Vision Zero Louisville
Vision Zero Louisville is our city's transportation safety initiative. We utilize the Safe System Approach, recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which prioritizes the prevention of fatal and serious injury crashes. To do this, we must 1) accommodate human error in the design and operation of our transportation system, 2) proactively identify and address dangerous roadway conditions, 3) encourage the safe use of the transportation system, and 4) reduce the risk of death through multi-layered safety measures. The five pillars of the Safe System Approach - Safer Roads, Safer Speeds, Safer People, Safer Vehicles, and Post-Crash Care - represent that multi-layered, holistic approach to transportation safety necessary to prevent roadway deaths. The vision of zero roadway deaths, and utilizing the Safe System Approach to achieve it, requires prioritizing public safety over vehicle speed or motorist convenience.
Since 2016, over 600 people have died on Louisville's surface streets. This loss of life is unacceptable. Louisville Metro Government believes traffic deaths are preventable. Our vision is to eliminate traffic deaths on our streets by 2050.
August 2023: Vision Zero Louisville has been recognized as a Vision Zero community by the national Vision Zero Network. Vision Zero Network is a collaborative, nonprofit campaign helping communities set and reach the goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries among all road users. "We look forward to working with Vision Zero Louisville to help the city achieve its goal of safe mobility for all. We commend them for their hard work, commitment, and engagement thus far," said Tiffany Smith, Program Manager with the Vision Zero Network.
July 2023: Louisville Metro Public Works, in partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Palmer Engineering, submitted its second Safe Streets and Roads for All grant application. If awarded, the grant would fund safety improvements on 2nd and 3rd Street between W. Broadway and W. Cardinal Blvd in historic Old Louisville. The improvements would include converting the streets from one-way to two-way, installing curb extensions at signalized intersections to discourage speeding and reduce pedestrian crossing distance, and improving lighting. Award announcements are expected to be made in December 2023. Louisville Metro recently won a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant to "rightsize" 10 roadways in Louisville. For more information, please visit our Safe Streets and Roads for All page.
May 2023: The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet launched a Road Safety Assessment initiative for fatal and serious injury pedestrian crashes in Jefferson County. The road safety assessments, conducted by state and local transportation engineers and planners, include biweekly field visits to crash sites and developing both site-specific and system-wide recommendations to improve roadway safety.
April 2023: Claire Yates (Vision Zero Louisville Program Manager) and Amanda Deatherage (Transportation Planner Supervisor) presented on Vision Zero Louisville at the 2023 Kentucky Lifesavers Conference, hosted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the University of Kentucky's Kentucky Transportation Center.
April 2023: The U.S. Department of Transportation released its Notice of Funding Opportunity for the next round of Safe Streets & Roads for All (SS4A) grant funding. The application deadline is July 10. Award announcements are expected to be made in late 2023. In February, Louisville won a $21 million SS4A implementation grant to reduce the number of roadway fatalities and serious injuries on 10 corridors.
March 2023: Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Public Works and Assets was selected to receive a Special Achievement in GIS award for maps and visualizations for Vision Zero Louisville, the city’s transportation safety initiative. The award is given by Esri, the leading geographic information systems (GIS) platform provider, to user sites around the world to recognize outstanding work with GIS technology. Last year, approximately 100 organizations in the U.S. received the award, including two in Kentucky.
March 2023: Vision Zero Louisville released its first annual report, outlining steps the city is taking to reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes in Louisville. Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed an ordinance last year calling for zero traffic fatalities by 2050. The annual report is a requirement of the ordinance.
"We must do everything in our power to make our roads safer for everyone, regardless of how you travel. Vision Zero is a new way of thinking, and it is achievable. For this reason, I will be working with our Department of Public Works to make Vision Zero a top priority," said Mayor Craig Greenberg.
February 2023: Louisville Metro Government's Center for Health Equity published Improving Public Safety Through Automated Enforcement, a policy brief on the topic. The brief identifies lessons learned from other cities and ways to reduce inequities when implementing an automated enforcement program.
