LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After years of complaints, Kentucky transportation officials now have a plan for one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Louisville. The area in question is less than a mile between Cherokee Parkway to Bardstown Road. But instead of adding lanes to Grinstead Drive, they're taking them away.
It seems no matter who you ask the consensus is Grinstead Drive traffic between Cherokee Parkway and Bardstown Road has to change. There is a dangerous and even deadly problem between the two "S" curves that sandwich Louisville Collegiate School and Cave Hill Cemetery.
At least 320 crashes have taken place in the past three years. Cave Hill spokesman Michael Higgs has the wrecked fence to prove it.
"A bad curve in the road, wet pavement and people just simply disregarding all traffic rules," said Higgs said of the issues.
Higgs said speeding drivers crash into the cemetery fence and surrounding trees 15 to 20 times a year. Those crashes cost the facility hundreds of thousands of dollars. They even moved the fence line back, but just over a week ago it was hit again.
For three decades, Cave Hill employee Etta Rae Hirsch has watched the traffic mess.
"With the kids across the street coming out of Collegiate and when our fellas get off from work at 4:30," said Hirsch, "Oh my God, it's a nightmare."
Hirsch and others in the neighborhood told us a stoplight at Ray Avenue is the way to get students and cemetery visitors out safely. But that idea is not part of the state's so-called Road Diet which takes Grinstead's four lanes down to two.
"There's no way that's going to work over here," one driver told us, "there's no way."
However Metro Councilman Tom Owen (D-District 8) said it is a good first step. The state will add a wide left turning lane, a parking lane and anti-skid pavement. Owen believes the lanes that are being cut won't be missed.
"One of the challenges on this roadway is that it may be four lanes, two going in each direction, but when you get to the ‘S' curve, there are not many people who are side-by-side in those ‘S' curves, they're too sharp," Owen said.
Steve Smith agrees. He lives in the other "S" curve and with its crashes. He's is looking forward to fewer sleepless nights.
"I'm happy they're doing something," Smith said. "Right or wrong you had to do something, you have to change something out there."
Work on the proposed project would begin next summer and will cost around $275,000. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will be taking public comment in the next 30 days.
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