Friday May 13, 2011
Saturday is a chance to explore what’s new on the Louisville Loop. Those who are interested in the proposed 100-mile multiuse path that will ultimately encircle the city of Louisville, or just looking for a healthy alternative, are invited to “Discover the Loop” at a public event in Lannan Park.
“No other city in America has embarked on an initiative like the Louisville Loop,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The Loop will not only set us apart as a desirable city, it will bring us together as a community -- helping connect people to recreation, to their work and to the places they do business.”
At the event, on the east end of Lannan Park tomorrow, Metro Parks will unveil a new sign and wayfinding system as well as a website dedicated to the Louisville Loop. In addition, Transit Authority of River City (TARC) will introduce a new route featuring redesigned buses that will operate on weekends and holidays. The route connects a dozen Louisville neighborhoods near downtown and western Louisville to the Loop and other Metro Parks.
“Thousands of people from throughout the Louisville area have already discovered the Louisville Loop as a premiere hiking and biking destination,” Metro Parks Director Mike Heitz said. “We’re pleased to be able to make these improvements, and bring information about the Loop to a wider audience.”
The event, titled “Discover the Loop,” will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will take place on the east end of Lannan Park. Mayor Fischer, Heitz, TARC Executive Director Barry Barker and Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Matt Zahn will be in attendance and will speak at a press conference at 11 a.m.
In addition, live entertainment, informational, business and craft booths, fun children’s activities and a park beautification project will take place at the park during the event. Officials with TARC will demonstrate how to load bikes onto the new bus and will hand out “Loop to the Loop” printed bus schedules.
“TARC is excited about helping achieve the goal of a healthier Louisville,” Barker said. “The new TARC weekend and holiday bus route gives people more opportunities to develop healthy habits while enjoying our parks and the Louisville Loop.”
Metro Parks’ staff is developing a plan to help improve access, safety, education and the overall experience for the 23 miles of existing Loop that includes the Riverwalk and Levee Trail, stretching west and south from Waterfront Park to Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing. Previous public input has led to the development of prototype signs that will be on display and in place at the event. People will be able to see and interact with the signs, then give feedback on them.
The Loop, a key component the City of Parks initiative to expand and improve Louisville's public parks, is a paved shared-use path encircling the city that will measure more than 100 miles when complete. It offers recreational and alternative transportation routes for cyclists, joggers and walkers. Sections of the Loop will also accommodate horseback riders.
The signage and development of the website, as well as the TARC bus design and new route, has been funded in part by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with the Health Department.
As part of the Healthly Hometown movement, Mayor Fischer will announce the city’s 11th Mayor’s Mile at the Portland Family Health Center, 2215 Portland Ave. Mayor’s Miles are a fun and easy wayfinding system of signs and groundmarkers that give folks a convenient and encouraging place to meet to walk and run together. They also help to mark the distance so people will know when they have walked a mile.
Future segments of the Loop will include:
· a southern route from the Ohio River Levee Trail extending east through Jefferson Memorial Forest and McNeely Lake Park to Bardstown Road;
· the Floyds Fork Greenway, from Bardstown Road to Shelbyville Road, passing through new parks being developed by 21st Century Parks;
· a northeast route, from Shelbyville Road to River Road;
· a route along the Ohio River corridor, leading from the northeast suburbs to Waterfront Park;
· paths along the Olmsted Parkways.
On the web:
New Louisville Loop website:
TARC’s “Loop to the Loop” Initiative:
Complete listing of Mayor’s Miles: