We're for a Bicycle-Friendly Louisville, Kentucky. Biking is a fun and healthy way to get around, and we believe that it should be convenient and safe for everybody in the city.
And Also So Much More . . .
A good bike ride doesn't exist in a vacuum. Which is why we advocate for more than just bike lanes and other bike infrastructure. A bikeable city avoids sprawl, promotes healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment, and supports local businesses.
4 Better Land-Use.If your nearest grocery store is 3 miles away and work is more than 10, needless to say, biking becomes a lot less convenient. We're working, along with organizations like the Urban Design Studio, to encourage efforts by the city to re-invest in its urban core. If things are close-by, we can get there by bike!
4 Better Living.It's unfortunate, but Louisville's public health statistics are some of the worst in the country. Regular, daily exercise is a great way to improve those numbers. And the low-impact, utilitarian exercise that comes with biking can be an easy way to get everybody feeling a lot better!
4 Beautiful Landscape.The positive environmental effects of biking can be felt across the region and the world. The less we drive, the less pollution we're producing and the less we're relying on expensive and unsustainable energy sources. Yeah, bikes!
4 Buying Local.
Roughly 85% of car costs leave the local economy. And because of suburban sprawl, the average American is now spending more on transportation than on housing. Want to support Louisville businesses? Then one of the best things you can do is ride a bike. Instead of giving your money to global oil companies, insurance agencies, and car manufacturers, you can choose to spend your money on whatever it is in Louisville that's important to you!
In short, it's all interconnected. You can't have a bike-friendly city without good land-use, healthy citizens, care for the environment, and a thriving local economy. That's what we want for Louisville, and we hope you'll join us in helping make it happen!
Interested in knowing more about B4L's mission, goals, and direction? Check out our strategic plan.
The B4L Team.
Chris Glasser – President
Since joining B4L, Chris has worked with the city to plan and implement safe, convenient bike infrastructure for its Urban Bike Network. A graduate of Portland State University (BS, Computer Science) and the University of Virginia (MT, Secondary Education), Chris is currently collaborating with the city's Bike Louisville department on a long-term bike master plan. Outside of B4L, Chris is a web applications developer for LOJIC, the city government's GIS partnership. A Louisville native and proud Kentuckian, Chris volunteers with Louisville Grows and Meyzeek Middle School and is passionate about making Louisville a more urban, sustainable city.
Samantha Skaggs – Treasurer
Sam is a TARC/bike combo commuter for her job at Humana. While her background in Mechanical Engineering somehow relates to her analytics day-job, her Master's in Urban Planning should help out with her new role on the B4L board. Sam is interested in helping B4L bolster its sustainability as an organization and facilitating community driven 'pop-up' infrastructure. Sam's ideal ride is to explore somewhere new with her two favorite accessories: a wheel of cheese and a baguette.
Seth Short – Secretary
Seth is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Planning/GIS. He currently splits his time as a bike mechanic at Bike Couriers Bike Shop and as an audio tech for WHAS-11 News. Before that, Seth worked as a bike advocate in Boston with the Boston Cyclists Union, and as the coordinator and mechanic for WKU's bike share program – Big Red Bikes.
Dave advocates for an Urban Bicycle Network that serves the needs of all users. With his League Cycling Instructor certification, he has taught more than 1,000 Louisvillians how to operate their bicycles on our roads. Dave believes that increased bicycling improves public health, provides efficient transportation, and bolsters civic engagement.
Bella is the co-founder of Falls City Community BikeWorks, a community bike shop created in partnership with parent organization B4L and co-founder John Krueger. Although she owns zero spandex and rides a (comically) pink bike from Goodwill, Bella is totally serious about the personal and public benefits of biking. As often as she can, Bella bikes to her service projects, her job in environmental/urban policy, her music gigs, and her favorite R&R destinations along the banks of the Ohio. She looks forward to seeing you in the bike shop!
Mark is a daily bicycle commuter to his job downtown where he works on recycling and sustainability initiatives for the City of Louisville. He earned a Masters in Community Planning in 2012 from the University of Maryland, where he focused his studies on transportation planning. Mark has authored bicycle and pedestrian accessibility guidelines for Baltimore's proposed "Red Line" light rail and assisted with several walkability assessments in Louisville's urban neighborhoods. He lives in the Tyler Park neighborhood.
