8664 cofounder Tyler Allen will be among five people presenting ideas for Louisville’s future to Mayor Greg Fischer later this month.
The 8664 alternative to the Ohio River Bridges Project (8664 calls for an east-end bridge only and a parkway through downtown instead of Interstate 64) won the Create Louisville Big Idea contest, which was organized by Louisville Public Media (WFPL’s parent organization), DRIVE young professionals group and the Greater Louisville Project. Louisvillians were invited to submit their “big ideas” for the city. The ideas were then put to a vote, and the thinkers behind the five highest vote earners were invited to present their proposals to the mayor on February 22nd.
Neither Allen nor fellow 8664 cofounder J.C. Stites submitted the idea to the contest, but the original submitter has opted to let Allen act as his proxy and pitch 8664 to Mayor Fischer. Fischer currently supports a two-bridge project.
“We’re excited because we have long known people have responded to this big idea,” Allen told the Courier-Journal. “To have it validated through this effort is very gratifying.”
Allen ran as a Democrat in the mayor’s race last year. He came in 4th in the crowded primary, which Fischer won. Allen later endorsed Republican candidate Hal Heiner in the general election.
Here is the release on the Big Idea from Louisville Public Media:
Create Louisville: Your Big Idea, a project designed to elicit fresh thinking and new ideas for moving Louisville forward, garnered more than 2,300 votes over several weeks last fall with voters choosing among more than a hundred Big Ideas submitted by community members.
When the voting ended, the Big Ideas that garnered the most votes were:
1. The “8664” campaign to remove the interstate highway along the Ohio River downtown rather than reworking Spaghetti Junction and building a new bridge.
2. A “Big Tree Planting Campaign” to dramatically increase the tree canopy throughout Louisville.
3. “Louisville City Text 311” to make Louisville a mobile-ready city with multiple text/app services.
4. Establishment of a “Creativity Fund” that will provide stipends each year to ten individuals to support their work pursuing an idea, project, or new product they have devised.
5. Development of the “Southern Strut,” a destination shopping and entertainment district along the Third Street corridor near Churchill Downs.
The authors of the five top Big Ideas will meet later this month with Mayor Greg Fischer to brief him on their ideas. The Mayor and his staff have reviewed all of the Big Ideas submitted.
“The Big Ideas project certainly engaged a lot of people in thinking about how to move our region forward – dreaming up creative, new approaches to making Louisville a more distinctive place to live and work,” said Carolyn Gatz, director of The Greater Louisville Project, which sponsored the Big Idea project along with Louisville Public Media and DRIVE, a young professionals group.
“Our thanks go to everyone who participated either by submitting an idea or by casting a vote – or even many votes — to choose among them,” Gatz said. “This project demonstrated that we can have fun thinking, together as a community, about how to improve Louisville and the quality of life all of us who live here share.”
Heather Howell from the young professionals group DRIVE said, “We were amazed by the interest and participation in what was a small project driven mostly by volunteers. That speaks strongly to how much people care about Louisville and how they want to create an exciting future for our city.”
A full list of the Big Ideas submitted can be seen at www.greaterlouisvilleproject.org.