The light rail system in Denver.
The light rail system in Denver.

This post first appeared on Broken Sidewalk.

As many of you know, Mayor Greg Fischer and his administration have been in the process of creating Vision Louisville, a long-range planning document that will be used as a guide for policy and funding priorities for the city of Louisville throughout the next 25 years.

In the spring of 2013, the drafters asked for ordinary citizens to submit ideas they would like to see happen over the next quarter century. Louisvillians responded in a big way to their request: More than 80,000 ideas were submitted. The ideas covered a wide variety of subjects, but a majority of them sent a very clear message: WE WANT MORE TRANSIT IN LOUISVILLE.

download_1There were so many transportation-related ideas that the Fischer administration decided they needed a plan of their own: Thus was born Move Louisville, “a long-range strategic multi-modal transportation plan that will focus on creating greater mobility between the places where people live, work, shop and enjoy leisure time in Louisville.”

Funded by $750,000 in federal and local money, the plan will examine how everything from walking and biking to bus rapid transit and streetcars can be folded into regional and state transportation plans.

The plan began to be developed in November of 2013, and it is currently nearing completion. But as part of the final phase, the drafters have opened the floor to the general public, giving citizens the opportunity to submit comments about what the priorities of Move Louisville should be.

One excellent example is the fact that, in its current draft, the Move Louisville document does not have any provision for a north-south streetcar line connecting downtown Louisville with the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus. This is a transit link that is crucial for Louisville’s future success (the case for such a connection can be found here), so it is vital that the drafters are convinced it is an idea worth studying as part of the long-range transportation planning process.

But a streetcar is not the only transit mode that should be advocated for; a truly complete long-range transportation plan should include provisos for multiple modes of smart transportation. High quality light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are all needed for Louisville to be a successful 21st century city. The public should submit comments encouraging all of these different transit modes.

Are more bike lanes needed?
Are more bike lanes needed?

The public input period for Move Louisville ends Dec. 15. This is a rare opportunity for Louisville citizens to have a voice in the future course their city will take. So, if you have a desire for Louisville to become a city that moves better, smarter and cleaner, click the link below and submit a comment supporting smart transit options in Louisville.

Click here if you have input on Move Louisville.

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Porter Stephens obtained a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Louisville. He now works as a zoning official in Hampton, Va.