Andrea Pompei Lacy
Andrea is a daily bicycle commuter to her job at the Department of Urban & Public Affairs at the University of Louisville. She is a 2009 graduate of that department with a Masters in Urban Planning and in Public Administration specializing in community development and public policy. As a hazard planner of a soft-funded research center, she spends much of her time applying for grants and working with Kentucky communities to develop plans for disaster resiliency. She, her husband, and their two cats – one of which enjoys bike-riding as well! – live in the Butchertown neighborhood.
Andrew Ulliman, P.E.
Andrew began commuting by bike while attending the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. After graduating, he moved to the bikeable neighborhood of south Louisville so that he could continue riding his bike year-round to his job at Zoeller Pump Company. He enjoys participating in fun bike events around the city with his wife, friends, and co-workers. Andrew thinks Louisville has the potential to become a premier bike-friendly city and is excited to help B4L achieve that goal.
2015 Bike Kick-Off.
Schedule for the Event.
6:00-6:30. FCCB/PPP workshop
Falls City Community BikeWorks and the Pedal Power Project will co-host a mini mobile repair station. Stop by for help with your bike and learn a new trick or two
6:30-7:00. Open Tabling Time*
7:00-7:15. Welcome from Chris Glasser (B4L President) and Mayor Fischer
7:15-7:45. Open Tabling Time*
Mike Sewell (Olmsted Parkways)
Rolf Eisinger (Urban Bike Network)
Steve Sizemore (Lexington Road Project)
8:30-9:30. Music - JP Source
*In the "in between" times, we will have open tabling featuring these groups:
Parkside Bikes, The Parklands, KyMBA, LIBA, Center for Neighborhoods, American Diabetes Association, MegaCaverns, On Your Left Cycles, Falls City Community BikeWorks, Gresham Smith & Partners, Bike Louisville, Louisville Bicycle Club, and others
Anyone who becomes a B4L member or renews their membership during the months of December and January is eligible to win one of our prizes:
Become B4L a member
Raleigh Cadent from Parkside Bikes
Commuter Gift Pack (fenders, rack, lights) from On Your Left Cycles
NuLu Gift Pack from businesses in the NuLu District
for your chance to win.
2014 was Louisville's best year ever for biking.
More money was allocated by the city and more bike lanes were installed than any year in Louisville's history.
And it was a great year for B4L as well.
We helped the city plan all 40 of the bike miles it installed – 12 more than was planned. We submitted a proposal for 82 miles of bike boulevards that was adopted by the city and is already fully-funded. We provided bike parking to events all summer long, organized the first-ever Bike Everywhere Month, and explored the city with our Fall Ride Series.
At B4L, we think we're doing as much as any group to re-shape Louisville's urban streetscape. We're proud of what B4L accomplished in 2014, and we hope you are too – and that you feel pride in being a B4L member. We rely on memberships and donations to advance our mission, and we hope you'll support us
as we push for even more positive change in 2015.
The 2014 Bike Kick-Off
The B4L Board with Rolf Eisinger (Bike Louisville, left) and Andy Murphy (Louisville Bicycle Club, right).
Along with Bike Louisville, B4L hosted the 2014 Bike Kick-Off at the Clifton Center on January 8, bringing together pro-bike groups from across the city. The event was headlined by a speech from Mayor Greg Fischer, as well as one from B4L president Chris Glasser
that called for more and smarter spending on bike infrastructure.
Bike organizations, city planners, and park officials from around the region (groups like KyMBA, the Parklands, the city of Jeffersonville, and many others) tabled before and after the speeches, chatting with the attendees about the work they're doing to make our city more bike-friendly.
Audio of Chris's speech
Support B4L: Become a member today
Falls City Community BikeWorks
The FCCB shop is located at 1217 Logan Street in the Shelby Park neighborhood.
In December 2013, John Krueger and Isabella Christensen came to the B4L board with an idea for partnering with Bicycling for Louisville to open up a community bikeshop. Modeled after Broke Spoke in Lexington and Folkbike Recycler in Frankfort, Falls City Community BikeWorks (FCCB) has enjoyed an enormously successful first year.
We hosted a housewarming party in May and in June started having shop hours. The mission of the shop, which keeps hours Mondays and Wednesday 6:30-9:30, and Sunday 1:00-4:00, is to give people the tools and the know-how to do maintenance and repairs on their own bicycles.
