Today we decided to take the streetcar to the garden district and it was a New Orleans experience all of its own!
Firstly working out which streetcar to take is more challenging than you might imagine. They go right past our hotel but the labelling of which routes go where leaves a lot to be desired, even to people used to taking public transport. Still, we worked it out and boarded out streetcar.
Almost immediately we had an interesting experience. The streetcar had to turn right into a side street. As it made the turn, a state trooper came around the corner and pulled someone over for a traffic violation. They stopped just around the corner, with the state trooper vehicle behind. Unfortunately, the state trooper blocked the tram lines, and the tram then blocked both lanes of the main road.
We couldn’t go backwards, the state trooper was determined to continue his job in dealing with the traffic stop. So we sat there. And we sat there. And we sat there. Here’s a photo. It’s not very clear but I took it anyway.
Behind us further up the street, another state trooper pulled someone over. They dealt with this quicker. While the street was blocked, several drivers attempted to get around the stuck streetcar by driving down the centre of the road on the tram only section. Needless to say, the state trooper behind us, seeing this fresh traffic violation, went into pursuit and pulled him over, in the side street we are still waiting to turn into. They partially block the street further down.
Eventually we did move, go past the second state trooper, and on our way. In the meantime the passengers did a lot of loud exclaiming about the whole situation, and we just watched on thinking that the British police may have handled things somewhat differently.
Additional comedy on the streetcar came from watching the driver attempting to deal with the streetcar repeatedly stalling (which necessitated her walking to the back to restart it), her ticket machine breaking down (so she couldn’t accept new passengers) and clueless Americans attempting to use public transport for the first time. All in all, immensely entertaining!