From Councilperson, Cassie Chambers Armstrong
I’m writing today to document our conversation related to the proposed Douglass-Norris bicycle lane and to inform the community about the status of the project.
Following last month’s community meeting, I reached out to you to have a preliminary conversation about Streets for People’s proposal to add a two-way protected bike lane on Douglass-Norris. In that meeting, Assistant Director Brown informed me that this proposal was very difficult to implement given the current roadway geometry, and any implementation efforts would require significant changes to the road. That is because the road is too narrow to add a two-way protected bike lane and still meet the required 10-foot driving lanes.
The only way to implement the Streets for People proposal, as submitted, would be to expand the road to make it wider. You indicated that this would be a multi-million-dollar project that would be unprecedented in local government. Accordingly, Metro government has no plans to move forward with the Streets for People proposal. I will inform the neighbors in the area of this decision.
Although this particular project is not feasible from an engineering standpoint, I hope that we can use this opportunity to identify other options for multimodal transportation improvements in District 8. Multimodal transportation is a priority for me, and for many of the residents of the Highlands. People want to live in a neighborhood that has options for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around safely. Building this infrastructure is important to promote health, build a sense of community, and help make progress toward our climate change goals.
To that end, I have two requests.
First, in the conversation about the Douglass-Norris proposal there was widespread consensus that speeding and reckless driving are issues for neighbors in this area. I would request that, in the next six months, your offices work together to identify some opportunities for traffic calming and increased walkability in the Douglass-Norris area. In particular, I’d ask that you look at things like new sidewalks that could be added, existing sidewalks that could be repaired/widened, the addition of new crosswalks, possible locations for curb extensions, and installing rectangular flashing beacons to help walkers cross the road safely. After you identify improvements that would be acceptable from an engineering standpoint, I will work with you to gather the community’s feedback on these options.
Second, I hope that you will work with my office to identify other opportunities to build dedicated, protected multimodal infrastructure in the Highlands. We have had some initial conversations about what these options might be. I would ask that, in the next six months, your offices work together to identify at least one specific location that you believe protected multimodal infrastructure is warranted, feasible, and useful. In particular, I hope that the location you identify builds on the protected infrastructure already in place in Tyler Park. Once you have identified a location, I will work with you to engage the community and secure funding for these improvements. I am setting aside some of my capital budget for this fiscal year toward this end.
I intend to share this letter publicly, and I appreciate the way the community has engaged on this issue. It has been wonderful to see so many people discussing these neighborhood-level issues and advocating for what they believe to be in the best interests of their community. I hope you will join me in thanking them for their time, energy, and effort.
Cassie Chambers Armstrong
Louisville Metro Council District 8