As part of our “Streets for People” series, we asked readers for suggestions regarding the Lexington Road Safety Project — a repaving and redesign of the corridor between Grinstead Drive and Payne Street. Here are some of the responses we received, in our readers’ own words, lightly edited and condensed:
This assessment of the Lexington Road project is 100 percent correct. No sidewalks or any other provision for pedestrians is a failure. I saw a lady walking her bike against traffic on Lexington Road — on a scuzzy half grass, half dirt skirt of land. She was obviously scared and uncomfortable. It’s a disgrace to Louisville. Make the city walkable. Stop paying homage to autocentric fools. Cars are the problem.
The Lexington Road diet is certainly an improvement over the current dangerous design. I’m not that concerned about cyclist access on that road since there’s already a nice paved bike path running parallel along the Beargrass Creek. That being said, study after study shows that investing in infrastructure encouraging pedestrian and cyclist traffic tends to generate positive returns on investment.
In neighborhoods that are bike and pedestrian friendly, there’s an energy and sense of community that’s missing in more car-dominant parts of town (just look at what the Big-4 pedestrian bridge has done to revitalize Jeffersonville). Forward-looking cities are embracing initiatives that encourage people to get out of their cars. If Louisville wants to attract people to live here or just spend their tourism dollars, it will support infrastructure projects that not only address efficiency, but also deliver on aesthetics, safety and accessibility.
As a native of Louisville, there are so many wonderful aspects to our city that make it very livable, however, the one condition that is very disheartening is the lack of sidewalks in all areas of our city. Busy roads, like Lexington Road, should not be built or improved WITHOUT a mandatory requirement that the work include at least one sidewalk on one side of the street.
Neighborhood developments should not be built WITHOUT a mandatory requirement for sidewalks. Existing neighborhoods should be part of a citywide plan to add sidewalks that are WITHOUT the sidewalks that weren’t included in the original development. How can we expect to encourage healthy lifestyles and community engagement when our infrastructure plans don’t include the infrastructure for means of travel other than an automobile?
What can be done to Goss Avenue to reflect your ideas?
In this area, where traffic goes very fast due to the noted lack of cross streets, a protected bike lane would be much more beneficial for bikers. This could be combined with sidewalks, which would make add a beautiful path for runners and walkers in our city. This would be a great addition for residents in an area that’s rapidly developing!
Definitely a missed opportunity!
I find Mr. Glasser’s comment: “Lycra-clad speedsters” insultive, ignorant and divisive. He has zero understanding and acceptance of cycling culture and chooses to run off into a make-believe land that Bicycling for Louisville often does. It’s not really even a neighborhood setting. There are much better places to walk, than Lexington Road between Payne & Grinstead, everyone who lives here knows that. The writer can’t be from Louisville, and if he is, I wonder what rock he crawled out from underneath.
Thank you for so concisely articulating these concerns. I attended many meetings while this diet was being proposed. I consistently said over and over again: “What’s the use of the center left turn lane when there are so few addresses/buildings between the road and the creek. What motorist will be making a left hand turn into Cave Hill Cemetery’s brick wall?”
“Where are the sidewalks? Why can’t the roadway just be reduced to two lanes which would make room for a dedicated bike lane separate from the roadway?”
I said, “Why is it the Metro is striping all these bike lanes but never comes through with a street sweeper to remove debris?”
Over and over again people dodged my questions. Bike For Louisville and my own neighborhood association participated fully in being co-opted, all for what eventually became clear is the new mantra in Metro Hall, which is “slow motor vehicle traffic down.”
So, this diet (and others) really have nothing to do with promoting multimodal transportation. It’s all about slowing motor vehicle traffic down. That’s all.
Making Lexington Road single lane for cars on both sides is dumb especially considering developers’ goals of building large projects at the corner of Lex and Grinstead. Traffic is bad enough for the commute the way it is. The road should be widened to a four-lane boulevard, including accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians.
Agree. Irish Hill has been repeatedly teased with a the possibility of a sidewalk. And that just goes along with TARC service. How do you walk to the TARC? I plan to try to walk in the bike lane but won’t risk taking my dog.
Your article effectively addresses how this new design is definitely not multimodal. What I’d assert is that we should expect and demand, not only multimodal but beyond that as well. We should address not only functionality issues (for pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) but also environmental issues. We should take every opportunity to address the heat island effects in our city and every road redesign is such an opportunity.
Every project must be viewed through an environmental lens also, and contribute to a greening of our city. Failing to do so is a missed opportunity just as this is a missed opportunity for everything other than auto safety and convenience.
“First off, there’s no accommodation for people on foot. None. Joggers, parents with strollers, people out for a shady, creekside walk”
Isn’t the Irish hill greenway on Beargrass Creek parallel to Lexington Road (separated by a fragment of woods)? I’ve gone on shady creek side walks there…I know right now MSD has their big project but still the paved path is quite nice. It connects Clifton and Irish hill to Cherokee Park.
Also, regarding bike lanes, I recall the original plan for a buffered two-way cycletrack was dismissed by public opinion. This particular stretch of street is used to get to and from downtown by a lot of cars, that’s just the reality of it. Have you ever seen the backup at 5 p.m. to get on I-64? Those big proposed towers would only make that more congested. At any rate, if it slows cars like the Brownsboro and Grinstead Road diets have, then I welcome it.
I reached out to them a few months ago regarding my concerns and about the obvious lack of any real improvement for people outside of vehicles.
Their response: “Thank you for your recent comments regarding the Lexington Road Safety Project. I completely agree the at bike lane debris is a serious problem and we (Louisville Metro) are working to improve our efforts to alleviate it. Your sharrow concept is probably not very applicable here due to the motorist speeds and volume along the corridor. An elevated facility would be ideal, unfortunately there is not funding for such a project. Metro is being opportunistic by introducing new striping/lane configurations in conjunction with the planned repaving of the corridor.”
To summarize: No funding for a multimodal solution and bike land debris is going to continue to be a problem (but they are sooo working on it!).