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More Bike Lanes and More Parking Coming to Downtown Louisville

Fresh striping on two seven-block strips of downtown Louisville street will bring more room for bikes and parking in the coming weeks.

The $23,000 project will add buffered bike lanes on Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Chestnut Street, both between Sixth Street to 13th Street, said Rolf Eisinger, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Louisville Metro.

Ali and Chestnut streets will keep two lanes dedicated to motor vehicle traffic, Eisinger said. The only major change, along with the addition of the bike lanes, will be two lanes of new 24-hour parking along the two outer lanes of each street, he added.

Current street configurations disallow parking during peak hours.

The project is a way for "Louisville Metro be more efficient with our space," Eisinger said.

Because no parking is allowed in front of the Ramono Mazzoli Federal Building on Chestnut Street, the bike lane will be placed along the sidewalk along with a two-foot buffer on each side and separated from traffic with delineator posts, Eisinger said.

The new bike lanes will for the first time create a clear connection from downtown Louisville to Shawnee Park, via the Vermont Avenue neighborhway, Eisinger said.

A neighborway is a low-volume street that's been "optimized for bicycle travel" with marking, signage and intersection crossing treatments, according to the city's website.

"It’s another opportunity to reach people that are interested but concerned with safety to encourage them to get on a bike, get on a bike  facility and ride downtown," Eisinger said.

Eisinger said officials are hopeful that the bike lanes and added parking will reduce speeds and the number of collisions on the affected streets, and eliminate conflict points at intersections.

City officials will monitor the sections for collision and traffic data once the bike lanes are established.

About 7,000 vehicles travel the streets every day, according to information provided by the city.

Work is expected to begin in two weeks.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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