City officials look to transform downtown traffic pattern


by Alex Schuman

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 1:21 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sondra Wilkerson owns Big City Styles, a salon in downtown Louisville, and she says the shop is often visited by clients staying in downtown hotels who are seeing the city for the first time.

“One of the things they always ask is, ‘Why are there so many one way streets?’” she said.

City leaders and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear are working to change that impression by transforming the streets.  The governor included more than $3 million in his latest two year budget proposal to help Louisville convert 10 one-way streets into two-way streets.

Below is a list of downtown streets that will be part of the change:

Phase 1:
Main Street
Muhammad Ali
3rd Street

Phase 2:
8th Street
7th Street

Some city officials expect switching one-ways will improve business downtown and increase pedestrian safety.

“Oftentimes what would happen is if you have one street going one-way, it almost turns into a thoroughfare or autobahn,” said City Councilman David Tandy, (D) – District 4.

The plan does mean parking downtown would change.  Parking meters would be removed from converted streets, which would result in significantly less on-street parking downtown.

“Change is just an adjustment,” said Wilkerson.  “People will embrace it over time.”