So far, we couldn't be happier with the community support we've received. Bike shops from around town – Parkside, Vic's, and CycleSmith's, among others – have donated parts and tools, while local mechanics have volunteer-taught bike maintenance classes.
Join B4L and get an FCCB membership
Urban Bike Network
2014 was the year Louisville started building a cohesive bike network in its city center. Responding to the "Stalled Report"
submitted by B4L, Mayor Greg Fischer allocated $300,000 for an Urban Bike Network (UBN), the first time any Louisville mayor had set aside money in an annual budget specifically for biking. The plan initially called for 28 miles of bike infrastructure, but B4L worked with the city's public works department to expand that to 40 miles – 13 of which are bike lanes, 27 of which are shared lane markings on low-volume streets (commonly called "bike boulevards").
Some of the highlights:
Louisville saw the addition of 40 miles of bike infrastructure in 2014, represented above with the dark blue lines.
- Paired bike lanes entering and exiting west downtown (7th and 8th Streets) and east downtown (Floyd and Jackson)
- Paired lanes on 1st and Brook Streets connecting UofL, Old Louisville, and downtown
- Paired lanes on Kentucky and Breckinridge connecting east Louisville into the above routes
- A three-mile bike boulevard in West Louisville on Vermont/Madison and another in Germantown connecting the Highlands to UofL
Summer of Bike Parking
Every year, from April to October, B4L provides bike parking at any number of summer markets, festivals, and concerts. This year we expanded our services, which in the past had been exclusively valet bike parking, to also include portable bike racks. The result was a summer in which we provided more free bike parking than ever before.
Here were a few of the highlights:
ReSurfaced, a pop-up plaza on Main St, used our portable racks for the six weeks it was open.
- The City of Jeffersonville used our racks after the opening of the Big Four Bridge
- At Forecastle we valet parked more than 1,400 bikes in three days
- The Single Speed CycloCross World Championships used our portable racks for their after-party at Vernon Club
- For Ben Sollee's Waterfront Wednesday concert, we provided racks that parked more than 100 bikes
- We again offered valet parking at Thunder Over Louisville, and also parked bikes at the inaugural Tour de Lou
- For the six weeks that ReSurfaced was open, our portable bike racks were positioned at each entrance
Bike Everywhere Month
May 2014 was "Bike Everywhere Month".
Every year the city holds a one-day Bike-to-Work event on a Friday in May. Since we like to ride our bikes every day just about everywhere we go, we thought this was too narrow. Why only work? Why only one day? So, we expanded the vision, called May "Bike Everywhere Month", and hosted a range of fun bike events all over town all month long.
We held a Louisville History Tour with Councilman Tom Owen that rode through Portland and Old Louisville. We held a bike movie night at Taco Punk where we showed Caddyshack. And yes, we co-hosted the city's Bike-to-Work Day event downtown on May 30th. (Among many other events.)
"Bike Everywhere Month" was a great success in 2014, and we hope to bike to even more everywheres in May 2015.
Bike Everywhere Month graphic
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B4L met with the Mayor's Office in April to discuss recommendations from our Mayor's Report.
The Small Things
Before: The city's new bike lanes were virtually gone after the rough 2014 winter.
After: B4L suggested changes that would make the lanes more visible and require less maintenance.
Saying we want more bike lanes in Louisville is easy. But actually creating safe, usable lanes is another thing entirely. This year, many of our design suggestions have become standards the city has adopted for its bike lanes.
A few examples:
- We advocated for a door-zone buffer on all new lanes – something missing from the designs on Market, Main, and 3rd Streets. Now, all newly painted bike lanes have a buffer.
- Noticing that the road paint for bike lanes was quickly wearing away, we researched how other cities were painting their lanes and proposed that Louisville instead use thermoplastic, which is heavier and more durable than regular paint, for its bike lanes. Now, all new bikes lanes are painted with "thermo".
- Lanes on Cardinal Blvd near UofL had a design that was inconsistent with other lanes in the city, making them confusing for bikers and drivers. We advocated for them to be re-designed and re-painted (with thermo) to make for lanes that are more cohesive with the rest of the UBN.
