Construction could begin any day now on a new streetscape project at the northern entrance to the University of Louisville that will bring a set of bike lanes to two blocks of Cardinal Boulevard between Brook and Second streets.
Plans call for a new decorative knee walls and a pair of fountains along Cardinal Boulevard and a new paving scheme including a large Cardinal logo at the intersection of Cardinal Boulevard and First Street similar to what was completed in 2008 at the university’s entrance on Third Street. Crosswalks will be demarcated using the new red brick pavers. The university hopes the pavers will help slow traffic through the area, but unless pavers with a greater texture than those installed on Third Street are used, the traffic calming effect will likely be minimal.
The boulevard currently is configured with two travel lanes in each direction with two lanes of parallel parking and either a planted median or turning lane in the center. The new design removes the parking lane, which hopefully means the bike lane will be wide and potentially buffered. (And that the travel lanes won’t be widened, which could increase speeds through the area.)
The project is funded through a federal grant and construction should wrap up by mid-August. Watch out for the parking lanes and sidewalks on the north side of the street and a relocated TARC stop at First and Cardinal. No word on how pedestrians will be accommodated in the area during construction. Later this summer, work may require travel lane closure. [Via UL Today.]
The University of Louisville has decided that improving campus entry points is important for a strong sense of place and School identity. Perception matters when attempting to attract and retain talented people. I generally agree with the University’s assessment and wish the city of Louisville would follow their lead. Though, the fountains seem to be a little over the top for this location, due to potentially higher maintenance costs vs landscaping.