Pedestrian Safety

To reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities, all five elements of the Safe System Approach must work in tandem. Roads should be safer through sidewalks, highly visible crosswalks, and lighting; speeds should be kept to a life-saving level; vehicles should be equipped with pedestrian warning features and passenger vehicles should be designed with pedestrian safety in mind; and post-crash care should be fast enough and robust enough to save the pedestrian's life. Below are helpful resources for improving pedestrian safety.

Sidewalks

View a map of sidewalks and other facilities on state-owned roads

Note: Louisville Metro Public Works does not currently offer a map of Metro-owned sidewalks.


Mid-block crossings

Mid-block crossings offer pedestrians and bicyclists approved locations to legally cross a street other than a fully controlled intersection. These crossings are typically installed in areas with high pedestrian activity and along pedestrian or bicyclist desire lines. In March 2023, Vision Zero Louisville released an inventory of all mid-block crossings in Jefferson County. This list can be used by the public, researchers, and roadway owners, such as Louisville Metro Government or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, to prioritize safety improvements at existing midblock crossing locations and help standardize criteria for considering requests for new crossings or evaluate existing locations. The list will be updated periodically as crossings are modified, added, or removed.

Explore mid-block crossings on Louisville Metro's Open Data Portal


Roadway Lighting

Approximately 75% of all fatal pedestrian crashes occur during periods of darkness. Therefore, adequate roadway illumination is an essential component to improving pedestrian safety. An inventory of Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) light generating devices, including street lights, is available through Louisville Metro's Open Data Portal.

In 2022, a lighting study commissioned by Louisville Metro Public Works used crash and crime data to prioritize areas where additional lighting was most needed in the Urban Services District.

Urban Services District Lighting Study - Introduction and Summary (March 2022)

Urban Services District Lighting Study (2022)

Top 20 Crash & Crime Locations for Additional Lighting

RankLocation
1Bardstown Rd (US 31E) & Goldsmith Ln
2Taylor Blvd (US 60A) & Longfield Ave
3New Cut Rd (KY 1865) & 3rd Street Rd/Southside Dr (KY 907)
4Algonquin Pkwy (KY 2054) & 7th Street Rd (KY 1931)/S 7th St
5Taylor Blvd (KY 1865) & W. Ashland Ave/I-264 EB Ramps
6Taylorsville Rd (KY 155) & Breckenridge Ln (KY 1932)
7Baxter Ave (US 31E) & E. Breckinridge St
8W. Broadway & Southwestern Pkwy
9New Cut Rd (KY 1865) & Palatka Rd (KY 1142)
10W. Broadway & S. 26th St
11Eastern Pkwy (US 60A) & Bradley Ave
12Taylor Blvd (KY 1865) & Bluegrass Ave
13S. Preston St (KY 61) & S. Jackson St (KY 61)
14Taylor Blvd (US 60A) & Central Ave
15E. Broadway (US 150) & S. Hancock St
16W. Broadway (US 150) & S. 22nd St (US 31W)
17W. Broadway & S. 28th St
18W. Broadway (US 150) & Dr. W. J. Hodge St (US 31W)
19Algonquin Pkwy & S. 41st St
20Preston Hwy (KY 61) & Grade Ln

 

Research prepared for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration:

FHWA Lighting Handbook (2023)

Pedestrian Lighting Primer (2022)

Research Report: Street Lighting for Pedestrian Safety (2020)

For additional resources on lighting, visit FHWA's page on Roadway Lighting.


No Turn on Red

In the 1970s, in an effort to conserve gasoline and reduce air pollution, the federal government incentivized states and municipalities, with the exception of New York City, to allow motorists to turn right on red. Today, in most parts of the country, right on red is permitted by default, unless signed otherwise. However, faced with the task of improving public safety and with the rise of electric vehicles, cities across the country are revisiting this gasoline-saving strategy, including Washington, D.C.Berkeley, and Seattle.

In Kentucky, right on red is permitted by default. However, Louisville Metro Government may, on roads it owns, prohibit right on red (or, in the case of one-way streets, left on red) on a case-by-case basis after a close analysis of turning movements and crash history. The map below shows signalized intersections that prohibit a turning movement on red. (Note: Map data as of 2020.)

View larger map


Vulnerable Road User Road Safety Assessments

In May 2023, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet launched a Road Safety Assessment initiative for fatal and serious injury pedestrian and bicyclist 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.


Plans and Studies

 

Kentucky Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment (2023)

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directed each state to complete an initial Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Safety Assessment by November 15, 2023, as a part of its Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). The assessment must contain an overview of VRU safety performance, an analysis that identifies high-risk areas, consultation with stakeholders, identification of strategies to address VRU safety, and application of  the Safe System Approach to VRUs. This assessment plan must be submitted as an attachment to the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and updated each year a new SHSP is published.

Among the study's top 25 highest risk routes and top 25 highest risk intersections in Kentucky, Jefferson County locations total 18 and 19, respectively. Even controlling for population, vulnerable road users in Jefferson County were the most likely to be killed or seriously injured in Kentucky.

Read the Kentucky Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment (2023)

Kentucky's Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (2022)

Read Kentucky's Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (2022)

Understanding Pedestrian Crashes in Louisville, KY (2013)

The Understanding Pedestrian Crashes in Louisville, KY report identified trends, high-risk populations, and high-crash locations to target efforts to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The report authors used five (5) years of pedestrian crash data (2006-2010) to develop this report.

Read the Understanding Pedestrian Crashes Report in Louisville, KY (2013)

Louisville Pedestrian Master Plan (2010)

Louisville's Pedestrian Master Plan sets forward our vision and goals, provides an overview of existing conditions, explains the planning process that was undertaken to complete the Master Plan, recommends new pedestrian projects and programs, establishes performance measures and sets forward a plan for implementation through the year 2030. The 2010 Louisville Pedestrian Master Plan has two primary goals: (1) to improve and expand current pedestrian deficiencies – by preparing a capital improvement process that enables Louisville to increase that pedestrian facility network through retrofitting and expanding current deficient sidewalk and pedestrian crossing locations between 2010 and 2030, and (2) to simultaneously reduce the rate of pedestrian crashes between 2010 and 2030.

Read the Louisville Pedestrian Master Plan (2010)

 

Last updated: December 22, 2023

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