Fair & equitable legal protection for all people, regardless of their mode of travel.
Update: Story is false. Retraction.
Construction has begun on a sidewalk linking people and businesses in the Clifton and Clifton Heights neighborhoods. Space for the sidewalk was created by narrowing Brownsboro Road from 4 travel lanes to 3 - a 'road diet'. This is a key technique for creating walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and we hope that as soon as this project is seen as a success, we can start to look at road diets elsewhere too.
Activists gather after the Metro Council vote approving the road diet. The diet was approved unanimously.
311 is a good service, I use it often.
SeeClickFix.com is now my preferred portal to 311. Why? Because it allows me to interact with other users besides the government, and hold them to a higher standard than a civil servant would. For example, here's a driver that is complaining that the school zone on Southern Parkway is (gasp) half a mile long. Slowing down to 25mph from 35mph will cost him or her ... wait for it ... 20.6 seconds! So they filed a complaint with SeeClickFix that the school zone was too big, and that it should be contracted.
No one from government is going to tell this motorist they're assuming a car-centric vision of roads. But with SeeClickFix I don't need them to. I can do it myself. Here is my reply:
Yes, children do walk a half mile to school. It takes a staggering 10 minutes for them to do so. So slow down and give em' a break, because they don't have a perfect grasp of traffic law yet. Remember, you are a licensed driver, trained and responsible for the 2-ton piece of metal that you send hurtling through space at high velocity. Your responsibility is to drive carefully and anticipate errors on the part of other road users, especially our most vulnerable.
And I prefer SeeClickFix for other reasons as well. It lets you upload pictures and video, which are worth 1000 words. Also, there's less shenanigans where you have to fill out your blood type, date of birth, etc. It's short and to the point. Hooray!
Updated 1/15/2010!: read below the fold.
The city has issued a permit shutting down walking on one side of Bardstown Road for almost a month. Crossing to the other side of the road is highly impractical - Bardstown is a busy 4 lane arterial. They can require the construction of a plywood tunnel, but they have not. They can annex the adjacent flex lane for people on foot, but they have not. There's a whole library of tools they could employ, but they have not.
They're hoping you take no action and keep quiet.
Call 311 today and tell them you want them to find a way to open this sidewalk on this formerly accessible corridor. Then forward this message to your friends.
Bardstown Road near Edgeland Ave, 1-11-2009
This is not an isolated incident, nor is it an accident that Louisville is always ranked very poorly in walking safety. The city is constantly permitting crass sidewalk blockages - a similar closure recently put 2nd street out of action for months, and Broadway is closed for weeks every year for the Derby. The results speak for themselves: in 2009 we were ranked the 7th most dangerous city by Dangerous By Design, a study undertaken by STPP and T4America.
At some level the city knows these closures result in people taking risks. But even more insidious is the destruction of walking as a viable means of transportation. When you stand in front of this closed sidewalk, no number of walkability plans will convince you that walking is valued in Louisville. Perhaps that's why "Maintain pedestrian-ways during construction and special events" was listed as a major short-term objective (4.3) of the Louisville Community Walkability Plan of 2008. Clearly we haven't gotten that done, and this goal is absent from the 2009 Community Walkability Report Card.
Lets Fight Back. Call 311 about Bardstown Road. Forward this to your friends.
Cynthia Cooke needs volunteers to help with the first commemorative planting of the Bardstown Road medians with 11 beautiful Serviceberry trees between Bashford Manor Lane and Hikes Lane. Your efforts will:
Opportunity to 'be the change' you want to see along this corridor.
Sunday Planting starts at 2:00pm, meet at the CHASE Bank parking lot with shovels, gloves, bright outerwear, water and sun protection if necessary. Contact info is below the fold.
The New York Times has the story. This comes hot on the heels of a study of truckers that shows they have 23x the chance of a crash while texting.
Check out the moderator's presentation. Wow.
Everyone wins when drivers pay attention to Job 1.
Ever wonder who's educating the next generation of tranportation advocates? Well, SafeKids Worldwide recently completed a major project to teach kids about walkability. They then distributed 4,300 cameras and asked the kids to take photos of pedestrian environments in their communities. The result is a very compelling collection of photographs, captioned by the students, which are now part of a travelling exhibit. Yours truly is trying to get the exhibit to be shown in Louisville.
All of the photos in the exhibit can all be viewed on Safe Kids Worldwide's website. Warning: some of the photos are heartbreaking. No joke.
After reading this t4america blog article, talking about US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's new direction, where the primary goals are now:
Its worth noting that we're winning. Heck, we might even win this one in our lifetimes.
Wednesday's trip to the capitol has been suspended for this week. Thanks to all who came out yesterday.
Kentucky House Bill 88 would make it easier to prosecute reckless drivers who hit pedestrians and bicyclists. By making it clear that Kentucky will not tolerate reckless driving, HB 88 will make our roads safer for everyone and will encourage walking and bicycling.
To pass House Bill 88, we need Rep. John Tilley, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, to take action on the bill at the Judiciary Committee next meeting. We're utilizing three tactics to achieve this: