Louisville Urban Bike Network - 6th Street Corridor

  • Mike Sewell

    Mike Sewell P.E.

    Service Line Leader – Active Transportation and Louisville
    Office Transportation Leader
Louisville, KY, USA
Louisville Metro Department of Public Works & Assets
As densities in Louisville’s urban core continue to rise and more of the populace seek alternative means of transportation, Louisville Metro Department of Public Works (Louisville Metro) has recognized the need to connect and expand its current network of bicycle lanes into a cohesive, safe and accessible Urban Bike Network (UBN). The City of Louisville asked GS&P to serve as their partner on a five-year, task-order-based contract, to help plan and design the UBN’s routes and bike facilities.

With a bike-share program planned for key locations around downtown Louisville in 2017, the design for the UBN focused on connecting Louisville’s central business district to nearby neighborhoods and points of interest. The 6th Street corridor is the first major north-south passageway built to the new local bike lane standard developed by the GS&P team. The corridor links downtown to major east-west connections on Kentucky Street and Breckenridge Street that lead to high-density residential neighborhoods like Old Louisville, Smoketown and the Highlands.

Plans for the Louisville UBN include routes covering a total of 80-plus miles around the city. The client tasked GS&P with selecting and designing routes, collecting relevant transportation data, and managing input from the general public as well as stakeholders such as Louisville Metro, Transit Authority of River City, bicycling advocates Bicycling for Louisville and Louisville Bicycling Club, and the Louisville Downtown Partnership. To expedite delivery and execution on designs, GS&P formulated a streamlined approval process to allow relevant parties to weigh in at different points based on the project’s complexity.

Running nearly 1.5 miles, the 6th Street corridor varies in width, number of lanes and parking arrangements, as the corridor transitions from the city’s commercial center to more residential neighborhoods toward the south. The design team used green paint to highlight zones of potential conflict between cyclists and drivers, and to mark transitions as the street width and number of lanes change. The green paint is part of the new local bike lane standard developed by GS&P with input from the National Association of City Transportation Officials and sister cities around the region.

Bike lanes and facilities in the 6th Street corridor were completed in the fall of 2015. Based on a citywide survey, public response to the developing UBN has been positive and affirms that GS&P’s choices are producing safe and useful facilities that will lead to increased ridership.
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