WLKY: Louisville cyclist pleads for safer roads

By Morgan Lentes | WLKY News


Randall Ashby of West Louisville commutes 20 miles by bike to get to work. | Image via WLKY

Louisville is working to be more bike friendly. But one man, who rides more than 20 miles to work each day, says the city can do better.

For Randall Ashby, life would not be possible without his bike.

“It is cheaper. It is easier. It is better for me, so that is what I do,” said Ashby.

Ashby lives in West Louisville near the intersection of 43rd and Market streets, but his job is across town at a restaurant off North Hurstbourne Parkway. His only way to get there is to ride his bike.

“I was hit by a vehicle driven by a lady that was not paying attention for whatever reason,” Ashby said.

Ashby says he was hit by that car near the intersection of Frankfort and Galt avenues in Crescent Hill. Frankfort Avenue is a part of his more than 20-mile, daily commute.

Right now, there is no bike lane along much of his route, and Ashby wants that to change.

Dirk Gowin, an engineering coordinator with Metro Public Works, said city officials have looked into the issue before. “Everything that we do is context sensitive. We have got to look at the traffic counts. We have got to look at the patterns. We have got to look at the parking,” he said.

Gowin adds that the city considered a shared lane for pedestrians and bicyclists on Frankfort Avenue, but due to a nearby railroad, they would need approval from CSX.

“Frankfort is a little awkward because of the railroad track paralleling there on the north side,” said Gowin.

Ashby said bike lane or not, all drivers can do more to safely share the road.

“There is much more going on in the world than just what is in front of your face. You know, watch the whole picture and not just what is in your car,” said Ashby.

Kentucky law defines bicycles as vehicles. According to Ashby, that means he has just as much right to the road as anyone else.

“It is not like I am out galavanting. I am just trying to get to and from work,” said Ashby.

Metro Public Works is expanding connectivity for bike riders. Their first priority is creating easier access to the city’s business district. That includes areas near downtown and the University of Louisville campus.