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A 2.2-mile stretch of new bike lanes are under construction along 12th Street, 13th Street, and Kentucky Street. Work began on June 6, according to the city, and it’s progressing fast, as these photos from Bike Louisville show.

Extent and type of bike lanes. (Montage by Broken Sidewalk)
Extent and type of bike lanes. (Montage by Broken Sidewalk)

As we previously reported last October when plans were announced, the bike lanes went through two rounds of public meetings and had been scheduled to get underway this year. City documents back then were unclear on how the alignment would run along 12th and 13th streets, but that has become clearer with a map on the Bike Louisville website, as illustrated on our map here.According to our initial report:

An existing buffered bike lane on Kentucky Street will be extended west from Eighth Street to 12th Street where it will pick up with the northbound route. Between Eighth and Ninth streets, a six-foot-wide bike lane is accommodated by removing the center turn lane. From Ninth to 12th streets, a five-foot-wide bike lane with a two-foot buffer is planned.

Along 12th and 13th streets from Kentucky to Market streets, travel lanes will be narrowed to create room for a generous buffered bike lane—seven feet of bike lane and five feet of buffer. On 12th and 13th streets from Market to Rowan streets, sharrows will be installed.

(Courtesy Bike Louisville)
(Courtesy Bike Louisville)

“The reconfigured cross-section improves safety for cyclists along the route and reduces the average vehicle speed within acceptable ranges of the posted speed limit,” Bike Louisville wrote in its project summary. “The excess pavement from the removed lane will be used to provide an additional buffer for cyclists by separating the bicycles from the vehicle travel lanes. This section of bike lane will improve connectivity by providing a direct link for cyclists between the River Walk multi-use trail and a future bike lane on Kentucky Street.”

(Courtesy Bike Louisville)
(Courtesy Bike Louisville)

From the markings visible in the photos, it appears that these bike lanes will get the same “diet green paint treatment” that the lanes on Sixth Street have, making them more visible. The bike lanes were designed by Metro Louisville Public Works engineers with help from Gresham, Smith & Partners.

These are spacious bike lanes which should make for some comfortable riding. Let us know what you think after you’ve taken a ride!

(Courtesy Bike Louisville)
(Courtesy Bike Louisville)
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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

1 COMMENT

  1. The W Kentucky St bike facility is completely disregarded by motorists and sadly even TARC bus drivers too!

    Specifically between S 7th & 5th Streets where it’s not at all uncommon to see eastbound vehicular traffic occupying both lanes of travel (including the dedicated bike lane), in fact it’s more common than uncommon.

    In addition, numerous motor vehicle accidents have end with vehicles inside of buildings at 7th & W Kentucky Streets due to speed and outright disregard of traffic signals.

    Therefore I recommend that any cyclists (and I can’t say I’ve ever seen a cyclist actually use the 500 block of W Kentucky Street’s facilities, though perhaps that will change wth these new facilities) that embark upon this route exercise extreme caution.

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