NOLA Ready logo
The City of New Orleans

Mardi Gras

Parking, driving and getting around during Mardi Gras

Back to Home Page

Avoid the traffic headache by using alternatives to driving.

Parades and festivities draw many revelers and heavy traffic. Consider these transportation options to get there.

By bus & streetcar

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates bus routes across the city. Some regular routes are altered during the Mardi Gras season: 

  • All parade detours start two hours before the parade start time.
  • Detours will remain in place until clean up crews’ finish cleaning the parade route.
  • All bus and streetcar lines not affected by parades will be on their regular routes.
  • Due to increased traffic and pedestrian movements, bus, and streetcar routes may be delayed.
  • Bus and streetcar service will operate on a Saturday schedule for Mardi Gras day.  

Download the LePass app to plan your trip, check service alerts, purchase fares, and track your bus or streetcar in real-time.

Download RTA's Mardi Gras Guide 2024

By taxi, ride share, or pedicab

Use for-hire transportation options like taxis, Uber or Lyft. Pedicabs are available throughout the French Quarter.

By bike

Take your own bike or use a Blue Bike from the city's bike share program to get to the parade. Just don't lock your bike to parade barricades, ask permission before locking to someone's fence, and do not block the sidewalk.  Be sure to check out Bike Easy's The Purple Way, suggested way for folks to safely and conveniently walk, bike & roll to and from Uptown parades and the French Quarter this Carnival Season.

Visit Bike Easy's guide on The Purple Way HERE.



Mardi Gras Bike Safety (courtesy of Bike Easy)

Keep these six safety tips in mind as you enjoy Mardi Gras on bike:

1. Look for Hazards
During Mardi Gras beadss and hazards abound. Watch for items that could puncture your tires, get caught in wheel spokes, or damage your chain. While riding a bike, keep in mind that beads around your neck are dangerous while your riding.

2. Be Prepared
If you do happen to hit a hazard that causes a flat tire, be prepared. Carry a patch kit and a hand pump so that you can get back to parade watching.

3. Lock up Strategically and be courteous
Make sure to lock your bike to a rack or secure street sign and out of the pedestrian pathway. Best practice is to park off the parade street and avoid having your bike become a ladder.

4. Don’t Bike Through Crowds
Much like Royal Street is a pedestrian throughway on the weekends, parades are not suitable for biking through. Dismounting is much safer, and others will thank you.

5. Bike Safely

  • Wear a helmet – fix your headpiece or wig once you’ve arrived at your destination.
  • When crossing streetcar tracks, cross at a 90-degree angle to avoid getting caught in the tracks.
  • If you bike, drink responsibly and know your limits. Call a ride, walk, or take transit if you need.
  • Use front and rear lights to retain visibility at night.
  • Ride with traffic, not against, and abide by traffic lights and signs.

6. Try a Blue Bike!
You don’t have to own a bike to use one on Mardi Gras. Blue Bikes New Orleans is a bike share system that is perfect for short trips. For $0.15/min pay as you go or $25 for a month, you can hop between friends houses and parade routes. This is also a great option if you don’t want to leave your bike unattended for an extended period. Simply unlock a bike, ride to your destination, relock, and have zero worries.

Biking during Mardi Gras is a no-brainer. You’ll get where you need to go faster and in style. Be courteous, stay safe, and have fun!

By foot

If you live or are staying near the route, walking might be the easiest way to get around. Cross the street at intersections and crosswalks; this makes you more visible. Use caution before entering the crosswalk; don't begin crossing if a car is too close to safely stop, and always follow traffic signals.

Safe Crossings

The New Orleans Police Department will again offer "safe crossing" locations to allow pedestrians, bicyclists, and emergency vehicles to cross the parade route--as long as it is safe to do so--before and immediately after parades. Always follow the instructions of emergency personnel on the route.

Uptown Safe Crossing

Poydras St. & St. Charles Ave.

Endymion Safe Crossing

Galvez St. & Canal St.

If you're driving, plan ahead for street closures.

Parade route closures

Before parades begin or when crowd size warrants, the New Orleans Police Department will close the route to vehicles. Plan ahead and avoid streets that intersect with parades. Additional intermittent closures will be necessary as parade elements travel across the city.

