LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – In a 24 hour period, three deaths occurred on Dixie Highway. The latest victim, Joseph Tobin IV, 29, of Shepherdsville, KY, was killed July 9 in a motorcycle wreck near Kosmosdale. As local and state leaders begin the first phase of a massive project to make the Dixie safer we decided to take a deeper look.
In 2013, seven people were killed on Dixie Highway. But there were nearly 1,400 people involved in crashes on the Dixie last year. That's more than on any of the other four major roads we checked. In those crashes, 275 resulted in an injury - a one out of five ratio.
Compare that to Bardstown Road where nearly the same amount of people crashed but the ratio was one out of 7.3. On Shelbyville Road, the injury to overall collision ratio was lowest - one out of eight. Preston Highway was next highest with a one out of 5.5, but with nearly 500 fewer crashes.
While it's only one year of data, in 2013 of these five busy roads there were more wrecks, more fatalities and more injuries on the Dixie. That's a big reason for the planned changes.
The Dixie Highway Safety Improvement Project, nicknamed the Dixie Do Over, would improve the road from either Oak Street or Broadway all the way to the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265).
"It [Dixie Highway] is a very dangerous road," said Joel Morrill, project manager for the Corradino Group. "It's not how a roadway would be constructed now from the start."
Morrill went on to say the name "Dixie Dieway" is an appropriate one for the roadway. Asked what the problem with Dixie Highway Morrill said the lanes are too wide and encourages speeding, the sidewalks are too narrow, and there are too many commercial entrances and exits where people need to turn. Those things create a lot of conflict among drivers and also between drivers and pedestrians.
The Dixie Do Over would shrink the lanes by a couple of feet, slowing down cars and adding sidewalk space. It will also add a median in many spots to give pedestrians a safe refuge in the middle of the street. Another thing that will be improved is the markings on the roadway and lighting.
Morrill said in the end it's about safety, but also about improving the appearance of Dixie Highway to attract businesses.
Phase one of the project is in Shively between Rockford Lane and Crums Lane. Construction should start in the spring of 2015.
You can access the database we used by clicking here.