City to add 40 miles of bike lanes in downtown Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you drive downtown you've no doubt seen the new markings on some city streets.

It's all part of the city's plan to make the streets more bike-friendly.

There are already about 40 miles of bike paths in downtown Louisville. Now, the city is in the process of adding 40 more miles at a cost of $300,000.

Crews were painting the stripes on Kentucky Street on Friday afternoon. Mayor Greg Fischer says he wants to make sure Louisville's downtown streets provide multiple transportation options -- but we asked him if making the streets more convenient for bicyclers makes them less convenient for motorists

"There's no question that here in Louisville and around the country, bicycle usage is increasing significantly," said Fischer. "So, many young people right now will tell you they don't want to own a car, they don't plan to own a car. So it's important that cities are planing for that. It's something that good not just for today but especially for the future as well."

But Fischer says bike lanes are not practical on the city's busier streets. He says the city does traffic studies before deciding where to install bike lanes.

The bike lanes on Breckenridge and Kentucky are the only dedicated lanes in the city. Mayor Fischer said there has been some confusion about how to drive on those roads now that the bike lanes have been added.

"The buffer that borders the motorist's travel lane helps avoid contact with moving vehicles while the buffer on the parking lane side helps with bikes crashing into doors being open on those parked vehicles," said Fischer.

Officials said cars are not to cross into or drive inside the bike lanes. There are signs along those roads and a solid white line to notify drivers.

"Bike lanes save lives. There's no question about it and putting us on a street where there's protection like this, it's just going to make it a lot safer," said Craig Buthod.

The city is launching an education campaign to make motorists and bicyclists aware of the rules of the road when it comes to the bike lanes.

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