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Safety first | Councilwoman wants to halt plans on proposed Greyhound terminal site

With the downtown stop sold, the plan is to move the site southeast to a building on Preston Highway. One Metro Councilwoman worries safety is being overlooked.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville Metro Councilmember wants to pump the brakes on a proposal to build a new Greyhound bus station on Preston Highway, right near Louisville's airport.

District 21 Councilwoman Nicole George says she welcomes the project, but is calling on safety concerns to be properly addressed first.

Weeks ago, Metro Council's Development Review Committee gave the initial approval for a development plan for a new Greyhound bus station located at 4826 Preston Highway, at the old Hertz building. It'd be right near two major interstates, I-65 and I-264.

On Tuesday, Councilwoman George called for the Planning and Zoning Committee to take a closer look at the plan, saying there's fixes to be made before they should go any further.

Putting a bus station just minutes by an airport has clear upside, but Councilwoman George sees major drawbacks on how buses would leave the station, given the tight traffic patterns along Preston.

"Preston Highway has been the victim of haphazard development over the years resulting in disjointed land-use," Councilwoman George said. "How would buses pull in, how would they pull out?"

She worries safety has been overlooked. Preliminary blueprints show buses would exit the station on Meadow Avenue -- a local road with limited space and just one stop sign before turning onto the busy Preston Highway.

The plan requires buses go right, along with the flow of traffic -- but Councilwoman George worries without mandatory signage, it'll be hard to enforce.

"It'll be based on neighbors ability to enforce. There's no design solution that prevents that from happening," Councilwoman George said.

The plan is for the new location southeast to replace the longtime site downtown that Greyhound sold. For decades, 8th Street and Ali was Louisville's center for folks traveling far by bus.

Meanwhile businesses just a few blocks down like Estetica Estrella Hair Salon see potential benefits with the move.

"They see the sign and go, 'Oh, there's a shop in there,'" owner Carmen Nunec said.

Nunec says they get a consistent flow of customers driving by. She says putting a prominent bus carrier nearby could up those numbers.

"We do have the customers, but you can never have enough," Nunec said.

Greyhound wouldn't provide WHAS 11 details on the project on Tuesday, saying: "Thank you for reaching out. We aren’t able to comment at this time. Should there be any updates, we will follow up."

The plan will be revisited in committee in the weeks to come, with the potential for Councilwoman George or any other councilmember to file an ordinance to overturn it if they see necessary.

Until then, Councilwoman George is inviting public feedback on Wednesday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. at the South Central Regional Library to discuss the project, along with others planned for the area through the Preston Corridor Plan.

As for the downtown building, LDG development -- who says it purchased the property between late October and early November -- anticipates it'll likely be turned into affordable housing.

Contact reporter Isaiah Kim-Martinez at IKimMartin@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter