The Louisville Metro Council will discuss a measure Thursday evening that if approved will drastically change traffic patterns in the Old Louisville neighborhood.
An ordinance introduced by Councilman David James, D-6, seeks to convert portions of First and Brook streets into two-way streets. Local business owners in the district have been supportive of the new traffic plan for a number of years and previous city representatives have studied the issue.
James says the city bill will spur economic growth, but the measure is mainly about ensuring public safety and making the community pedestrian friendly.
“It makes the streets safer. It calms traffic down. We have families that live on these streets and we have a school there on the street,” he says. “And it also makes Old Louisville more of a neighborhood and not a place that people are just driving through. And so in order to stick with the theme of public safety and keeping the neighborhood safe and making it a neighborhood it’s very important to do this.”
Some residents have resisted the change, arguing it will congest traffic. And a handful of council members have voiced concern that the change is contrary to policies established by the public works department, according to City Hall sources.
Still, the measure is expect to pass easily and James believes it’s another step in the right direction for the district.
“Studies have shown time and time again that where you have two-way streets you also have economic development. Where you have two-way streets you also have lots of community activities, you have people walking on the streets and children are out playing. And the traffic is slower,” he says.
The council will vote on the proposal at its meeting at 6 p.m. tonight.