders should be banned altogether.
  • I'm 64 and lived here all my life too and we put our stuff out when we get there before the parade. Approximately 2 hours.
  • NOBODY can " claim" a piece of public property! That's ridiculous!
  • I'm so glad the city is enforcing the are on city property you break the law destroy all there stuff.who are we to stake out our own space on city property
  • Thank you Mayor Cantrell. There's no reserved standing or sitting at Mardi Gras.
  • Doing something for a period of time, and it is wrong, does not mean it should continue. I think it is great the new mayor is taking action. It is bull crap, people taking up space. It is also a safety hazard for pedestrians, drivers, delivery folks, emergency workers; you name it. And destroying the property taken? What else can be done? Take it in and hold it till someone comes and claims it? Bull!
  • 2 hours very fair. You shouldn't be able to leave anything unattended. It's not fair.
  • I applaud the mayor
  • People may have been doing it for 30 years but for 30 years it's been the law.
  • Long overdue on the cleaning up on the parade route.
  • Follow the rules if your stuff there and ant supposed to be MOVE IT
  • I think they definitely should pick up all their stuff. 1 hour....

Some too issue with it...

  • Tear down the viewing stands in the city....... they are taking my spot!!!!
  • The city should just leave everyone alone. People have been doing this for years.
  • Rename city hall. Idiot box.
  • Its carnival season! If you enforced every rule there would be a lot of people in jail!!
  • It's no longer about the locals. It's about the tourist and positive media coverage of the biggest free party in the world. Sad! 12 hours before a parade
  • She should worry about all the crime instead of dumb stuff like who claims a spot for a parade
  • Those in support of mayor are the same ones who either do not go to Mardi Gras, live on the route or to lazy to get up early and stake their spot. That is a New Orleans tradition.

Then there were these texts...

  • There's gonna be a lot of city employees with new ladders
  • Statues, ladders, tarps, chairs oh my...your soul next?
  • Confiscated items should be donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army so that some good can be done with them
  • They should sell the ladders and give the money to the sewage and water board so they have money
  • Why distroy the stuff. Why not resell it or give the people a chance to reclaim their stuff
  • Sound like Mayor Cantrell is taking control on the LADDER of events here!
  • After city passes to pickup ladders - put down your stuff. Doubt city will go back around.
  • The mayor should have learned the rules before she used that credit card... lol
  • There are some very expensive ladders on that route. Who is making sure that the ladders are getting destroyed. Or did they put them in the same storage lot with the monuments
  • It's also against the law to liter. Are they going to enforce that too??
  • Down here in Houma people park trucks on the route...not private areas, a few weeks in advance we never had a problem with it...first come first serve
  • City should sell ladders Not destroy them
  • The difference between now and way back then was that we didn't have all the chairs and tents
  • There's no crying at Mardi Gras
  • The city does not say that you cannot steak your claim on a spot before a parade at all. The city law says you can do it three hours before the parade.
  • NOBODY gets ticketed for jaywalking but it's still the law! Just because they haven't been enforcing it doesn't mean it's not the law.
  • The fighting over spots has caused me to rethink going to parades. And I am a lifelong resident.
  • Alabama picks up items left on the beach after sundown. whether you agree or not, the mayor's method of Confiscation, it does not allow legal due process
  • Shame the city doesn't adopt the same removal policy for all the "homeless" junk around town
  • City should charge a premium for the spots by the foot
  • I need a new ladder. Can I go pick one up?
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