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Park loop roads in Iroquois and Cherokee parks to reopen after more than a year

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 12:41 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Parks has announced the loop roads in Iroquois and Cherokee parks will be reopened. The decision to reopen the loops, which were closed in April 2020, was made after a public feedback process lasting several months.

The park loop road in Iroquois Park was reopened to the pre-COVID route immediately. Metro Parks said access to the Cherokee Park rugby field areas and Hogan’s Fountain will be restored in mid-June after traffic control measures are installed.

“Reopening the Iroquois Loop and ensuring access to public amenities in Cherokee Park while providing vehicle-free recreational opportunities is a great decision for the entire community,” Dana Kasler, the director of Parks and Recreation, said.

The road re-openings will be evaluated over a three-month period, Kasler said. During that time, they will continue to get feedback from park users on the future of both roads.

Cars will be allowed back into the parks, but traffic control measures, including signs and newly painted lines in certain areas, will be added.

Jackie Cobb, a mother of two, said having the roads closed has been nice. She told WAVE 3 News she has brought her kids to Cherokee Park at least five days a week since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cherokee Park is such a jewel,” Cobb said. “I think during the pandemic a lot of people found it to be a refugee more than normal.”

Cobb said she believes Parks and Recreations made the right decision after hearing from the public about their experiences at the park without cars passing through.

“Pre-pandemic, there was an issue with drivers using the park as a way as daily commute and cutting through the park,” she said. “Sometimes, the speed is dangerous for people walking along the same roadway.”

Based on a survey conducted by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the time people spent at Cherokee Park doubled from an average of 30 minutes to 77 minutes a day. The study also found people from all over the Louisville Metro area ventured there to utilize its greenspace, ramping up foot traffic to 80%. At Iroquois Park, the amount of people who spent time there that live within five miles went up from 25% to 41%.

For more information, including a map of the parks, click here. To share opinions views of the new plan, email the following address: parks@louisvilleky.gov.

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