Community

When Eastern Parkway was designed more than 100 years ago, the firm couldn’t have envisioned that it would one day have to accommodate scooters.

But now the four-lane road carries thousands of drivers a day across the city, as well as pedestrians, cyclists and — of course — scooter riders.

This week, city officials plan to seek public input as part of a federally- and state-funded study of how the 120-foot-wide corridor could be improved. Eastern Parkway was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm, which also designed Cherokee Park, which the road is connected to.

John Swintosky, who is overseeing this project, said it’s a pretty roadway but it lacks some functionality.

“That’s why people like to live along and drive along it today, and why bicyclists and pedestrians would like better facility so they can enjoy it as well,” he said.

For example, the sidewalks don’t connect in some places, and it lacks bike lanes.

Louisville residents can share their ideas for how to improve Eastern Parkway west of Cherokee Park at a public meeting on Thursday, July 11 at the Audubon Traditional Elementary School Gymnasium from 5 to 7 p.m

The city expects to complete the study by next summer, but Swintosky said funds for implementing the resulting plan have not been dedicated yet.

“It’s a blueprint or a master plan, if you will, for moving forward when investments are able to be made,” he said.

If funded, an Eastern Parkway improvement project would be a chance to bring it up to modern standards. And Swintosky, who is a senior landscape architect for the city, said it would be important to maintain the existing tree canopy along the corridor if it’s redone in the future. Louisville’s shrinking tree canopy is believed to exacerbate the urban heat island effect here.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.