Named for a waterway that was never built, palm-lined Canal Streetshown at top in July 2006is New Orleans' main mass transit conduit, with streetcar and bus lines running down its center. The street separates the French Quarter and the American area. In the 19th century, when those two districts were in perpetual conflict, the thoroughfare was known as Neutral Ground.
Canal Street regained its air of conflict on August 31, 2005, when a U.S. military vehicle patrolled the flooded avenue (bottom). In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, soldiers helped quell looting and attempted to restore order to New Orleans. Nearly a year later National Guard units are still assisting with law enforcement.