LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2012) — The goal was to make a congested stretch of road in Metro Louisville safer and increase pedestrian access at an efficient cost. After years of planning and a few months of construction, a 0.4 mile section of Brownsboro Road has a new sidewalk and traffic pattern. The project has now been honored as an innovative way to improve traffic flow and safety in a cost effective way.
The Brownsboro Road “Road Diet” has been selected as one of the Public Works Projects of the Year for 2012, receiving the Streetscape Award during this week’s Kentucky Chapter of the American Public Works Association Conference in Louisville.
“This is the first project of its kind on a state-controlled road in Kentucky. It is exciting to lead the way in our state, following the example of progressive cities elsewhere to address pedestrian access and safety in an innovative way,” said Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh. “Our hope is its success will lead the way for similar projects in Kentucky to slow down motorized vehicles and to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.”
For 30 years, citizens near Brownsboro Road, which is home to one of the largest populations of visually-impaired people in the country, have requested a sidewalk on the north side of Brownsboro Road. The Road Diet was chosen as a way to allow construction of a sidewalk and improve traffic safety between Drescher Bridge and Ewing on Brownsboro Road. The road was transformed from four lanes to three lanes, including one through-lane in each direction and a shared center turn lane.
“There are people who have been asking for this for 30 years,” Ward-Pugh said. “I admire and appreciate their persistence and perseverance while we worked to find a simple, smart, and cost-effective solution.”