Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Move Louisville Multi-modal Transportation Plan?
Move Louisville is a long-range plan that provides guidance on how Louisville Metro will make transportation investments over the next 30 years. The plan will inform transportation decision-making in a way that recognizes emerging trends in Louisville and capitalizes on the region’s major economic assets. It will include a list of capital projects as well as a series of strategic policy recommendations intended to provide greater transportation choices and a system residents can afford to maintain and preserve.
What does multi-modal mean?
Transportation consists of many different modes of travel, or ways to get around. This is true even for those who rely primarily on a single way of getting around, as driving or taking public transit also involves walking to a vehicle. A multi-modal plan is one that takes a comprehensive look at walking, driving, transit, biking and goods movement to set recommendations for achieving an integrated system. For example, instead of simply focusing on where to alleviate traffic congestion or which streets should have bicycle lanes, Move Louisville will explore such questions as where there is a need to walk to reach transit, where key additions to the bicycle network could allow alternatives to driving, and where making changes to design of intersections and streets can improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Why are we doing the Move Louisville Plan now?
There has not been a comprehensive look at transportation in Louisville Metro since its consolidation took effect in 2003, and there have been notable changes in the city since then. Data shows that the amount that Metro residents drive hasn’t increased but has stayed flat. Fuel costs have risen. New parts of the city have developed, while other parts have redeveloped. Louisville Metro has recently completed the Vision Louisville effort, taking a big-picture look at its future and articulating a vision for what it wants to be. Move Louisville is intended both to act on Vision Louisville by defining more concrete actions and strategies related to transportation and to respond to changing community characteristics and needs.
How was the plan funded?
The plan is funded largely by a grant from the federal government with some matching funds provided by Metro and TARC.
Who is managing the plan and who are the partners?
Move Louisville is being led by the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, specifically its Office of Advanced Planning with close partnership with the Metro Department of Public Works and the Transit Authority of River City (TARC). Metro is assisted by a team of consultants led by Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.
What is the difference between Move Louisville, Vision Louisville, and Connecting Kentuckiana?
These individual studies are designed to look at specific elements of the broad vision for the future of the region and result in a consistent and cohesive plan of action. Vision Louisville is a long-range planning effort that defined community aspirations for how Louisville wants to look, feel and function as a prosperous, livable community into the next generation. It considered a broad range of community topics and concerns from job opportunities and economic development to environmental quality to housing to transportation (and many others). Move Louisville is the first strategic policy plan following Vision Louisville. Its primary purpose is to provide transportation policies and projects within Jefferson County. The Move Louisville recommendations will move forward to become a part of the entire region’s transportation plan, Connecting Kentuckiana.
Connecting Kentuckiana is being developed by the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) to focus transportation investment within the entire Louisville region (Jefferson, Oldham and Bullitt Counties in Kentucky and Floyd and Clark Counties in Indiana). Such a study is required by the federal government as a prerequisite to qualify for funding.
How were the Move Louisville community goals developed?
Move Louisville is considering factors beyond transportation because transportation accounts for a major share of public funds, and it is critical that transportation investments seek the greatest return possible. To this end, a series of community and stakeholder meetings were held throughout Jefferson County to develop a small set of goals that best represent the City’s aspirations. These goals (public health and safety, economic development and access to jobs, neighborhood and community value and integrity, environmental quality, and fiscal responsibility and social equity) will be used as a basis for evaluation of any transportation recommendations.
How will projects be selected/prioritized for the final draft of the Move Louisville Plan?
The Move Louisville planning efforts have identified many new capital project candidates but have considered these in conjunction with project proposals from previous agency and neighborhood plans. This combined list of candidates will be evaluated based on a series of quantitative metrics intended to reflect the community goals discussed in the previous question. To explain it simply, each of the projects is assigned a series of numeric values for the different metrics and these values are combined into a composite score. The entire list will be ranked according to the composite scores, which will be shared at a series of community meetings in late summer. Based on feedback from those meetings, a final program of projects will be developed.
What type of projects will the plan include?
As a multi-modal plan, Move Louisville will include projects that alleviate traffic congestion and safety problems (such as road widening and intersection improvements at strategic locations), improve bicycle and pedestrian connectivity and safety, create better operating conditions for transit, and policies to ensure that Louisville’s continued growth and economic development have the right transportation system ready to support them.
Will the plan consider light rail transit?
It will, although it’s important to point out that it will also consider other transit system improvements, including changes to current transit service to streamline its operations and reduce costs. Light rail, commuter rail, streetcar and bus rapid transit have all been considered and discussed, with a focus on balancing cost, expected utility, and the special characteristics of each type of transit to find the right fit for Louisville.
How does the plan address accessibility and paratransit services?
Accessibility is a fundamental need for any transportation system—to be truly equitable, it must be able to accommodate all users and levels of ability. The plan will identify locations where accessibility is limited and recommend project interventions or policy approaches to address these limitations.
In doing so, the plan is intended to improve overall access to transit, especially in close proximity to major transit routes and corridors. This focus on improving the connections to bus stops allows an opportunity to serve some transit riders currently needing paratransit services with regular fixed-route service, reducing the costs that TARC incurs on paratransit service and allowing it to use its resources for better fixed-route bus service that offers a broader benefit to Louisville.
Does this project address where new roads will go?
To a large degree, yes. Previous plans and studies, such as the 2007 Eastern Thoroughfare Plan, identified key road connections to be made as Louisville and Jefferson County continued to develop. Move Louisville will consider those recommendations as part of an overall list of projects to be evaluated using the community goals. In addition, Move Louisville has added in guidance for providing key network connections, especially in areas that show a high likelihood of redeveloping during the plan’s lifetime. This ensures that land development makes appropriate contributions to a connected, balanced transportation system.
How will the plan address the movement of freight in Louisville?
The plan is approaching freight from four major perspectives:
- Ensuring that major freight distribution centers and destinations have reasonable access to the interstate highway system for movement to and from the Louisville region.
- Setting policies for a crosstown freight network on local (i.e. non-interstate) streets to define an appropriate balance between commercial areas, industrial and manufacturing areas, and residential neighborhoods.
- Identifying major deficiencies in the freight movement system, such as locations of traffic congestion or deficient bridges and rail crossings, and recommending projects to address these deficiencies.
- Improving access to the jobs represented by the freight and goods movement employers.
How will we pay for all the proposed projects?
Transportation funding for Move Louisville’s proposed program will continue to come from many sources, just as it does today. Transportation funding from the Louisville Metro capital improvement budget, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, TARC, and the Federal Highway and Transit Administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation will be used for projects. In addition, infrastructure contributions made as a part of private development are intended to make a contribution to getting projects built.
It is important to understand, however, that transportation funding is limited and never sufficient to fund all of the projects that would address community needs. For this reason it is essential that Metro be innovative and creative, looking for opportunities to use available resources and funds as leverage to find additional funding. This may also involve working with the Kentucky legislature to develop new opportunities, such as enabling legislation to pursue a local sales tax or other locally-administered special revenue sources.
Will the plan be presented for adoption by Metro Council and what will the plan do once adopted?
Currently, Move Louisville is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2014, which would allow it to be presented to Metro Council for adoption in early 2015. Once adopted, the plan will serve as an official record of Metro Council’s priorities for transportation investment. It will also serve as a basis for future updates to the KIPDA Connecting Kentuckiana metropolitan transportation plan, making sure that Louisville Metro’s highest priorities at a given period in the future can continue to have access to state and federal funding opportunities.