Metro Council wants bike study before more bike lanes are added - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council wants bike study before more bike lanes are added

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- At Springdale Road and Grinstead Drive, crews are milling the street in preparation for more bike lanes.

Once finished, it will have one bike lane and driving lane in each direction with a center turning lane from Stilz to Peterson Avenues.

Ruth Boklage, a local resident, has a front row view of the construction."I think it's a good idea," Boklage said. "I don't see where this will connect with another one, where it will all work. It seems like they're being sporadic to where they are putting them."

But, she says she supports taxpayer money being spent on more bike lanes.

Before any more tax payer money was used, the Metro Council voted unanimously to get a bike study first.

Steve Haag, the Minority Caucus Director of the Metro Council, says the study is expected to be finished by the end of August. The study is being conducted by the Metro Public Works Department. Kentucky Street already has the bike lanes in it.

"The question is, as we're shifting from two lanes to one lane, are we having enough bikers using this one lane to necessitate that move?" Haag said. "That's really the question that caused this to rise up."

Mayor Greg Fischer points to other large cities that are putting in bike lanes. He says it leads to economic growth by attracting key talent and more jobs.

"The Metro Council has appropriated millions of dollars for bike paths and in the last two years, $600,000 to paint bike lanes," said Jim King, President of the Louisville Metro Council. "Clearly, the Council has supported bicycling and bike safety, and we will continue to do so. Given the amount of money appropriated, it is prudent for the Council to review how it is being spent. With respect to the licensing of bicycles, many progressive cities have a registration program. The data collected through registration can be used to deter theft and identify the need for more bike lanes to support commuter usage. Any such program will not be used to generate new tax revenues."

"Are we dedicating too much land towards this?" Haag asked. "Is the use needed and should we continue with this effort?"

These are all questions the Metro Council wants answered before the bike money is released.

In this year's fiscal budget, which started July 1st, there's $300,000 dollars for bike lanes and another $250,000 for Bike Share Facilities, which are storage, parking areas, and shelters along bike routes.

The Grinstead Bike Lane Project is expected to be finished Friday. Asphalt is expected to go down Thursday with bike symbol painting on Friday.

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