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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Announces Pedestrian Summit

Friday December 7, 2007

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced the city will host a pedestrian summit in March 2008, addressing issues that include neighborhood walkability, access to transit, safety and promotion of exercise. The summit is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, which encourages healthier lifestyle habits.

“In order to walk the walk, we first have to talk the talk,’” Abramson said. “Pedestrian issues are community issues because we are all pedestrians at some point. Our goal is to bring many voices together to improve our community’s pedestrian access and offer ideas for people who want to be on the move.”

Herbert (Bud) Schardein, director of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), will serve as chair of the pedestrian summit. A series of information gathering workshops will be held before the summit. A community-wide pedestrian plan will be developed by local citizens and is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2008. A $100,000 grant from the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) will cover the costs of the summit.

“This important initiative is already garnering a tremendous amount of support,” said Schardein. “Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to exercise. Making Louisville a more pedestrian-friendly city will affect any number of other community concerns, from air quality to economic development.”

Abramson also announced that the Healthy Hometown Movement is working with Toole Design Group of Maryland to produce the summit and its related activities. Toole has extensive experience in pedestrian research, planning and community outreach, including identifying and prioritizing key pedestrian improvements, site-specific design solutions and pedestrian safety. The Toole Design Group has partnered with the Louisville office of Gresham Smith & Partners, an architectural, engineering and design firm, to serve as local coordinator and community liaison.

Walkability expert Mark Fenton will facilitate the two-day pedestrian meeting. Fenton is an author and consultant to the National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

“This summit is another example of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement pursuing its goal of making our community’s overall health and wellness a priority,” said Dr. Adewale Troutman, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, which oversees the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.

Additional information about scheduled events and activities surrounding the pedestrian summit will be available after the first of the year at

About the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement

Mayor Jerry Abramson launched the Healthy Hometown Movement in 2004 as a community-wide effort to create a new culture in Louisville where physical activity and optimal nutrition are the norm. The movement seeks to motivate citizens to increase their level of physical activity and to adopt healthier lifestyles. In 2007, the Movement awarded the first Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Worksite Wellness Awards. The Movement hosts two Healthy Hometown Hike & Bike events each year on Memorial Day and Labor Day. The Hike & Bike events have grown exponentially – each event now attracts more than 4,000 hikers and bikers to the city’s waterfront.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness administers the Healthy Hometown Movement and an Advisory Council, made up of 150 of the area’s leading health and fitness professionals, provides oversight. Information about the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and listings of health and fitness-oriented events are available at or by calling MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000.