If Greg Fischer’s words aren’t enough, just think where this leaves Jeff Gahan.
Streets for People: Louisville’s roads need to be designed for citizens, not cars, by Chris Glasser (Insider Louisville)
This is the first in a series of articles focusing on Louisville’s street design. Written by Bicycling for Louisville Executive Director Chris Glasser, the “Streets for People” series will be published with the goal of encouraging a (polite and civil) online discussion of these topics. Please see the comment form below.
… Mayor Greg Fischer, it should be noted, is fantastic at talking about the need for our city to shift away from its car dependency. Fischer was one of the driving forces behind a national report on “Innovation Districts,” which advocates for redesigning cities’ infrastructure for improved walkability. In his strategic plan for Louisville, the top goal is to “improve multi-modal transportation and community streetscapes.” Fischer is as well-spoken as any leader on the importance of walkable, bikeable, inviting city space.
This is great. Unfortunately, it’s not enough.
When being interviewed by Charlie Rose recently, the mayor argued that actions speak louder than words. “You know, what I always say is, I don’t watch the lips, I watch the actions,” he said. “That’s really what’s critical and that’s how people judge us.”
To take Fischer at his word and judge him by his own standard, our city is falling well short of the administration’s stated top goal. Fischer’s annual budgets speak volumes on this matter — they’re his defining action, louder than his words. Yes, there is a small amount allocated to build a bike network — a pittance that Metro Council undercuts every year during the budget review period — but beyond that, there is virtually nothing that will begin to push us toward achieving Fischer’s goal of 25 percent of trips occurring on foot, bike or bus by 2030.
What can be done? Here are three suggestions, along with a map to show where they could be implemented:
Fund two-way street conversions in urban neighborhoods.
Remove traffic signals, replace them with stop signs.
Design major intersections to be nodes, not throughways.