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The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will not pursue a plan to widen Chenoweth Lane in St. Matthews with a center turning lane. That option was being studied along with a number of other options that could bring new sidewalks, a bike trail, drainage work, or no change at all.

In a letter from KYTC to a constituent, Michael W. Hancock, acting secretary of the KYTC, said the widening is off the table. “A project team meeting was held recently to review the public comment forms received as a result of the meeting,” he wrote, referring to a public meeting held last November to gather community input on the project. “The decision was made to remove the 3-lane widening of Chenoweth Lane from consideration.”

He cited the following reasons:

  1. The capacity analysis and future traffic growth do not warrant three lanes throughout
  2. Public opposition to the widening
  3. The benefits will not be realized by the cost of a three lane widening project (Cost/Benefit ratio)

“Other alternatives are still being considered and will be presented at the next public meeting at the end of February,” Hancock said in the letter. “Moving forward, KYTC will work with the Kentuckiana Regional Development and Planning Agency (KIPDA) to remove any reference to ‘widening’ in the project description.”

This is a big win for neighborhood group STOP the Widening of Chenoweth Lane which had organized support against the widening—and against any change at all fearing KYTC’s design approach could turn the road into a highway setting, with or without widening.

Community leaders held a public meeting earlier this month to discuss the project design with new research. They had invited KYTC officials, but no one showed up.

“We had advocated for taking [the] three-lane road widening off the table, while continuing to study possible pedestrian, bicycle, and drainage improvements,” Ninth District Councilman Bill Hollander wrote to Broken Sidewalk in an email.

Hancock denied the notion that KYTC entered the project with any notion of what the outcome might be. “Contrary to popular belief, there were no preconceived notions of what improvements would be carried forward and developed into plans,” he said. “Other than conceptual renderings, no work had begun on any improvements prior to the public meeting.”

Read the full letter below, with the constituent’s name redacted:

Dear Ms. XXXXXXXX,

Your correspondence to Governor Bevin was forwarded to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) for response regarding the widening of Chenoweth Lane in Jefferson Co.

As you are already aware, a public meeting was held in November 2015 to gather input from local residents regarding potential improvements to Chenoweth Lane. Some of the potential improvements being considered and presented at the meeting were: sidewalks, bike lanes, a shared use path, drainage improvements, turn lanes, increased traffic capacity, etc. Contrary to popular belief, there were no preconceived notions of what improvements would be carried forward and developed into plans. Other than conceptual renderings, no work had begun on any improvements prior to the public meeting. The meeting was a vehicle for KYTC to present the existing conditions and gain some knowledge from those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods or those who are regular users of the roadway.

A project team meeting was held recently to review the public comment forms received as a result of the meeting. The decision was made to remove the 3-lane widening of Chenoweth Lane from consideration for this project because 1) the capacity analysis and future traffic growth do not warrant three lanes throughout, 2) public opposition to the widening, and 3) the benefits will not be realized by the cost of a three lane widening project (Cost/Benefit ratio). Other alternatives are still being considered and will be presented at the next public meeting at the end of February. Moving forward, KYTC will work with the Kentuckiana Regional Development and Planning Agency (KIPDA) to remove any reference to “widening” in the project description.

We hope this information is helpful.  If you need additional information, please feel free to contact Matt Bullock, Chief District Engineer at our District 5 Office in Louisville at 502-210-5400.

SENT ON BEHALF OF THE KENTUCKY TRANSPORTATION CABINET

MICHAEL W. HANCOCK, P.E., ACTING SECRETARY

[Top image of Chenoweth Lane courtesy the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.]
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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

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