  • Beginning Friday, Feb. 10 and running through the end of the Mardi Gras season, parade floats lining up to roll along the Uptown route will be staged on along Napoleon Avenue stretching back toward Tchoupitoulas Street and along Magazine Street between Napoleon Avenue and Jefferson Avenue. 
  • Cross streets along Magazine Street will remain open until the parades begin to roll. As a reminder, vehicular traffic will be restricted in the area beginning two hours prior to the start of parades.

French Quarter street closures

In anticipation of large crowds, the New Orleans Police Department will limit vehicles allowed to enter the French Quarter and will close some streets to vehicles completely. Additional intermittent street closures might be required as crowd size warrants.


Only residents, employees, hotel guests, and taxis/TNCs will be allowed to drive vehicles into the French Quarter starting 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2 through 6 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14:

  • Entering the French Quarter within the perimeter of Iberville St., Decatur St., Dumaine St., and Rampart St.


No vehicles will be allowed on the following streets from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. overnight Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4, Wednesday, Feb. 7, and Thursday, Feb. 8. These streets will be closed to vehicles 24/7 beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 through 5 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14:

  • Bourbon St. from Canal St. to Dumaine St.
  • 700-800 blocks of St. Ann St., Orleans Ave., St. Peter St., Toulouse St., St. Louis St., Conti St., Bienville St., and Iberville St.

Pay attention when parking to avoid being ticketed or towed.

Mardi Gras parking reminders

  • Pay close attention to posted signs.
  • Do not block or park within 15 feet fire hydrants, block or park within 3 feet of driveways, block sidewalks, or park in fire lanes.
  • Do not park in bike lanes.
  • Do not park within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign.
  • Do not park on the neutral ground.
  • Do not park alongside neutral ground curbs.
  • Do not park for more than 2 hours without a permit in a Residential Parking Permit Zone.
  • Do not park in the direction of travel on one-way streets and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets.
  • Do not park on or block trails, including the Lafitte Greenway and Jefferson Davis Trail.
  • Do not park recreational vehicles, campers, and oversized vehicles in residential areas.
  • A Parking Lot Event permit is required to charge people to park on your property during Mardi Gras. A property is only eligible for this permit if it is zoned commercially or is owned and occupied by a legal, non-residential use (in residentially zoned areas), i.e. churches, schools, etc. 

Parking contact information

  • Department of Public Works parking enforcement and information, (504) 658-8100 (answered 24 hours)
  • Residential Parking Permits information, (504) 658-8200
  • 24/7 Booting Release, 1-866-422-6961
  • Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings, (504) 658-8250

Banned vehicles

Large enclosed vehicles are prohibited from parking on public streets within two blocks of a route four hours before and after each parade. That includes box trucks, cargo vans, trucks with port-a-lets, campers, recreation vehicles, and trailers.

No parking zones


Parking is restricted along parade routes two hours before and after parades to be sure parade elements and sanitation crews can access the street.


Depending on the specific parade route, parking may be prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades. Follow all posted signs.

  • Tchoupitoulas St. from Jackson Ave. to Nashville Ave.
  • Napoleon Ave. from Tchoupitoulas St. to S. Claiborne Ave.
  • St. Charles Ave. from Napoleon Ave. to Canal St.
  • Tchoupitoulas St. from Poydras St. to Calliope St.
  • Magazine St. from Napolean Ave. to Upperline St. 


On Saturday, Feb. 10, parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets from 6 a.m. until two hours after the parade ends:

  • Canal St. from S. Carrollton Ave. to Tchoupitoulas St.
  • Tchoupitoulas St. from Canal St. to Julia St.
  • Julia St. from Tchoupitoulas St to Convention Center Blvd.
  • Convention Center Blvd. to Henderson St.
  • N. Carrollton Ave. from Canal St. to Orleans Ave.
  • Orleans Ave. from City Park Ave. to N. Carrollton Ave.


Parking restrictions in the French Quarter and Central Business District will be in place from 12 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4 and Wednesday, Feb. 7 through Wednesday, Feb. 15:

  • 700-800 blocks of St. Ann St., Orleans Ave., St. Peter St., Toulouse St., St. Louis St., Conti St., Bienville St., and Iberville St.
  • Bourbon St. from St. Ann to Dumaine St.