Reimagine 9th Street – Public Kickoff Meeting

This page includes meeting materials from the February 22, 2024 public meeting in a translatable format.

Board 1 - Welcome

This board welcomes individuals to the meeting.

Board 2 - Project Overview

Louisville Metro Government is transforming three vital corridors, including:

  • Ninth Street (Roy Wilkins Avenue)
  •  Muhammad Ali Boulevard
  • Chestnut Street/River Park Drive

One-way streets Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Chestnut Street from Ninth Street to Shawnee Park will become two-way by early 2025.

Backed by a $15.6 million RAISE discretionary grant to design and build the Reimagine Ninth Street project, this project will convert Ninth Street from a six-lane thoroughfare into a less wide roadway that will safely accommodate all users of the street.

The Ninth Street project presents a unique opportunity to reimagine this corridor, which currently represents a physical barrier in the City of Louisville between the Central Business District and west end neighborhoods. Some of the features of this project may include a more narrow and safer roadway, dedicated pedestrian and bicyclist facilities and engaging public spaces.

[IMAGE: SATELLITE VIEW OF NINTH STREET AND SURROUNDING AREA]

Board 3 – Project Purpose

The vision of the Reimagine Ninth Street project is to create an accessible corridor – an innovative space where people can gather, walk and bike safely. The project will transform the Ninth Street corridor from a six-lane road to a more narrow complete street designed with all roadway users in mind.

A complete street is one that enables safe access for all people who need to use it, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

The Purpose of this Project is to:
  • Reunite neighborhoods — the Central Business District and Russell, to the greater Louisville community.
  • Improve health outcomes and economic opportunity for residents who live nearby.
  • Provide safe and efficient operations for all road users including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and vehicles.
  • Create meaningful and engaging public spaces.
Project Need:
  • The Ninth Street corridor has historically represented an area of economic and community divide in Louisville. 
  • The project aspires to be the beginning of a future together that acknowledges past injustices by removing the physical barrier that represents the divide between Louisville’s west end neighborhoods and the rest of the city.
  • There is also a need to foster a sense of community and improve the space, making it safer and more public-friendly, bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly.

[Photos of existing conditions on Ninth Street showing people crossing in the middle of the street, bicycle in road, and lack of shade from the sun]

Board 4  - How would you like to experience a Reimagine 9th Street? 

Cast your vote on which programmatic zone(s) you prefer.

The Russell Trail Programmatic Zones as Presented in the Gehl Report

[graphic map of Ninth Street showing four distinct areas]

Downtown Art Link – Between Main St. and Jefferson St.

Comfortable micro-climates, urban walkway punctuated with street art.

Retail Front Porch – Between Jefferson St. and Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Local market square, pop-up commercial street.

Play and Recreation – Between Muhammad Ali Blvd. and Liberty St.

Communal activity zones, prioritizing open, inclusive recreation.

Garden and Learning Lab – Between Liberty St. and Broadway

Quiet, lush and green, prioritizing community partnerships.

Board 5 – History

1800 – 1880s. Louisville is home to a Black population consisting of slaves and freemen. The other side of the Ohio represented freedom and despite, or because of, racial segregation brought on by the Jim Crow era, Black populations grew in density west of 9th Street.

1900 – 1910. Significant institutional Black development occurred, with buildings and institutions like the Pythian Temple, the Black Catholic Highschool and the African American Library on 10th and Chestnut Street emerging.

1905 – 1920. The Black Business District revealed a clear distinction of emerging patterns. Black-owned businesses, including banks, insurance companies, movie theatres, donut shops and night clubs thrived.

1930 – 1938. Black businesses continued west of 6th Street and along Walnut Street (now Muhammad Ali Blvd). There was the Mammoth Life Tower, Joe’s Palm Room and the Black Episcopal Church on 11th Street. Pruitt Owsley Sweeney, Sr., a key figure and President of Louisville’s NAACP chapter, owned a dentist office there. Urban renewal and wiping of the zone, or slum clearance, occurred in 1938–1939, replacing these areas with expansive spaces, plazas and high-rises.

