On Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m., District 8 Council Member Brandon Coan and Develop Louisville will host a public meeting at Highlands Community Ministries (1228 E. Breckinridge St.) to discuss safety improvements for the Bardstown Road corridor between Broadway and the Watterson Expressway (I-264).
As part of Insider Louisville’s Streets for People series, Bicycling for Louisville director Chris Glasser offered a series of suggestions for improving the walkability, bikeability and overall safety of the roadway in the form of a StoryMap.
Here are some of your ideas on how to improve the corridor.
Cars need to be slowed down. Clearer markings for bikes would be good. Clearer markings and safer crossings. The work that was done on Lexington and Grinstead has been awesome. Much safer to drive and walk. Any time a road has undergone a road diet, it has slowed traffic and improved safety.
More education about the lane changes especially at Eastern Parkway. More opportunities to cross the street.
Regular sidewalk cleaning. I’ve lived in the Highlands for more than 10 years now and the amount of trash, broken glass, etc., just seems to be increasing.
Please, please don’t do a road diet. The automatic crosswalk lights like downtown would be great, and more crosswalks.
Celebrate bus stops instead of allowing them to be parking spaces illegally used. Teach people the rush hour flow and enforce it! Enhance intersections and make sure signals work. Add turn signals at Eastern Parkway. Dump parking minimums and go back to the policy of shared parking encouraged by the overlay. Do something about the disaster that’s occurring and nobody adddressing at Broadway and Baxter, which is going to get ugly after millennial warehousing takes over in lieu of neighborhood level activities.
One easy idea to implement is several true crosswalks on Bardstown Road. There is a handful now that are completely ignored by motorists. The trick is to put one of those signs on a spring in the middle of the road that says cars can’t enter crosswalk if a person is present. Then pedestrians can cross with confidence. Works great in many other cities. As it is now, cars just blow by as pedestrians wait to cross. I’ve even been honked at for crossing in a clearly marked crosswalk.
First off, I think Councilman Coan‘s initiative to more aggressively tow illegally parked cars is a great first step. Having cars parked in drive lanes during busy times is a huge problem. I’m sure the experts will come up with other great short-term fixes, and I’d strongly recommend focus only on these “quick wins.” As crazy as it seems, autonomously driven cars are only five to 10 years from being commonplace on our roadways. This, combined with the ride-sharing economy already growing thanks to Uber and other companies, is going to dramatically change how traffic looks on Bardstown and elsewhere. So I’d hate to see heavy investment in changing the current street layout (especially with regard to parking), when we don’t know how different demand will look on the corridor in a decade.
I bike a lot in the Highlands, and I think the Baxter, Barret and Bardstown corridors can’t really be made safer for bikes without major disruption to traffic and parking. My suggestion is to allow mixed use on the sidewalks. That is, allow cyclists on the sidewalks. With proper signage, lane painting and education, it could be safe and convenient for everyone.
Bardstown Road desperately needs an increased number of high-quality crosswalks. Existing crosswalks are few and far between from Baxter Avenue to Trevillian. Added crosswalks should be placed in areas between the existing crosswalks at lighted intersections. New crosswalks should also have better visibility and signage to make pedestrians feel safer and alert motorists. The speed limit should be reduced between Baxter and Trevillian to 25-30 mph. People routinely ignore or forget about the changing traffic lane indicators during rush hour. A solution to make this more clear to motorists or do away with the rush hour lane use changes altogether should be considered.
One thing I would suggest is to bury the utility lines and rebuild the sidewalks with brick. Utility lines are so ugly and impede the flow of pedestrians. With the telephone poles out of the way, the sidewalks would be wider and the line of sight clearer and cleaner.
A shared turn lane in the center of the road would help some, but the traffic gets so heavy at times that having only one lane of traffic “flowing” will be a challenge. Not to mention the people in such a big hurry that they practically run everyone over as it is. I worry all the time that cars driving fast are going to run over people sitting at tables on the sidewalk in front of businesses. Maybe it’s time to have turn spots only at certain intersections, to help keep traffic flowing.
Jaywalking is by far the most convenient way to cross Bardstown Road, especially given that the legal pedestrian crosswalks are very far apart. The area near the intersection of Bardstown and Lucia is especially unsafe. The only walk signs in that area are at Grinstead and the Mid City Mall, so people frequently jaywalk in between those. There is a crosswalk painted across Bardstown right by the intersection with Lucia with two signs that explicitly tell drivers to yield to pedestrians, but I’ve never seen a driver yield, and I walk in that area frequently. What’s the point of misleading pedestrians into crossing the road there with the crosswalk paint and the yield signs if drivers don’t stop and police don’t enforce it? Maybe there could be a stoplight there specifically for pedestrians, like how UofL students cross Second/Third streets.
Generally what makes Bardstown Road feel unsafe for pedestrians is that it’s a high-pedestrian area in the afternoons and evenings, but it’s designed pretty much exclusively for cars all times of the day. It might make sense to keep that mindset in the morning, but in the afternoons/evenings, it should be thought of (at least the section between Broadway and, say, The Bard’s Town on Speed Avenue) as a primarily pedestrian area that allows cars. The city annoyingly took the position two years ago that jaywalking was the real culprit behind pedestrian fatalities. It’s time the city admitted the real problem is that the streets are currently designed for cars while pedestrians and cyclists are considered obstacles to efficient car travel.
Create protected bike lanes on both sides of Baxter Avenue. This is by far the most dangerous part of my commute to work. I often have to take the lane due to cars parked intermittently along the route, angering some motorists wishing to go much faster.
Fewer cars! Run a 10-15 minute shuttle bus and put in public parking south of Eastern Parkway and/or north of Broadway. Then you can make it three lanes with no street parking, plus a bike lane. Or put a soft divider up in the middle of the street to restrict left turns not made at lights. Or put two dividers up and make the middle lane a two-way greenway for bikes!
I think bike lanes on Bardstown Road would be dangerous. Put them on side streets that run parallel to Bardstown Road.