Forward Radio’s Mayoral Forum asked what should be done to improve urban transportation. The answer to that great question requires more than the two minutes permitted. A more complete answer begins with identifying the objectives as follows:
. calm and reduce urban traffic
. reduce need for surface parking lots
. increase walking, cycling and the use of TARC
. accomplish above objective under current legal structure and at minimum expense
. attract corporate investment interested in creating a sustainable Louisville.
These objectives can be accomplished by:
. reducing the length of bus routes to within a ring radiating six (+/-) miles from First and Main
. establish dedicated bus lanes within that six mile radius/ring
. give buses the right of way at intersections
. turn urban one way streets to two way streets
. have urban signals blink yellow or red but never green (results in much more cautious drivers)
. establish a bus depot/station/square (one city block surrounded by bus stops of every route) in the central business district (creates easy central transfer from any route to any other route)
The overall result of this plan will be:
. the elimination of the long TARC trips to the exurbs
. much faster urban TARC service
. much greater TARC ridership, cycling and walking
. safer traffic
. a reduction of surface parking lots
. the redevelopment of surface parking lots to mixed use (residential and commercial use)
. an increase in urban population
. a shift of land use investment from exurbia to urban Louisville
. remote employers (who are over-stretching TARC service and over-taxing their low income employees who have to ride for hours daily on the bus) will have to provide better/quicker transportation for employees
. a stage setting for the successful expansion of TARC service into the next ring
. the attraction of corporate investment interested in creating a sustainable Louisville.
What does it take to accomplish this?
. no extra expenditures on TARC
. staff time resetting some manual traffic signals
. re-stripping of major streets within the six mile ring
. working closely with KY Transportation Cabinet to turn KY controlled one way streets to two way
Taking these steps we can transform land use and transportation quickly and inexpensively.