22 April 2016
DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx
US Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington DC 20590
202 366 4000
Dear DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx:
We wrote to you 9 February 2016, in opposition to Louisville’s Smart Cities Challenge application. We are grateful that Louisville, Kentucky was not chosen as a finalist. Thank you.
On 14 April 2016 Louisville released the new transportation for the city, two years late, five years in the making.
At MoveLouisville’s release Mayor Fischer said we will not pursue light rail because Louisville lacks population density. He said nothing about combating the remote commercial and residential investment which serves only to reduce our population density further.
From MoveL’s home page … “Projects like completing the planned extension of Urton Lane from Middletown to Taylorsville Road …will make it easier for people to get around the city and will improve the quality of life in Louisville neighborhoods.” That sentence is a perfect example of how widely MoveLouisville misses the mark. Urton Lane only opens up forests and fields to remote investment, decreasing population density. Remote investment works against achieving the second priority stated by the mayor/MoveLouisville. That stated priority is to reduce the miles driven by Louisville citizens. That priority is achieved by increasing density, investing in public transit and creating walkable communities.
Increasing density, investing in public transit and creating walkable communities are inseparable basics in creating a sustainable city. MoveLouisville failed to grasp those basics.
MoveLouisville refers to infill and un-locking Oxmoor farms and Urton Lane. The terms clear-cut and pave-over are more appropriate. The city needs trees. The city needs greenspace. The city is doing an inventory of trees. Yet, the city enables clear cutting and paving over our remaining fields.
The reason given for “unlocking Oxmoor Farm” is “to relieve congestion on Shelbyville Road”. The way to relieve congestion is to service the corridor with excellent public transit with dedicated lanes. This kind of poor planning and intellectual dishonesty must stop.
The cost to redesign, rebuild our roads to the standard in the image below from MoveLouisville is prohibitive. The image is great, though it lacks a public transit element, but it is financially impossible. At the unveiling of MoveLouisville (16 projects with a $1.4 billion dollar price tag) mayor Fischer said: “none of this is free…how do we pay for it?” Then he rolled immediately into “eat an elephant, one bite at a time.” Sorry, mayor. That is no fiscally responsible plan. A list of projects with no financial commitment is not a plan.
In the days following the introduction of MoveLouisville the mayor introduced a funding menu comprised of: 1) higher parking fee, 2) land developer impact fees, 3) concessions and tolls, 4) congestion pricing, 5) mileage and carbon surcharge. Any higher parking fees should be imposed county wide and extended to public and private surface parking lots. Land developer impact fees should be imposed on more than just public utilities. Congestion pricing, concessions and tolls, and mileage and carbon surcharge should not be applied to public transit.
MoveLouisville also failed to prioritize the projects.
The next time Louisville files an application with the DOT, please tell Louisville that the application will be considered as soon as the city has adopted a sustainable transportation plan.
Other views on MoveLouisville:
Former mayoral candidate
Former Executive Director of the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation – CART