Saturday! Waterfront Fashion Week Bike Ride to the Runway

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Broken Sidewalk.
(Courtesy Mona Simone)

(Courtesy Mona Simone)

It’s officially fashion week in Louisville, and the first annual Waterfront Fashion Week has officially recognized bikes as a required fashion accessory—and a great way to get around. To celebrate, a fashionable bike ride will be departing from Theater Square on Fourth Street this Saturday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m., so don your most couture bicycling garb and take a ride through Downtown to the WFW tent at Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn where Louisville’s newest bike lane is the runway. Reserve your spot and tell your friends on the event’s Facebook page.

Cyclists Still Second-Class Citizens at the Kentucky State Fair

Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Kentucky State Fair Guide to Fun. (Courtesy Kentucky State Fair)

Kentucky State Fair Guide to Fun. (Courtesy Kentucky State Fair)

The Kentucky State Fair (KSF) begins today, but good luck riding your bike there. Following the KSF’s fumble on bike parking that blew up last year, the fair board is on track to repeat many of the mistakes that have given the it a reputation as bike-unfriendly as far away as Dallas. Like last year, bikes will not be allowed inside the fairgrounds’ gates and the fair offers no incentives for cyclists to attend like other states do, causing jeers from local bike advocates. Which made us surprised to see the KSF proudly declare on its Facebook page:

Grab your helmets and bells, we are a bike friendly facility! In addition to bicycle racks at every gate, the Kentucky State Fair Bicycle Corral is located at Gate 4 in Lot H. The two new bicycle racks at Gate 6 off Preston are designed to meet the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals national standards.

We spoke with Bicycling for Louisville and Metro Louisville’s Bike Louisville to figure out why significant changes weren’t made since last year and what could be done to make things better next year.

Continue reading after the jump.

Thursday! City Suds at Zanzabar Tackles the Bloomberg Challenge

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Join us for City Suds at Zanzabar!

Join us for City Suds at Zanzabar!

What’s Louisville’s big idea? This Thursday, August 16 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., join us for the next City Suds Urbanism Happy Hour at Zanzabar (2100 South Preston Street), which is quickly shaping up to being a monthly event. We’ll be taking on the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, brainstorming ideas for Louisville to bring home the $5 million dollar prize, and if we come up with something good, we’ll send it along to Mayor Fischer for consideration. What’s the Mayors Challenge?

The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with cities across the nation.

And there’s $5 million at stake, so our idea has to be good! What can Louisville do to improve the quality of life of its diverse communities? How can the city become a sustainability leader? What’s our secret strategy to overthrow Portland, Oregon as the “capital of biking?” Louisville is competing against 393 other cities, and five winners will be selected to receive one of four $1 million prizes or the $5 million grand prize to help make the idea a reality.  (Wondering what kind of big ideas they’re thinking of? Here are a few examples.) Louisville has until September 14 to submit ideas, so we’re thinking we better get started! While there’s going to be some big thinking going on, remember that City Suds is a social happy hour, all about city life, meeting your fellow urbanists, and having a good time, so bring your ideas and your friends this Thursday!

(Oh, and this is a great opportunity to drop off your registration forms for PARK(ing) Day 502 this year! Registration ends Friday, August 18 so we have plenty of time to square the permits with the city before the big event on September 21. If your still on the fence, it’s easy to participate in PARK(ing) Day and create your own pop-up public space. All the details are at

Fountain Court Design Competition Inspired by Southern Exposition

Monday, August 13, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Entrance to Fountain Court from Fourth Street. (Courtesy Fountain Court Design Competition)

Entrance to Fountain Court from Fourth Street. (Courtesy Fountain Court Design Competition)

Has it really been nearly three years since we’ve had a design competition in Louisville? While it’s smaller in scale than the Irish Hill call for ideas, the South Fourth Street Association in Old Louisville is sponsoring the Fountain Court Design Competition to create a historically-inspired entrance to one of Louisville’s famous walking streets. Here’s some information about the project:

This competition will be a two-stage process. The first phase will be submittal of a designer’s qualifications. Then, from this submittal, a short-list of designers will be considered. And, up to three will be selected to prepare a concept design for the Fountain Court entrance. These participants will be provided $500 each, with the winning designer receiving an additional $500 for the selected proposal.

An important component of this competition will be to incorporate ‘themes’ and elements from the historic Southern Exposition, which occurred in this district from 1883 to 1887.

An informational meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 20th at the Conrad Caldwell House on the corner of St. James Court and Magnolia Avenue. Additional details can be found on the competition’s Facebook page.

More images after the jump.

Car-Free Happy Hour Set for August 22, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
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The next Car-Free Happy Hour will take place on Wednesday, August 22 from 5:10 to 8:00 p.m. at the Fourth Street Bluegrass Brewing Company location in Theater Square. You can tell your friends and RSVP on the event’s Facebook page.

Preservation in Louisville After the Yates Amendment

Sunday, August 12, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Three Individual Landmarks: Metro Hall, City Hall, and Fire Station #2. (BS Postcard Archive)

Three Individual Landmarks: Metro Hall, City Hall, and Fire Station #2. (BS Postcard Archive)

In 1973, Mayor Harvey Sloan oversaw the creation of Louisville’s first Landmarks Commission, modeled after an ordinance in New York City, making preservation public policy for the first time in the city. Now 39 years later, Louisville has created on average two Individual Landmarks a year, seven Landmarks Districts, a new merged government structure with new political dynamics, and the Metro Council has voted to change how preservation happens in the city.

In early February, Metro Councilmember David Yates sponsored an amendment to Louisville’s Landmarks Ordinance, complaining the original system lacked oversight, accountability, and public participation. Quickly joining Yates, eight additional council members, mostly representing suburban districts around the old Urban Service District, signed on as cosponsors. The amendment was introduced in Metro Council on Thursday, February 9, 2012, and over the proceeding six months, politicians and preservationists clashed on how Landmarks designation procedures should work, resulting in a newly politicized process and additional thresholds to be met in the public petition process. But in all the arguing, Louisville missed a real opportunity for preservation reform.

Continue reading after the jump.

Dino Update: Louisville’s Triceratops Once a Traveling Celebrity

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Branden Klayko.

Sinclair Dinoland.

We noted in June that the dinosaur once located behind the Louisville Science Center was found three-and-a-half years later hiding out in Park Hill, but a keen eyed commenter noted that there’s more to the story. It turns out Louisville’s Triceratops is quite the celebrity, appearing in the Sinclair oil company Dinoland exhibition at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964 and 1965 (and on the cover of a book on the subject). That could be him up in that drawing above.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Reflecting on the Lost Schnitzelburg Trolley Loop

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
The old Schnitzelburg trolley loop. (Courtesy G-town/S-burg Blog)

The old Schnitzelburg trolley loop. (Courtesy G-town/S-burg Blog)

Schnitzelburg was once defined by a trolley loop connecting it with Downtown and beyond. The one-way tracks followed the route described in the amazing graphic above from Shelby Street onto Burnett Avenue to Texas Avenue, rounding on to Goss Avenue before heading North again on Shelby. In her 2011-book Louisville’s Germantown & Schnitzelburg, Lisa Pisterman noted that while Germantown’s borders have moved over time, “the boundaries of Schnitzelburg have always been defined by the trolley loop that circled the community,” demonstrating how important the trolley once was for the community.

A couple historic views along the loop after the jump.

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