Mid-1900s – Present. Jim Crow practices ended in 1965 and white flight from the area further divided 9th Street; Black to the west and white to the east. Discriminatory practices excluded Black residents from securing home loans and discouraged investment in poor, Black neighborhoods. Urban renewal continued. Manufacturing industries later emerged, leading to poor economic and health conditions for residents.

[Photos historic significance to the Ninth Street area and Russel Neighborhood]

  • Dr. Mildred Edwards dental office. Cedar Court, Louisville, KY. 1949.
  • Moore’s Bar interior. 914 W. Walnut St (Muhammad Ali Blvd) 1949.
  • Clinic at Beecher Terrace. Louisville, KY. 1943.
  • American Baptist Newspaper. 930 West Walnut St (Muhammad Ali Blvd), Louisville, KY. 1943.
  • North West corner 9th & Grayson (Cedar). 414 South 9th, Louisville, KY. 1909.
  • Sunshine Social Center. 1023 W. Madison Street. Louisville, Kentucky. 1921.
Board 6 - Using one word — what would you like to see on Ninth street going forward?

[empty space for people to write/post notes]

Board 7 – Urban Parkway

Focused on weaving a high-quality public realm into the neighborhood

  • Reduced Roadway
  • Reduced lane width (10'–11')
  • Reduced turning radius to (10')
  • Separated bike lanes
  • Improved buffer and bus stop amenities
  • Improved pedestrian crossings
  • Wider sidewalk space
  • Improved sidewalk greenery and canopy

[image showing cut away of Typical Street Section, viewing North, between Muhamad Ali Blvd and Liberty St.

From left to right, undefined width of Setback area, 10 feet of Furnishing Planting, 20 feet of Sidewalk, 12 feet of Bike and Buffer (6 feet each), 8 feet of Bus Stop, 21 feet of Road (11 feet bus lane and 10 feet second lane), 15 feet median, 21 feet of Road (10 feet primary lane and 11 feet Bus lane), 8 feet bus stop, 12 feet of Bike and Buffer (6 feet each), 25 feet sidewalk, undefined width of private property]

Board 8 - What qualities would you like to see in these zones and where would you like to see them?

[four columns with space for notes, one for each of the following sections]

Downtown Art Link

Retail Front Porch

Play & Recreation

Garden & Learning Lab

Board 9 – Project Elements
Consistent Elements
  • Clear and safe crossings/signage
  • ADA compliant sidewalks
  • Comfortable bus stops
  • Bioswales and blue/green infrastructure
  • Mixed use bicycle and pedestrian trail
People-First Infrastructure
  • Protected bike lanes/cycle track
  • Midblock crossings
  • Nighttime lighting
  • Generous sidewalks
Programming
  • Micro retail/micro pods
  • Healthy community
  • Flexible market spaces
A Linear Experience
  • Creative canopies
  • Adrenaline pockets
  • Multipurpose recreation areas
  • Lush and green/gardens/snugs
  • Linear wayfinding
Magnetic Elements
  • Social seating/
  • lounge garden
  • Art installations
  • Community decks

[photos showing various elements reinforcing the words]

Board 10  - Timeline

Engagement in the community will begin early December 2023, with design completed in March 2026. Construction will begin Summer 2026.

  • Public Kickoff Meeting. February 2024
  • Ali and Chestnut Two-Way Conversions NEPA Approval. March 2024-November 2024
  • Concepts Public Meeting. June 2024.
  • Preliminary Designs Public Meeting. November 2024.
  • Ninth Street NEPA Approval. July 2024-May 2025.
  • Ali and Chestnut Two-Way Conversions Construction. March 2025-March 2026.
  • Ninth Street Final Design. May 2025-May 2026.
  • Ninth Street Construction Procurement. May 2026-August 2026.
  • Ninth Street Construction. August 2026-August 2028.

 

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