I wondered what had happened; and as someone who lives around the corner from the Royal St. mall, I think it’s a shame and not necessary. Some people might think this is a non-issue, but when closed, Royal was its own human-scaled village and added “eyes on the street” for 9-10 hours per day. That shutting this down as somehow being touted as being about safety is an example of policing that is not community based. The best precedent is probably the emergence of those massive streets in suburbs and newer cities put into place during the Cold War to allow militarized emergency vehicles ever more space but did not make us any safer.
(Update: the NOPD backed down the next day, but let’s stay vigilant folks!)