Metro Council: $300k to fund 28 miles of new bike lanes - News, Weather & Sports

Metro Council: $300k to fund 28 miles of new bike lanes

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Jackie Green Jackie Green
Tom Owen Tom Owen

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Plans to paint 28 miles of new bike lanes are pedaling forward in Louisville.

On Wednesday, August 21 members of the Louisville Bike Network will host an Urban Bicycle Network Report Back meeting at 325 West Cardinal Boulevard. The meeting will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and serve as an opportunity for members to gauge what type of bicycle lanes or facilities will encourage more people to bike. Meeting guests and Louisville bicyclists at large are encouraged to fill out a survey to offer their input.

"This meeting is going to be a real invitation for people to come to share their interests and to build their interests," said 8th District Councilman Tom Owen.

The meeting comes after Louisville Metro Council gave the green light and $300,000 from its general fund to paint 28 miles of new bike lanes as roads are resurfaced throughout the city. The network will create a mass of bikeways linking destinations in Downtown, Old Louisville, and the main University of Louisville campus.

"The money that the Metro Council provided specifically is going to try to increase bicycle lanes and facilities between Belknap campus and downtown," said Councilman Owen.

Not all bicyclists are on board with the expansion.

"They want to make the bike lanes wider. They want to establish a zone between bike lane and cars, but they're doing so with paint," said Bike Couriers Bike Shop Manager Jackie Green. "Paint does not protect."

Green said he feels the expansion creates a false sense of safety for novice bicyclists. Instead of widening and increasing bike lanes, he said he would like to see Metro Council reduce speed limits.

"Let's calm the traffic," began Green. "Let's travel at 20 miles per hour right here in Louisville inside the Watterson."

"I don't think there's a political consensus for that," began Councilman Owen. "I think we are still an automobile community."

Instead, the councilman suggested bicyclists and motorists work together, with both doing what they can to ensure the other stays safe.

"I would emphasize, personally, visibility, blinking lights, plenty of hands signals and then education for both communities, both the automobile and the bicycle community," said Owen.

Several public input meetings will be held to discuss the future of the bikeways to ensure they meet transportation, safety, and infrastructure demands. The next Louisville Bike Network public involvement meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27. The meeting will be held at the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana at 2115 Lexington Road from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Road stripping is expected to begin this fall.

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