B4L has a lot riding on the Neighborways project – a plan to install a network of bike boulevards in neighborhoods all over town. Bike boulevards are streets with low traffic volume and low traffic speed that prioritize bike safety and access over car movement. They make use of traffic calming, volume control measures, and wayfinding signage to give people on bikes a low-stress and convenient experience.
Here are some of the highlights of the project so far, as well as B4L's role in bringing the project to life:
B4L submitted a plan for a bike boulevard network in December 2013.
- In June 2013, B4L and the city's public works department laid out an initial network plan.
- In December 2013, B4L proposed a plan that broke the initial network into tiered phases, with funding sources for each tier.
- Phase 0 used funds allocated in the 2014 fiscal budget and in spring 2014, added 22 miles of bike boulevards in neighborhoods closest to the urban core – NuLu, Old Louisville, Germantown, Shelby Park, and Russell.
- Phase 1 is the next ring out in the plan and will add 33 miles to the network. This phase uses federal funds and will be implemented starting in spring 2015 in Cherokee Triangle, Original Highlands, Portland, and Butchertown.
- Phase 2 has secured its federal funding and will add about 20 miles to the network (an exact timetable for its implementation is still undetermined). Neighborhoods include Deer Park, Audubon Park, Camp Taylor, Parkland, and Shawnee.
- The three phases above include only road paint. B4L is already working with neighborhoods and the public works department to add traffic calming and signage to fill out the network.
The Fall Ride Series
In front of St. Therese, on the Germantown-Schnitzelburg ride.
After the success of the History Ride as part of "Bike Everywhere Month", B4L had its first ever Fall Ride Series, a collection of guided bike tours through Louisville.
We had four great rides this season:
- The Sustainability Tour
- Germantown-Schnitzelburg History Tour
- Bluegrass Bioneers Urban Homesteading Tour
- Cherokee/Seneca Park History and Ecology Ride
Our tour guides for the Germantown and Olmsted Parks ride – Rachel Kennedy and Carolyn Waters, respectively – were awesome. Rachel lined up a game of Dainty in Schnitzelburg for us, and the ride with Carolyn was a perfect way to explore the parks on a crisp November morning. For all of our rides, we had great partners whose generosity in hosting us was greatly appreciated. Thanks to YouthBuild, Parkland Community Garden, Lots of Food, Four Pegs, Harland Smith, Holy Grale, Mary Beth Brown, and many others! We're already looking forward to a Spring Ride Series in the coming months!
Bluegrass Bioneers Photos
Olmsted Parks Photos
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Ormsby, 6th, and Swan – Bicycle Boulevards
April 2014 | Swan | Ormsby + 6th
Further adding to the growing Urban Bike Network, the sharrows on Swan St, Ormsby Ave, and 6th St lay the foundation for emerging bike boulevards. B4L has been instrumental in getting this network on the ground – proposing the route on Swan that connects Germantown to Paristown Point and the Ormsby connection that goes from Old Louisville to Shelby Park, as well as getting these routes included in the plan for this fiscal year.
Highlands-UofL Connector – Bicycle Boulevard
April 2014 | Map | Images
The Highlands-UofL Connector is the first route in the city's Neighborways project, an effort to establish a network of bicycle boulevards on quiet, 25 mph residential streets. The B4L advocacy team conceived and designed the route adopted by the city, which provides a direct, safe pathway through the Germantown and Schnitzelburg neighborhoods.
Floyd Street – Bike Lane & Sharrows
October 2013 | Map | Images
B4L advocated for including a bike lane in this route, which was originally designed having only sharrows. Adding a bike lane narrows the driving lanes, slowing car traffic and creating a safer biking experience. In addition, the southbound bike lane on Floyd pairs with the northbound lane on Jackson to create convenient access to and from Waterfront Park.
Brook & 1st Streets – Bike Lanes & Sharrows
August 2013 | Map | Images
For the first route in the city's Urban Bike Network, B4L pushed for shrinking the driving lanes, widening the bike lane, and adding a parking-side buffer to keep bikers out of the door zone. These routes established seven-foot wide biking lanes as the default installed by the city, a full two feet wider than the previous norm.
