Ernest Charbonnet has met with tour operators and will soon meet with residents
A member of the New Orleans City Council is working to forge a compromise between tour operators and residents of the Lower 9th Ward that would allow tours of Katrina-damaged neighborhoods to continue.
Ernest Charbonnet, the interim council representative of District E met last week with tour operators and told them two items are non-negotiable; the size of buses used for the tours and limiting the tours to a designated route.
Charbonnet told Denny Schaffer on Tuesday morning that he plans to meet soon with residents to discuss a path forward.
Some residents have said they are tired of being "gawked at" by tourists, but Charbonnet believes those who currently object to the tours might agree if the tours were confined to a specific route.
"I believe that bringing the residents to the table, having them have some input on the process is going to go a long way to heal that."
Charbonnet says he intends to find out what route most residents would be comfortable with.
"We're going to use streets that maybe don't cause the houses to shake as much as what is happening right now."
He suggests that residents could actually benefit from the tours.
"I do want this to work because the tour bus companies have agreed to partner with the residents and make a contribution to the community, so this may turn out to be a win-win situation."