Hundreds Of Bike Parking Spaces Coming Downtown

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Bike parking inside a garage (Photo courtesy Metro Lou)
Bike parking inside a garage (Photo courtesy Metro Lou)

Metro Louisville is planning to add hundreds of new sheltered bike parking spaces within walking distance of the new KFC Yum! Center and the first pilot spaces have already been installed. Bike Louisville has partnered with the Parking Authority of River City (PARC) to install dozens of bike corrals inside garages across Downtown.

Existing and planned bike parking around the arena (Metro Lou)
Existing and planned bike parking around the arena (Metro Lou)

Dirk Gowin, Transportation Planning Administrator with Bike Louisville, said the city plans to add a total of 262 new bike parking spaces within a ten minute walk of the arena and 46 more within a 15-minute walk. These 308 new spaces will bring the total number of bike parking spots within a 15-minute walk of the arena to 630. Check the diagram above for the exact locations or view the original PDF map here.

The first staple-style bike racks have already been installed at two parking garages Downtown and are shown in the photos below. You can try them out yourself at the Fourth Street Live! parking garage on 5th Street or the Louisville Gardens Garage between 5th & Armory Streets. A 5-staple bike rack like the ones being installed across the city can securely hold ten bikes.

Originally, the plan was to have all the bike racks in place for the opening of the arena, but a small hitch came up: PARC was concerned about the color of the bike racks. Yep, that’s right… the color. Originally, the city purchased three green staple racks to be installed in the garages, but PARC was worried the green would clash with the blue it uses for garage signs. Because, you know, it would have thrown off the entire feng shui of the parking garage aesthetic.

Don’t worry, the denied green racks won’t go to waste. One has already been installed at the Bluegrass Brewing Company on Theater Square to help out with planned BBC Bike Nights. (Any suggestions where two other 5-staple racks might be useful Downtown?)

By locating these bike racks in parking garages, Bike Louisville hopes to increase the security and convenience of bike parking. Besides being sheltered from the weather, the bike racks will be located within view of the parking attendant, so there will be bike rack supervision most times (depending on the garage).

The bike-parking project is paid for with an 80–20 percent CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) federal funds match program. PARC has agreed to pay the local 20 percent contribution. Gowin estimates that staple rack parking spaces costs about $100 per bike.

Bike Louisville determined the number of new bike parking spaces as 3 percent of the total garage car capacity. For instance, for every 100 car parking spaces in a garage, the city will install three bike parking spaces. While Gowin would ultimately like to see more spaces, he believes the initial program is “a reasonable start.”

The remaining proposed bike parking spaces will likely take several more months to install as proper state approval is finished. Once the state approves funds in the next 30 days, the contract will be advertised for 21 days, and a contract could be in place in two to three months.


Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden is a writer and architectural designer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Branden practiced architecture in Louisville where he worked on several large LEED Certified buildings. Branden is the senior web editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, where he covers architecture, design, and urbanism. He has also written about design for Designers & Books, sustainability for Inhabitat, and architecture for the American Institute of Architects. He founded Broken Sidewalk in 2007, an online collaborative promoting architecture and urbanism in Louisville, Kentucky and the Midwest.


  1. If there are extra racks floating around, 4th and Ali is always overflowing. That suggests that putting a rack 1 block north, south, east, or west would lessen the load on that rack.

  2. We wouldn’t mind having a five staple green bike rack in front of the Urban Design Studio. It would go well with our green exterior and greening interior. Though, the sidewalk may not be wide enough to allow for ample space for pedestrian traffic with the rack in place.

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