On April 19th, the city presented its redesign concept of Bardstown Road at a public meeting. You can find the city’s presentation here and our write-up of the plan for Insider Louisville here.

There’s a lot to like about the plan, especially the removal of the “ping pong” lights and redesign from Douglass Loop to Broadway. Here are our overall, high-level thoughts on the proposal.

The Good:

  • Making a large section of Bardstown Road a two-lane road (one lane in each direction) is an excellent move that will make the street safer for all users.
  • Likewise, dedicated turn lanes at major intersections will reduce the number of crashes and make those intersections safer for everyone.
  • Paid parking and the removal of the rush hour parking restriction will be great for businesses, drivers looking for parking spots, and pedestrians (oh…and al fresco dining too!). Parked cars provide a safety buffer between moving vehicles and walkers, and are great for traffic calming.
  • “Curb bumpouts” at some crosswalk locations will make it safer for pedestrians by reducing the length of the crosswalk. We love it!
Initial recommendations proposed four changes to the roadway.

The Meh:

  • Keeping Bardstown Road as 4-5 lanes from I-264 to Douglass Loop will continue to encourage speeding. With high traffic volumes, minimal parking demand, and wide shoulders, the roadway does not lend itself to a pedestrian-friendly experience, and there’s little in this plan that changes that.

The Suggestions:

  • Crossing Bardstown Road on foot will continue to be a problem. One problem is that there are stretches of the street where one must walks hundreds of feet in between crosswalk opportunities. The city’s design could do better by providing more crosswalk opportunities — particularly at locations adjacent to TARC stops.
  • Another difficulty with crossing Bardstown Road is that the walking signals do not trigger automatically for pedestrians, but instead require the pushing of a “beg button.” The plan should replace all “beg buttons” with automatic crossing signals.
  • The city acknowledges that there are not any suggested bike facilities in their plan for a safer Bardstown Road, despite bike safety being one of the original goals of the study. (Kudos to them for being up-front about this.) As a remedy, the city should invest in protected bike lanes on adjacent/parallel roads — Norris, Douglass, and Baxter — in order to make the corridor more accessible to people on bikes.

Now that you know our thoughts, we encourage you to let the city know what you think by completing this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PRGL3SD

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