City celebrates safety improvements on Ninth Street at Muhammad Ali

November 29, 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.

These improvements at one intersection mark the first step 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.  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 improved the intersection in three ways:

  • Upgraded crosswalks for greater visibility and pedestrian safety;
  • Added plaza space and benches in front of an existing public art piece in the median;
  • Enhanced 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.

“The AARP grant is a great kick start to the work along Ninth Street of increasing pedestrian safety, better utilizing the public right of way and reducing speeding by motorists,“ said Mayor Greg Fischer. “These improvements are part of about $1 billion in investment committed to west Louisville—including the Passport Health Plan campus, the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, the 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 the perception of this thoroughfare as a 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 federal BUILD grant to implement the Reimagine 9th Street corridor plan, which envisions an attractive, vibrant and safe connection between west Louisville and downtown. 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