"Stalled" Report to Louisville Mayor
December 2012 | PDF
Seeing that the city's bike efforts had ground to a halt, B4L advocacy authored a report to Mayor Greg Fischer. The report proposed creating an Urban Bike Network starting in Old Louisville and downtown. In his 2013-14 fiscal budget, Fischer allotted $300,000 to this project – the largest sum ever set aside by the city specifically for bike infrastructure.
U of L Bike Voucher Program
Starting in 2012, University of Louisville students have been offered the choice to trade in their on-campus parking permit for a $400 bike voucher. As part of the program, students attend a B4L bike education class to learn how to ride safely in the city – how to signal, where the safest bike facilities are and how to use them properly, when to take a full traffic lane, and how to safely lock their bikes.
Waggener High School Maintenance Course
Taught by B4L board member and bike mechanic Seth Short, this course introduces students to basic bike maintenance skills. Students in grades 9-12 learn how to repair a flat tire, adjust gearing, and align brakes, among other practical skills.
2014 Kickoff Fundraiser
January 8, 2014 | Clifton Center | Facebook Invite
Joining with the city's bike and parks departments, B4L is hosting an advocacy meeting and membership drive at the Clifton Center. The event will present on the progress of the city's Urban Bike Network, an effort started in July 2013 to create a unified series of bike routes starting in downtown and expanding outwards. Along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the city's bike/pedestrian coordinator Rolf Eisinger, B4L President Chris Glasser will be speaking at this event.
Bier and Bikes for Parks
November 3, 2013 | Holy Grale | Facebook Invite
In support of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Holy Grale held a fundraiser in its gralegarten. B4L teamed up with the bar, Parkside Bikes, On Your Left Cycles, and Kentucky Homebrew to draw a crowd whose support went toward helping the conservancy, one of the city's oldest non-profits whose mission is to enhance and preserve Louisville's historic and world-class park system.
Valet Bike Parking
Spring and Summer 2013
Over the spring and summer months, B4L's valet bike parking service was an integral part of dozens of festivals, picnics, community and city-wide gatherings. Our biggest VBP events were some of the city's main fair-weather attractions – Thunder Over Louisville, the Forecastle Music Festival, and the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair – providing citizens with a healthy and fun way to arrive, park close-by, and exit without getting stuck in traffic.
Falls City Community BikeWorks.
What is FCCB?
FCCB provides tools and guidance to anyone who wants to learn bike maintenance and repair. We also sell some parts, and refurbish bicycles for donation to locals in need of transportation.
We're located in the back lot breezeway at 1217 Logan St
, in the Smoketown/Shelby Park neighborhood.
Come on by! FCCB is a great place to fix a bike...and a great place for anybody from the community to come hang out!
Official Website: www.fccbikeworks.org
About John and Bella.
John Krueger teaches German through KET Distance Learning, commuting between Louisville and Lexington. He was a member of Lexington's Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop, where he saw first-hand what a rich and vibrant learning environment that can be.
Isabella Christensen works in environmental policy and plays music. When Bella's bike started limping badly in the fall of 2013, she wished for a local place to learn some mechanical skills . . . and that's how she met John, who was on a similar quest.
Why do you want Louisville to have a community bike shop?
So my kids – and yours! – have a great place to hang, sharing skills and good times. -John
Because learning bike repair from internet videos is no fun at all! -Bella
Because biking (and bike repair) should be accessible to everyone! -B4L
Tell us your reason on Facebook
Become a B4L Member.
First things first: thank you for considering supporting B4L! We're working for a more bikeable, more urban, more sustainable Louisville – and there's a direct connection between your giving and our ability to do that well. Your donation is helping make Louisville a better place to live for everybody.
When you become a Bicycling for Louisville member, you receive the following benefits:
Bicycling for Louisville is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit and is eligible to receive matching gifts.
Want to Give Differently?
We also offer the option of one-time donations and single-year memberships. Single-year memberships come with all the benefits listed in the margin at right, but do not automatically renew. Donations are considered gifts to the organization and do not come with the membership perks listed.
Join the B4L Mailing List.
When you sign up for the Bicycling for Louisville mailing list, you receive updates on our advocacy efforts, info on important bike-related public input meetings, notices of educational programs we're running, as well as volunteer opportunities with the organization (like our valet bike parking service). We also send out news on B4L events, rides, and other bike goings-on in town. We think it's a great way to stay abreast of the many of the changes that are making Louisville a more bike-friendly city.