Community

Louisville’s far-reaching transportation strategic plan may be released this month.

The development of the Move Louisville strategic plan began in November 2013. The plan’s goal is to develop a strategic action plan that makes it easier for residents to get around by foot, bike, public transit and vehicle, said Patti Clare, deputy director of the city’s office of advanced planning.

“It’s not a bike plan or a pedestrian plan, it’s a multi-modal plan,” she said. “It’s infrastructure planning, but also mobility planning.”

Officials had expected to release a finalized plan within 10 months of the start date, according to the city’s website. But that didn’t happen. Since then, the release has been delayed a couple of times.

Part of the reason is an overwhelming amount of community response, coupled with the plan’s sheer magnitude.

“It’s a tremendous policy document,” said Jessica Wethington, spokeswoman for Develop Louisville. “Right now, we are trying to get everything we want right, we want to make sure everything is included.”

Wethington said officials are “confident we’re almost there,” and expects to release the plan as early as mid-July.

Officials are including “every idea we thought was feasible” in the the plan, she added.

The project got thousands of responses during the public comment period, Clare said. Those comments included support for light rail, bike lanes and better sidewalks and roads.

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The top goal of the mayor’s six-year strategic plan is to improve multi-modal transportation. That goal is considered to be “slightly off track,” according to the city’s website. The city has successfully boosted bike facilities and the number of shared use path around the metro area, but still falls short in its effort to improve sidewalks, bridges and roads and bolster residents’ usage of mass transit.

The Metro Council recently approved a budget with nearly $13 million in funds directly allocated for road and street enhancements.

The city’s sole mass transit provider, TARC, is reducing service to its busiest routes due to budget concerns.

Clare, in April, said once the Move Louisville plan is released it will act as a “guiding document” for city officials when addressing transportation.

Additional public comment will be accepted once it’s released.

She said the Louisville Metro Planning Commission will examine the plan and then the full Metro Council will need to approve it, she said.

Once adopted, officials will look to secure necessary funding and get started on capital projects “immediately.”

Move Louisville comes at a cost of about $750,000. A federal transportation grant accounts for about $600,000 of the total. A mix of city funds and about $25,000 from the fiscally strapped Transit Authority of River City make up the rest.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.