Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Fighting to Take Back Louisville’s Waterfront

Today on the Streetsblog Network, we're headed to Louisville, Kentucky, where Broken Sidewalk highlights grassroots efforts to prevent a massive expansion of the I-64 highway on the Ohio River waterfront.

A local advocacy group called 8664.org (as in, "let's 86 the 64") is opposing the Ohio River Bridges Project, which would cost $4.1 billion and result in an expanded interchange 23 lanes wide. The group, which was founded by two local businesspeople and claims 10,000 supporters, is promoting an alternative plan -- one that would remove and relocate the highway, enhance Louisville's waterfront by creating a pedestrian-friendly boulevard, and cost much less.

As Broken Sidewalk points out, highway removal is a national movement that is rapidly gaining wider mainstream acceptance -- and despite the plans in place to make Louisville's riverside road even bigger, it's still not too late to change course:

ORBP_23_Lane_Spaghetti_Junction.jpgThe proposed "Spaghetti Junction," 23 lanes wide, that advocates in Louisville are trying to block. Illustration via 8664.org.

One of the great things about the 8664.org plan is that it doesn’t just solve a transportation problem in a more fiscally responsible manner, but also drastically raises Louisville’s urban standard of
living and provides for huge potential gains in community and real-estate development. Those external benefits don’t fit easily onto a traffic modeling program and are often overlooked.

It’s often quipped in frustration that Louisville waits until something is done elsewhere before we can accept it here. If that’s indeed the case, highway removal should be fully legitimate. Plenty have already removed urban highways and plenty are seriously considering it. We could be in good company and we could also be in a
position of leadership in urban rejuvenation.…

It’s not too late to see the 8664.org proposal come to fruition, and it's not some out-of-touch, idealistic idea from a few dreamers. This is the course the country and the world are moving in to solve complicated transportation problems while simultaneously fixing cities.

The folks at 8664.org and at Broken Sidewalk are bolstering their case with examples from around the country -- check out the original post for plenty of relevant links. It's a terrific example of how networking among sustainable transportation advocates in the United States can give local groups the tools they need to argue for better planning.

More from around the network: Copenhagenize notes the trend of "demotorization" in Japan -- apparently, some young people there think it's just not worth the trouble and expense of owning a car. Imagine that. Orlando Bike Commuter Blog suggests parking and riding a bike the last mile into downtown when doing business in that city. And City Parks Blog examines what makes a "great green place," using Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, as an example.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Driving Inflation

Driving — specifically, the cost of car ownership — is one of the main factors behind inflation, according to the Eno Center for Transportation.

April 16, 2024

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 16, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Bring Another Setback

The Biden administration's new rule requiring states to report their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was dealt another blow when the Senate voted to repeal it.

April 15, 2024

‘The Bike Is the Cure’: Meet New Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Mike Thompson

Meet the incoming co-chair of the congressional bike caucus — and learn more about how he's getting other legislators riding.

April 15, 2024

Calif. High-Speed Rail Takes a Step Towards Acquiring Trains

The contract calls for two prototype trainsets for testing to be delivered by 2028, and four trainsets to be used on the "early operating segment" between Merced and Bakersfield, ready between 2030 and 2033.

April 12, 2024
See all posts