City workers on Tuesday removed a fence at Newcomb Boulevard and Freret Street that essentially turned the four-block Newcomb into a private thoroughfare.

Residents of Newcomb had the barrier erected in 2006, saying traffic concerns made it necessary. They have complained that drivers previously used the street, which runs to St. Charles Avenue, as a short cut, speeding through the neighborhood. But judges at both Civil District Court and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal have ruled that a permit should not have been issued for the fence. The appeals court ordered the fence removed in January. In a last ditch effort to keep the barricade, the Newcomb Boulevard Association asked the City Planning Commission to allow residents to purchase the road. The commission denied their request to purchase the street, saying that closing off Newcomb Blvd. just diverted traffic to other nearby streets.