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There will be two public meetings to familiarize everyone with the proposal that Citizens for a Safer River Road has put forth to make River Road safer for all users.

Please plan to attend and express your support for widening shoulders on River Road from Zorn Avenue to Harrods Creek.

When: March 2 and March 14, 5pm to 7pm
Where: The Louisville Water Tower @ Zorn Ave and River Road

About Citizens for a Safer River Road

CSRR is a group of locally active citizens who want to make the River Road Scenic Byway a safer and more pleasant experience for all users by improving existing roadway shoulders in advance of the East End Bridge.

Our goals are simple:

  • Widen shoulders along River Road Scenic Byway to encourage safer passage for all users.
  • Encourage public officials to implement additional traffic calming & safety measures along the River Road Scenic Byway.
  • Continue to enhance the River Road Scenic Byway experience through the installment of logical and cost effective infrastructure.

Our Commitment

Respect Your Property

by being thoughtful on placement and widths

Our team has carefully examined this segment of River Road and is advancing a plan to make modest improvements (28” in width) in several locations vastly improving safety, while avoiding impacts to property owners. Our team has pulled detailed PVA data from Lojic and is formulating a clear way to move the project forward without costly condemnation costs.

Improve safety for all users

by being thoughtful on placement

Each foot of width added as a shoulder leads to a 7% decrease in run-off-road, sideswipe and head-on collisions. What we are proposing will lead to about a 17% reduction in crashes. Beyond that, shoulders provide places to walk in case of emergency as well as widths for alternative modes of transportation.

Source: FHWA Mitigation Strategies for Design Exceptions

Safely manage speeds while maintaining capacity

keeping the rural feel of river road

Lane and shoulder widths have a measurable effect on traffic operations and capacity. According to the Highway Capacity Manual the addition of 2-4’ shoulders coupled with a lane width of 10-11’ equates into almost a 4 mph reduction in speed compared to speeds seen in road sections with standard lane width. This 4mph reduction will have minimal impacts to capacity.

Source: Transportation Research Board Highway Capacity Manual

Preserve the vision of River Road

we are staying true to the plans

Our team is working closely with individuals that helped to prepare the Scenic Byway Management Plan, which includes a comprehensive approach to protecting and preserving River Road. Our group is committed to setting priorities, responsible parties, and identifying sources, which also aligns with the management plan.

The Need

This is an urgent matter

The East End (Lewis & Clark) Bridge is now open and we believe there will be an increase in the number of bicycle and pedestrian users of River Road due to the fact that the new bridge has a dedicated bike and pedestrian lane. And, much as the Big 4 Bridge has created a surge of bike and pedestrian users, the new bike and pedestrian lane on the Lewis & Clark Bridge is going to attract additional cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians to River Road each week. Cycling enthusiasts and experts are predicting that the “Utica/River Road Loop” will become the most popular and heavily trafficked roadway for cyclists in the region. There currently is no plan in place to accommodate this anticipated surge in users.

Our Plan

Our group has taken a close look at options that would accomplish each of the commitments above, while producing solutions that are based on proven counter measures accepted by American Association of Highway and Transportation officials, the Federal Highway Administration, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as well as Louisville Metro. We are proposing the addition of 24” of pavement to serve as a shoulder where it could be installed with no impacts to right-of-way. This will leave gaps along River Road in the shoulder system, but we believe that it is important to do what we can now to further limit the negative safe conditions that currently exist.

The existing pavement is on average 24’-8”. This equates to two lanes just over 12’ each. According to the FHWA, wider lanes can drive up vehicular speeds. It is worth noting that many of the types of accidents we recorded from the Kentucky State Police collision database have a higher rate of recovery when a shoulder is present. The combination of narrowing lanes to the nationally accepted standard of 10’ for motorists and adding 24” of pavement for use as a shoulder will increase efficiency and provide a recovery zone for motorists while allowing enough pavement to be safely navigated by other users.

Existing Conditions

Proposed Conditions

Crash data for all users (motorists, cyclists, pedestrians)

Our team has pulled collision data for the past 5 years. This reveals a troubling history which has led to a startling 229 collisions.

56 Collision with Injury

3  Collision with Fatality

170 Collision with Property Damage

229 Total

A closer look at the types of collisions starts to tell tell the story of the background behind this number:

36.7% Single Vehicle

31.9% Rear End

15.7% Angle

15.7% Backing / Head On / Sideswipe / other

It is worth noting that the FHWA lists the addition of shoulders as a counter measure for single vehicle collisions (people hitting obstacles) and rear end collisions. It affords motorists the opportunity for an escape route and recovery.

Source: Kentucky State Police Collision Database
Traffic incidents along River Road
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