Metro Council takes grant money to make roads safer


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 24 at 11:11 PM

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Louisville’s roads are growing more dangerous for pedestrians every year.

A recent tragedy at the 2nd Street Bridge is still on the minds of many. Now, the city wants to use grant money to curb deadly accidents and make Louisville streets safer for everyone. 

It wasn’t a tough vote for the council Thursday night. In light of recent tragic accidents, they easily approved accepting $120,000 to try to protect Louisville’s pedestrians and improve safety for everyone; drivers, walkers, and bicyclists.
“Obviously, it comes at a very, very timely moment in the history of our community,”  district 8 councilman Tom Owen said, the sponsor of the resolution.
Seventeen pedestrians died on Louisville’s roads last year. Two hundred died in the last 10 years, and the numbers are climbing every year. Just last month, a woman was killed crossing 2nd Street downtown. There have been many tragic pedestrian crashes on Dixie Highway, it’s now undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover.
“Clearly, there have been too many, too many tragic accidents throughout our community and we’re thinking now of those victims on Dixie Highway,” Owen said.
Louisville has had more pedestrian crashes than Las Vegas, Boston, and Washington D.C.
The five deadliest intersections are Broadway and 4th Street, Preston Highway and Gilmore Lane, Bardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane, 4th Street and Market Street, and Broadway and 2nd Street.
Owen, who bikes to work daily himself, has seen the problems first hand.
“I’ve seen it all, I’ve experienced my own mistakes. I’ve seen thoughtfulness, and graciousness, and rudeness, and danger on a regular basis,” he said.
He’s quick to point out, the blame doesn’t always fall on drivers. Bikers, motorists, and those on foot all need to learn how to share the road.
“Whatever we can do to discipline those horses under the hood, and to teach bicyclists good sense and to provide infrastructure and signage and education,” Owen said. 
That’s exactly what the city plans to do with the grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, teach people how to stay safe whether they’re walking, riding, or driving. Hopefully, slashing the number of deadly accidents on Louisville roadways.
“We all, all have a whole long way to go on this,” Owen explained.
The Department of Public Works and Assets will put the money to use on signs in dangerous areas and education programs. A few months ago, the city got more than $300,000 in part, to fund a pedestrian education program for school children and seniors.