On Monday, we asked readers for suggestions on intersections and streets that could be made safer and more accessible for all road users. As part of our “Streets for People” series, here are some of the responses we received, in our readers’ own words, lightly edited and condensed:
Frankfort, Lexington, Westport, and Breckenridge
Focusing on this intersection at the heart of St. Matthews could drastically improve the walkability of this area. Make it greener, make the intersections that pedestrians cross shorter (which makes it safer), and focus on parking policy and placement. On Lexington Road and Breckenridge Lane, the parking lots diminish the integrity of the sidewalk, given there are so many places for cars to pull in/pull out.
Liberty and Baxter
RTOR (Right Turn On Red) must be a big contributor to pedestrian injuries. Drivers look left for clearance in traffic to turn right, but fail to look to the right for possible pedestrians crossing with their green light. This intersection should see more pedestrian and bicyclist activity soon with the completion of the apartment buildings in NuLu and Phoenix Hill. Maybe it’s time to revisit RTOR and its role in accidents in Louisville.
Mary and Swan
Visibility is terrible for bicycles, pedestrians, and cars alike traveling on Swan. The speed limit on two-lane, one-way Mary Street is 35 mph, and this intersection is at the bottom of a small hill. I frequently see near collisions. Just one block over at the corner of Oak and Swan there is an all-way stop with well-marked crosswalks. The same needs to be implemented at this intersection for safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
Cannons Lane and Dayton Ave
Currently, there is no crosswalk or stop sign at this intersection, so cars go zipping by while moms with strollers, children, cyclists, and runners have to wait for a safe moment to rush across before another batch of cars come roaring through.
Brownsboro Road (Hillcrest to Ewing)
This is a good example of an artery designed for suburban commuters. It has four lanes and clear sight lines so cars drive very quickly. There are no crosswalks in this section, and the sidewalks are inadequate or non-existent. Crossing U.S. 42 from my neighborhood toward Crescent Hill is scary especially with children. Even without bike lanes, I believe that the road diet [on Brownsboro Rd] between Ewing and Story was a vast improvement. Cars slowed down enough that biking is not so intimidating, but there are still too few places for pedestrians to cross.
Northwestern Parkway (3900 block)
Put a sidewalk along Northwestern Parkway. People have to walk in the street, push strollers on the street, stand in the street to catch the bus, because there is no sidewalk. The neighborhood has been begging for one for years.
Whipps Mill Road
Whipps Mill has both bike lanes and walking lanes, but the speed of traffic along the route makes it dangerous to do either. Some kind of barrier is needed for these bike and walking lanes.
Frankfort Avenue (Chenowith Lane to Stilz Ave)
Here’s a suggestion: a bike lane along Frankfort Ave next to railroad track. Convert road to three lane with middle turn lane and add protected bike lanes.
Bardstown Road (near Eastern Parkway)
Bardstown Road is full of pedestrians, but there are few crosswalks, especially around Eastern Parkway. I’d gladly trade slower traffic on Bardstown for not having to walk a quarter mile to cross the street at a light.
All urban 4-lane streets should be converted to two lanes with a middle turning lane and bike lanes on each direction, just like the city did to Grinstead Drive and will do to Lexington Road. Not only is it better for biking, but as a motorist I feel much safer driving either direction on Grinstead now as opposed to when it was a congested, tight 4-lane.
Actually, I hold an opposite view. Our surface roads were built and are meant to accommodate and facilitate motorized traffic. Commingling cars, trucks and bicycles on Louisville’s streets as official policy has been an unwise and unsafe development over the past several years. Traffic congestion has gotten worse in our community over this period precisely because of these efforts. Constraining our road capacity (reducing streets from four lanes down to one in each direction, with a turn lane; eliminating street lanes for motorized vehicles by adding bike lanes for the infrequent cyclist) is a poor use of our infrastructure and has worsened traffic flow.
I am new to this discussion and applaud you for creating it. My first thought is: How do you convey the need to make change without negating the gains for cars/drivers? If it’s possible to engage car owners in constructive change without them feeling like they are losing something, much can be gained.
Dumbest article ever.