February 2023: Louisville Metro Government was awarded a $21 million Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to fund safety improvements for 10 corridors in Louisville. The grant will be augmented by local and state investment for a total of nearly $27 million. This grant program advances Louisville's Vision Zero initiative to eliminate roadway fatalities by 2050. The rightsizing strategy for these 10 corridors is a Federal Highway Administration proven safety countermeasure. Rightsizing, also called a road diet or roadway reconfiguration, calms traffic and reduces speeding and weaving between lanes. Safer Speeds is one of five pillars of the Safe System Approach, which prioritizes safety and human vulnerability in the design and operation of a transportation system. Speeding increases both the frequency and severity of crashes and is a significant contributor to traffic deaths.
- January 2023: State Representative Rachel Roarx (D-38) introduced House Bill 73 in January to legalize automated enforcement in Kentucky. Rep. Roarx, Kentucky's youngest female elected state representative, will discuss her bill during the January Vision Zero Louisville Task Force meeting.
- December 2022: Safer Speeds is a pillar of the Safe System Approach, as reducing speeds is key to reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Therefore, Metro has begun a speed limit audit for Metro-owned roadways. Only seven (7) Metro-owned roadways have a posted speed limit greater than 35 MPH. These 7 roadways will be evaluated and considered for a speed limit reduction.
- November 2022: Transportation safety advocates and elected officials gathered for a vigil at Iroquois Park on November 20 to commemorate Louisville's first annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. The coalition is advocating for state legislation that enables the use of automated enforcement. A bill is expected to be filed in the upcoming Kentucky General Assembly's Regular Session, which begins in January. World Day of Remembrance is an international event, started in 1995 and adopted by the UN in 2005, honoring those killed on our roads each year and organizing for change to save lives.
"This event gives us an opportunity to come together, support each other in our pain, and demand change. No reset button can be pressed to bring back those killed, but the best way to honor them is by making our streets safer."
- Janet Heston, President of Matthew's Bridge, Inc.
- October 2022: The Taylor / New Cut Network team, led by the Southwest Dream Team and residents, has partnered with Louisville Metro Public Works, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and TARC to improve safety along the dangerous corridor. A state-funded Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) project is underway, led by consulting firm Burgess & Niple. Key points of the project include:
- Project Scope: Taylor Blvd/New Cut Rd (KY 1865) between I-264/W. Ashland Ave and Southside Dr/3rd Street Rd.
- Current Phase: Existing conditions analysis, including collecting traffic count and crash data.
- Upcoming Phase: Conceptual designs in collaboration with residents and stakeholders.
- Projects in progress include implementing Leading Pedestrian Interval, improving lighting, enhancing TARC transfer point at W. Kenwood Drive, and achieving ADA compliance at Park Road.
- September 2022: Louisville Metro Government submitted its application for the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program. The discretionary grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to support projects that reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries. For more information on Louisville's application and proposed projects, please click the button below.
- August 2022: Louisville was awarded $20.5 million in federal RAISE grants to fund Reimagine 9th Street and Broadway All the Way! Both were identified as priority projects through Move Louisville, the city's 20-year transportation plan. A master plan for Preston Street/Highway, which was also identified in Move Louisville, is currently underway.
- A $15.5 million implementation grant will help fund final design and construction of the Reimagine 9th Street project. The project, with an estimated total cost of $24.6 million, will transform 9th Street from a six-lane thoroughfare into a complete street with a large pedestrian area, protected bicycle facilities, dedicated bus lanes, green infrastructure, traffic-calming measures and smart signals. Louisville Metro Government worked with internationally renowned designers Gehl Associates and community residents to complete the conceptual plan. Work to finalize the designs and construction documents for Reimagine 9th Street will begin in 2023, with opportunities for further community engagement. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2025, with additional funding coming from local and state sources.
A $5 million planning grant will help fund design work for Broadway All the Way, making that project shovel-ready. Broadway All the Way will transform one of the city's most critical, and deadly, streets into a complete street with premium transit service.
- July 2022: Work has begun on safety improvements to Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue between Bonnycastle Avenue and E. Broadway in the Highlands. The improvements include curb extensions, upgraded intersection crossings, and over 100 street trees. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, is a collaboration among the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Louisville Metro Public Works, and TreesLouisville. The project is the result of a safety study completed in 2018.
Last updated: August 25, 2023
Vision Zero Louisville is managed by Louisville Metro Government's Department of Public Works and Assets.