Road diet on Southern and Algonquin Parkways - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Road diet on Southern and Algonquin Parkways

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Louisville, Ky. (WDRB) -- Citing safety and more bike-friendly areas, plans are in the works for a road diet on Southern and Algonquin Parkways. But there is already opposition to the project.

District 21 Metro Councilman Dan Johnson is asking that the proposed road diet on Southern Parkway be moved to Third Street instead. But some residents tell WDRB they don't want a road diet at all.

Southern Parkway can be a busy roadway. Right now there are two lanes in each direction.

But under the road diet plan for the Olmsted Parkways Shared Use Path project, Southern Parkway would be narrowed down to one lane in each direction with a turning lane and bike paths in each direction.

Betty Doner, a resident says, "I don't think it's a good idea on Third or Southern Parkway."

Doner says she's seen a number of accidents on both roads. She thinks it could only get worse with reduced lanes.  But others see the benefits.

George Salmond, a resident, says, "It would be great for bicycling and stuff like that." Salmond uses his bike to go everywhere including grocery shopping, but he won't ride on Southern Parkway.

Salmond says, "I ride on the side anyway. I don't ride in the street, don't take no chances out there."

Johnny Frazier, a resident says, "I got hit by a truck coming off of expressway over on Third Street about six months ago." He says he's still dealing with those injuries. Because of what happened to him, Frazier supports Johnson's plan to try and ask Mayor Greg Fischer to move the road diet to Third Street instead.

Johnson says, "Third Street is the one that really needs the diet because it's not nearly as wide as Southern Parkway." He says Third Street would be better as three lanes.

Johnson worries that a road diet on Southern Parkway will cause more traffic problems. He says, "If you look at it, I'm spending $250,000 to pave the other end of Southern Parkway, but if you notice there is a lot of traffic coming by here now, even in the middle of the afternoon. Two lanes for cars is not enough."

Johnson is hoping his letter to the mayor will make a difference. The Mayor's Office says, "We will be sharing his concerns with our Public Works Department that is overseeing the project."

The plan also includes doing a road diet on Algonquin Parkway. Right now, consultants are finishing phase 1 of design. The final design is expected to be completed by Summer of 2014, but with continued opposition.

Doner says, "I think it's a problem, period, whatever you do to cut a lane is not a good idea, that's my opinion."

If all goes as planned, Johnson says construction is expected to start on the road diet around this time next year.

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