City celebrates safety improvements on Ninth Street at Muhammad Ali

November 28, 2018

Mayor Greg Fischer joined AARP Kentucky State President Charlotte Whittaker today to celebrate safety improvements at Ninth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard made possible by the AARP Livable Communities Initiative, which supports community efforts to increase livability and safety for residents of all ages.

The AARP initiative funds quick-action projects that build momentum for change in communities. AARP awarded Louisville $10,550 toward a $15,550 project that improves the intersection in three ways:

  • Upgrading crosswalks for greater visibility and pedestrian safety;
  • Adding plaza space and benches in front of an existing public art piece in the median;
  • And enhancing public art by adding a plaque to accompany Isaac Duncan III’s “Kae Me: The Lesson from the Black Star,” a piece that was erected in the median in 2003.

These improvements at one intersection is the first in a larger plan to reimagine Ninth Street as a safer, more pedestrian friendly corridor and add to the flow of investment into west Louisville, which totals about $1 billion over the past four years.

“Right now, we find that Ninth Street has unsafe pedestrian conditions, underutilized right of way and speeding cars. Our overall goal is to make Ninth Street safer for pedestrians, and the AARP grant is a great kickstart to the work,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “These improvements are part of about $1 billion in investment committee to west Louisville—including Passport Health Plan campus, Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, Beecher Terrace transformation and The Track On Ali.”

“AARP Kentucky is proud to support this community investment in pedestrian safety and making the neighborhood even more walkable,” said AARP Kentucky State President Charlotte Whittaker. “It’s an exciting example of how the AARP Community Challenge ‘quick action’ grant projects are helping make immediate improvements and jumpstarting long-term progress supporting residents of all ages.”

The grant is complemented by many projects along and adjacent to Ninth Street designed to break down this dividing point in our city:

  • Dixie Highway Bus Rapid Transit, which will run on Ninth Street when service begins in 2019;
  • Quinn Chapel stabilization starting in 2019;
  • The Knot, an inviting public art installation at Ninth & Main, debuting in early 2019;
  • Phase I of Beecher Terrace, a senior facility, finishing construction in 2019. Phase II, about 100 townhomes and apartments between 10th, 11th, Jefferson and Liberty streets will start in 2019.
  • And the extension of River Road west, which will connect to Waterfront Park Phase IV, starting in 2020;

The city has also applied for a BUILD grant to implement the Reimagine 9th Street corridor plan, which envisions an attractive, vibrant and safe connection between west Louisville and downtown. BUILD is the current iteration of TIGER, the grant that made has made improvements on Dixie Highway possible. The U.S. Department of Transportation will announce BUILD grant recipients by the end of the year.

Ninth Street from River Road to Broadway averages 142 crashes per year, and 255 jaywalkers per day. The city expects pedestrian and bike activity to increase along Ninth with the transformation of Beecher Terrace and the new Bus Rapid Transit line.

To learn more about the Reimagine 9th Street plan, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/advanced-planning/reimagine-9th-street