Urban Design

Urban Design includes Land Use, Transit Oriented Development, Complete Streets, Safe Routes to School, Sidewalks, and Bike Lanes.

Putting It All Together: the Southwest Super Corridor

By combining a couple of transportation projects we've already built, and by uniting them with some on the drawing board, we can create an awesome new Southwest Louisville transportation corridor. You may have seen this graphic on the front page of USA Today last week:

USA Today graphic showing which modes of transportation people want the federal government to pay more attention to: Train:56%, Roads: 27%, Buses: 21%, Bike paths: 15%, Sidewalks:14%.

How do we satisfy all these people without breaking the bank? Here are the pieces of the puzzle:

  • Dixie Highway
  • Downtown Multi Modal Station
  • Riverwalk / Louisville Loop
  • P&L Commuter Rail Line
  • TARC #18 Bus
  • P&L Commuter Bike Path
  • AMTRAK Passenger Rail
  • K&I Bike/Ped Bridge to New Albany

If you're viewing from the front page, click Read More to continue.

All About Roundabouts

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet "doesn't do" roundabouts. That's too bad because they are the silver-bullet miracle cure of medium sized intersection design. They have the following advantages over stoplights:

  • Cheaper to operate for the state - no electricity bills to pay, no failure after ice storms.
  • Cheaper for the motorists - they don't stop and idle, so they safe fuel costs
  • Faster for motorists on average
  • Safer for motorists - fewer crases and much less crash severity
  • Safer for pedestrians
  • Safer for cyclists
  • Faster for cyclists on average
  • Less ugly

Sustainable City Series - Transportation

 Sustainable City Series on Transportation

Registration is required, but the talk is free and there's good food.

What if we Win?

After reading this t4america blog article, talking about US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's new direction, where the primary goals are now:

  1. economic recovery
  2. safety
  3. livable and sustainable communities

Its worth noting that we're winning. Heck, we might even win this one in our lifetimes.

Busted for Walking to School!

Beulah Church Rd
Beulah Church Rd, reportedly where the child was spotted.
Bardstown & I-265 interchange, where the child would probably have to walk, has no pedestrian accomodations, and merges and diverges featuring ~45mph automobile traffic.

According to whas11.com, a man has been arrested for sending his 6-year-old daughter to school on foot. Normally she takes the bus, but when she missed it he sent her down a 2-lane road with no sidewalk. Hat tip and more information at Broken Sidewalk.

The girl is unharmed, she was identified by an alert school bus driver.

While the satellite view makes this route look way, way, way beyond the capabilities of a 6-year-old to walk, we feel rather the police got the wrong man. The real culprit is sprawl. Our human habitat is no longer designed for humans. It is designed for cars. According to the design, if you don't have the car, you're not a citizen. If you try to get somewhere as a human without a car, you are so wierd that the police are called in, and your father is arrested.

Not arrested are the following co-conspirators:

  • The motorists that are in such a hurry to get places that they make these streetscapes more than drab, but actively dangerous.
  • Politicians who would rather have 3% more roads, than have all our roads be properly designed for all people, not just motorists
  • The transportation professionals who work against complete streets. For example, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet killed the statewide Complete Streets bill in 2008.

Hit 'Read More' for the map of the fateful trip...

Flint, Michigan Moving Toward "Planned Shrinkage"

Flint is planning to condense itself. According to a New York Times article, in 1965 the population was 200,000 and now it's 110,000--with about a third of those people living in poverty. The result is a scattered city of 75 neighborhoods spread out over 34 square miles. Other than a mention of sidewalk maintenance the article does not mention transportation.

Full article at NYTimes.com.

What I Learned in Park DuValle

The Park DuValle neighborhood (southwest of downtown Louisville) was named after Lucie DuValle, the first female principal of a high school in Louisville. I tutor students at the Park DuValle clubhouse, but the other day I learned something new there.

Like several other neighborhoods in Louisville, Park DuValle is the result of hundreds of public housing units being rebuilt as a mixed-income community. A large sign in the clubhouse lobby says, "Like many of Louisville's great neighborhoods, the Villages of Park DuValle are designed to be walkable and easy to get around in. A well-planned system of sidewalks and interconnected streets encourages walking and reduces the dependence on cars. It's cleaner, quieter and friendlier." The sign is what got my attention.

Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but Park DuValle is the only Louisville neighborhood I know of that was formally designed to reduce dependence on cars. Do you know of any others?

Villages of Park DuValle website: http://morethanhouses.com/villagesofparkduvalle/index.php

NYT: Reinventing America's Cities - The Time is Now

In the New York Times, Nicolai Ouroussoff argues: 

A half-century ago American engineering was the envy of the rest of the world. Cities like New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans were considered models for a brilliant new future. Europe, with its suffocating traditions and historical baggage, was dismissed as a decadent, aging culture.

It is no small paradox that many people in the world now see us in similar terms.

President Obama has a rare opportunity to build a new, more enlightened version of this country, one rooted in his own egalitarian ideals. It is an opportunity that may not come around again.

Read the full article here.

The Burnett & Preston St. Ped Bridge

Here are some photographs of the disused pedestrian overpass at Burnett, Preston, and Hill street in Louisville KY. More below the fold...

Obama Recognises End of Sprawl

Barack Obama:

It's imagining new transportation systems. I'd like to see high speed rail where it can be constructed. I would like for us to invest in mass transit because potentially that's energy efficient. And I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally...

The days where we're just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, everybody... recognizes that's not a smart way to design communities. So we should be using this money to help spur this sort of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation.

That will make a big difference.

Hat tip PortlandTransport.org and t4america.org.

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