Safety group proposes narrowing River Road lanes and widening sh - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Safety group proposes narrowing River Road lanes and widening shoulder

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A private group is working on plans to make River Road safer for cyclists and pedestrians by narrowing both lanes in order to widen the shoulders.

Citizens for a Safer River Road did a traffic and safety study along 5.5 miles or River Road, from Zorn Avenue to the Harrods Creek bridge. The plans would narrow both lanes to 10 feet and widen the shoulders to about four feet. The shoulder width would vary, because the intent is to not take out any trees or fences.

Mike Sewell, who is part of the project and a principal at Gresham Smith & Partners, believes this will help provide the buffer cyclists and joggers need.

"Every foot of shoulder you add adjacent to a traveled way, it's about a 7 percent reduction in accidents, for recovery-type accidents," Sewell said.

Lanes along River Road currently vary from 10-12 feet wide. Dirk Gowin, the engineering project coordinator for Louisville Metro’s Department of Public Works, said a typical highway lane is around 12 feet wide, and a typical downtown street is around 10 feet wide.

"We're going to mark the lanes with the stripe at 10 feet with the intent of trying to get people to drive closer to the speed limit and not drive like it is an interstate," Gowin said.

These plans are separate from the Louisville Loop, as this is a privately funded endeavor. However, Metro Government has agreed if CSRR can raise the nearly $2 million needed, then Metro will accept the funds and oversee the project.

The Prospect City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to support the plan, just as Louisville Metro has done.

"There are more people that want to take alternative forms of transportation that are very viable," said Mike Sewell, Gresham Smith & Partners. "Walking and biking are here to stay, and I think with the opening of the Lewis & Clark Bridge, it's kind of underscoring the need for support of these types of things."

Here's the full plan:

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