900 block of Baxter | Google Street View

There are worse commutes in Louisville by far (hey there, Shelbyville Road and Hurstbourne Lane), but if you’re a Highlands resident who travels the Bardstown/Baxter corridor you likely share Councilman Brandon Coan’s peeve: cars parked in weekday rush hour lanes.

During rush hours on those roads, cars are prohibited from parking and the parking lane becomes a travel lane. However, more often than not, a scofflaw somewhere ignores the law and commuters are forced to weave in and out of lanes to avoid parked cars.

Coan recently shared his concerns in a humorous newsletter post, replete with “Big Lebowski” quotes. In fact, he plans to start a Lebowski-theme public education campaign about this issue soon.

The campaign called “I Can Get You a Tow” is set to begin Aug 15. (The name is a play on “The Big Lebowski” character Walter Sobchak’s assertion that he could easily get “a toe with nail polish” for the main character. The below video has language that is NSFW.)

“This is not tolerated in big cities,” he told Insider. “It’s a big enough problem we need to do something about it.”

According to Coan, from April 1, 2016 to April 1, 2017, PARC issued 1,749 tickets to illegally parked motorists on the lane reversal section of Baxter Avenue/Bardstown Road from Lexington Road to Princeton Drive. Of those, 1,453 were issued in the 4 p.m. hour right when the regulations go into effect, 73 were issued from 5-6 p.m., 186 were issued from 7-8 a.m. and 37 were issued from 8-9 a.m.

Councilman Brandon Coan

Coan said that 62 percent of all tickets issued in this corridor are issued on the 900 block of Baxter and the 1000 block of Bardstown Road.

Coan, his assistant and an intern have walked the area and talked to business owners about the issue.

He sees the campaign stretching over three months. The first month will be an education phase by which through mail, marketing, social media and person-to-person discussions, he will connect with business owners and the community and remind them of the parking rules.

The second phase is a warning phase, in which parking tickets will be accompanied by a notice that a towing campaign will start soon. Coan jokingly said he pictures this being a big green card with a skull and crossbones. He said that he expects that PARC would especially target repeat offenders.

Then, in the third month, there will be what he called “a towing blitz.” Coan is also looking into incentives for people who report parking violations.

In his newsletter, he said, “It may sound harsh but I believe stopping on Baxter/Bardstown during peak periods is a fatal accident just waiting to happen, and one that is to be avoided at any reasonable cost.”

If you live in District 8, sign up for Coan’s genuinely amusing (and informative) bi-weekly newsletters here.