Friday September 29, 2006
Louisville earns national ‘Bicycle-Friendly Community’ distinction two years ahead of plan
As work began today on $1.2 million in bicycle and pedestrian improvements, Mayor Jerry Abramson said Louisville has earned a national designation as a “Bicycle Friendly” community, two years ahead of the city’s goal.
“Following up on our Louisville Bicycle Summit in early 2005, we continue to improve our community’s roads, parks and paths to make them safer and more accessible to all who use them,” Abramson said.
Today the mayor and area cyclists marked the start of construction of $784,000 in safety and operational improvements at the intersection of Grinstead and Lexington roads. This busy intersection connects Cherokee Park to the popular cycling route, the Beargrass Creek Trail.
The project will enhance accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists at each corner, including new traffic signals, improved signage and striping, and a shorter crossing distance between sidewalks. The Beargrass Creek Trail also will receive upgrades, including trail restoration, a redesigned entrance at the trail head, improved drainage, and new pavement on the 10-foot-wide trail.
On the other side of Cherokee Park, work also is beginning on the extension of another cycling and pedestrian route, the Seneca Loop, connecting a new four-mile loop of on-street and off-street bike paths. These paths will connect Cannons Lane, Dutchmans Lane and Taylorsville Road to Pee Wee Reese Lane, where 2.5 miles of bike lanes were completed at the end of 2004. The cost of this new loop is $366,000.
Work on both projects is expected to be complete by next summer.
“These projects are important not only for improved safety for all who use our roadways, but also for providing connectivity throughout our community, means for alternative modes of transportation and expanded options for recreational and health opportunities,” said Abramson.
The latest bicycling projects, combined with the $3 million in other improvements that are ongoing, strengthened Louisville’s application to the League of American Bicyclists for the coveted Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The award recognizes communities that actively support bicycling; Louisville was awarded the Bronze level. The goal established at the Bicycle Summit was to achieve the Bronze-level of the Bicycle Friendly designation by 2008.
“Reaching this prestigious designation two years ahead of our goal shows Mayor Abramson’s dedication to bicycling and to a healthier community,” said Earl Jones, Chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Task Force. “We will continue reaching for the goals set forth in the Bicycle Summit and riding the momentum of heightened awareness and improvement.”