article and photos by Charlie London (except as noted)
Bike racks are nothing new in Faubourg St. John. Terranova’s has had one for over 30 years. There is a story about the one that is by the store now. A few years ago, two N.O.P.D. officers arrived at Terranova’s on horseback, entered the store and asked if it would be ok to tie up their horses to the bike rack. The always affable Terranova family agreed.
The officers secured the horses to the bike rack then proceeded on foot. Before they could get more than a few yards away, a car backfired causing the horses to rear up and pull up the bike rack out of the cement. The bike rack was destroyed. Not long after the incident, a Terranova’s customer indicated that a bike rack was under their house and they would be willing to donate it. Paul Laplace installed the bike rack still in use today.
Several years ago, then owner of Fair Grinds, Robert Thompson installed a bike rack in front of the coffee shop. There was much discussion about the use of an on-street parking spot for the bike rack. The bike rack at Fair Grinds gets regular use by patrons of the area.
A few months ago, several bike stands were put up at the bus stop on Esplanade near the corner of Grand Route Saint John. The bike racks are part of the “Where Ya Rack” program and were donated by the Friends of Fortier Park and the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association.
Last Saturday, a large bike corral was installed by Fortier Park on Mystery Street near the corner of Esplanade. It too is part of the “Where Ya Rack” inititiative. The bike corral was donated by friends and family of Bill Kraemer.
Michael Ward wrote this about Bill on the neighborhood Yahoo group:
Bill was a good friend of ours. He rode his bike from Albuquerque to New Orleans. He would come out to stay with us every Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. Most of time for Halloween too. He loved New Orleans and one year while he was staying at my house for Jazz Fest, he took ill and was diagnosed with blood cancer. He died the next year. We miss him greatly. His widow and friends contributed for a bike corral through the “where ya rack” program with the YLC. It was installed Saturday on Mystery street and Esplanade in the marked off no parking corner in memory of our friend Bill.