The sun was back out today, so after working from home most of the morning, I hopped on my bike and headed to the Bywater for a late lunch and a grading jamboree. I was in a bouncy sort of mood, so I decided to take a new route, and went down Tchoupitoulas. The traffic was fast, but so was I, and it felt great. After finishing up my work I took the bike on the Chartres-St. Claude bike lane loop–I love some bike infrastructure, that’s for sure. I took a right on St. Roch to get a little more time on the bike. I noticed a bunch of police lights down by that one church, so I headed straight there (don’t we all do that?). I quickly figured out that this was a community meeting about crime. Rarely one to turn down a community meeting, I popped in to see what folks had to say. The place was fairly crowded, which makes sense in this neighborhood that has seen five murders already this year (!). Two council members where up front, along with police chief Ronal Serpas and a number of other people from the NOPD. After a few introductory remarks it was question time. People wrote their questions and they were sorted–violence, street lights, blight, fires–and read aloud. Everyone was on their best behavior, but that doesn’t mean people didn’t notice questions weren’t being answered; time for some polite follow up questions. And then the people on the podium got frustrated that the audience wasn’t playing by the rules. And then the rest of us start shaking our heads. I mean, do they really expect us to believe that the problem is that they don’t know about this blighted house or that busy street corner? And that a call will get the city to come out and take care of the problem? Sigh. It was time for me to take my leave, so I got back on the bike and pedaled home, another day in New Orleans.