Safety in question at St. Matthews intersection


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 5:56 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It’s a busy intersection, Shelbyville Road at Breckenridge and Chenoweth, but the crosswalk is not nearly as bustling as it should be. This block of Shelbyville Road is popular for jaywalking. During the day, people do it, but at night, it's much more prevalent because of bar-hopping.

“If you’ve been drinking a little bit, you tend to take risks that you normally wouldn’t take,” Det. Dennis McDonald said.

For local bar managers, the constant coming and going is concerning.

“When you see lights outside the building, you always feel like you need to go outside to see what's going on,” Tin Roof general manager Moncell Allen said.

As the nightlife scene grows in the area, St. Matthews police have responded with heightened security.

“They'll kind of, like, direct traffic if they feel like there's lots of cars. They'll make sure people get across the street safe,” Allen said.

Police say the median dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes could also be a false sense of security for pedestrians. Late at night when it's really difficult to see, the median could be a greater hazard for jaywalkers.

“That's not an expected thing. You think someone has gotten across the street and they're going to be fine, then suddenly, they trip and fall. Now, you have to deal with vehicles trying to stop to avoid hitting that person,” Det. McDonald said.

There are currently no plans to change the crosswalk structure in that area. Police said it's up to citizens to use common sense.

“It's still incumbent upon the individual to be responsible for their own safety,” Det. McDonald said.

Allen said he encourages his patrons to use the crosswalk too, but thinks people will continue to jaywalk.

“It's going to have to come down to someone getting hurt or losing their life before something is done about it,” Allen said.

Law enforcement said they are looking into increased lighting in that area, more pedestrian caution lights and possibly reducing the speed limit at night.