We sent the following to all KY State Legislators…
The following letter to Lexington’s mayor expresses a frustration that many of your constituents may experience. You can help solve this problem that many communities are experiencing. We invite your participation.
Mayor Jim Gray,
Is Lexington, like Louisville, experiencing a loss of freedom to improve local community due to restrictions imposed by KY Transportation Cabinet? I am working with an adhoc group including UofL, Manual/YPAS High School, Noe Middle School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Old Louisville residents, Metro Councilmembers, etc. who want a slower speed limit in the vicinity of those adjacent schools. KYTC says “No!”. “No!” seems to be a favorite KYTC expression. Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods want 2 way streets. KYTC says “No!”. KYTC says “No!” because of the OH River Bridges Project construction. KYTC says “No!” because of upcoming OMNI Hotel construction. KYTC says “No!” because of upcoming convention center construction. Construction will always be with us. Construction is no reason to delay improving our community.
School zone speed limit concerns vs. KYTC concerns are not limited to the schools mentioned. This lack of municipal freedom extends far beyond downtown and the near neighborhoods. Further, I suspect Lexington and others local governments (KY League of Cities ??) are experiencing the same KYTC disregard for local community needs. Louisville Metro Public Works cannot take on KYTC alone. As a result LMPW must adopt KYTC policies/practices. Below is a recent letter from Public Works to Councilwoman Butler in response to our request for a safe speed limit around UofL, duPont Manual High School and Noe Middle School. Public Works’ response includes: “… a design speed of 35 mph or higher is typical and subsequently expected by motorists.” Clearly LMPW is not considering with equal weight other users of the public space. And then, they pass the buck to Louisville Metro Police Dept.: “… especially without enforcement” (see letter below).
If Lexington is experiencing the same loss of freedom as a result of KYTC demands, we hope you will join our conversation with State Senators and Representatives leading to a request that our governor rein-in KYTC.
Recent letter from Public Works to Councilwoman Butler in response to our request for a safe speed limit around UofL, duPont Manual High School and Noe Middle School…
Louisville Metro Public Works strives to promote the safest and most efficient commute for all modes of transportation. Speed limits are established based on the design of the roadway, land use, traffic volumes, vehicle characteristics, road alignments, geometric design, etc. For a road to safely manage the traffic expected on a minor arterial, which is the functional classification of S 4th St in this vicinity, a design speed of 35 mph or higher is typical and subsequently expected by motorists.
Experience has shown that the majority of motorists operate at a speed that is considered reasonable and prudent. Speed limits on any road are therefore established to encourage motorists to comply voluntarily because they appear sensible. There is a common misconception that merely posting slower speed limit signs will cause drivers to act accordingly. Unfortunately, this is not true and is why the desired result of slower traffic is not achieved, especially without enforcement. Additionally, speed limits that are considered to be unreasonably low promote disrespect and disregard of other reasonable speed limits as well as a creating a false sense of security among pedestrians who expect that slower posted speed limits will change driver behavior.
Louisville Metro Public Works believes that the posted speed limit is correct for this type of facility. We did conduct an investigation of the existing speed limit signage in this vicinity. There are 3 speed limit signs in the northbound direction is adequate, however, in the southbound direction there aren’t any. We are going to install (2) signs for the southbound direction to ensure that motorists are aware of the speed limit. (SR# 4471893)
If you need anything else, please let me know.
Stuart Sparks, PE, PTOE
Louisville Metro Public Works
Traffic Engineering Supervisor Signs and Markings
601 W Jefferson St, Room 8