Although a group interested in maintaining the current and dangerous speedway conditions along Brownsboro Road delayed a planned road diet for a year, the project is finally under construction. A four-lane stretch of the road between Drescher Bridge Road and Ewing Avenue is being converted to three lanes—two travel and one turn lane—providing space to install a missing sidewalk along the .4 mile route.
Currently, the street has limited sidewalks and pedestrian facilities, making a dense neighborhood near downtown and housing Louisville’s largest population of blind citizens and the Kentucky School for the Blind unnecessarily dangerous. The project area saw 172 accidents in the past five years, more than in other similar stretched of Brownsboro Road. Construction began in June and will be complete in a couple weeks, around August 16.
After some claimed the road diet would harm their businesses and cause major delays, the city put the project on hold to collect public comment. Benefits of road diets have been well documented and include increased safety for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, fewer collisions, improved walkability and a boost in the economy pedestrians create for businesses. Those passing in cars are less likely to patronize a business than a pedestrian walking by. Thankfully, Mayor Fischer approved the project a second time on June 1. That didn’t stop one failing business from claiming construction of the road diet put it out of business, a charge Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh soundly refuted.
Thanks to Tina Ward-Pugh, Mayor Fischer, the Clifton and Clifton Heights Pedestrian Access Committee, and community members who attended meeting after meeting for helping see the project through and improving Louisville’s street network.