Hardest-Hit Katrina Victims to Bus Tours: Get Out
2006 law newly enforced, say angry tour companies
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 4, 2012 9:44 AM CDT
A tour bus turns a corner in the Lower 9th Ward section of New Orleans, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – Since Hurricane Katrina, visitors to New Orleans don't just want to see Bourbon Street: Many have been taking bus tours to view the devastation wreaked in the Lower Ninth Ward. But residents have had it with tourists gawking at them while the vehicles cause roadblocks, the AP reports. "We're fed up and tired of them coming through the neighborhood like we're some sideshow," says a resident. "After all the suffering we have been through, we deserve more respect than this."

A 2006 ordinance was intended to help by barring tour bus travel across the bridge into the area—but it hasn't been much enforced until now, bus operators say; tours have stopped, at least for the time being. The new enforcement stems from a wave of complaints. For their part, operators are frustrated by the sudden change. "A warning would have been nice," says a tour guide. Adds a rep for New Orleans tourism: People "want to see the Lower 9th Ward just like visitors to New York want to see the site of the World Trade Centers ... We certainly need to be respectful and not cause more suffering, but seeing these areas in person brings needed attention."

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
Oct 5, 2012 4:23 PM CDT
just make the bus company pay $50k for each tour! they are sure to stop and if they dont i will move there to get in on all the money!
Oct 4, 2012 8:59 PM CDT
I've been through that area several times. Not much to see except sadness like you see in Beirut. I mean if you like abandoned shopping malls, centers, schools, churches, apartments, homes, parks, etc, then its the place for you.
Oct 4, 2012 4:48 PM CDT
Tours are not because of Katrina's damage but to show how people living below sea level are waiting for someone to clean, fix/replace their property while the "victims" sit and watch.