New Orleans becoming a car-free city?

Here's a new accolade for New Orleans.

A study just released by Citylab says the New Orleans region is one of the best large metros in America in which to live without a car. And, the idea seems to be catching on.  

Rachel Shields, Chief of Staff at GNO, Inc., says going car-free is a definite trend in the area.

"Well, it's definitely spreading, I think, as New Orleans becomes more and more popular and people start to realize, particularly new people who are moving to our area, really start to realize the options that are available to them across our whole region, not just the city of New Orleans."

The Citylab study found New Orleans already ranks high in the share of commuters who take transit to work, bike to work, and walk to work.

"More and more, we're seeing people who move into the area are really looking for transportation flexibility, more livability options when they're talking about moving around, getting to work," says Shields.

She says it helps that New Orleans is a fairly compact area, with a lot of folks living close to where they work or near good transit, or in a walkable neighborhood with most of life's necessities close by.

The Citylab study ranks New Orleans among other cities like San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

"It was really fascinating to see us up there in the top ten with some wonderful cities who we consider to have deep culture, deep livability and deep ties to folks moving into those areas."

Shields says it may be indicative of where New Orleans and the region are going in terms of culture and livability.

"When we're talking about young leadership and the next generation of leadership, something like this is really top-of-mind and one of the priorities for folks like that."

And, she says it's another unique aspect of the area that sets New Orleans apart.

"We're the only city across the whole southeast that's really moving in this direction."