In the weeks since my column about the history and future of Bardstown Road (and Baxter Avenue), I have been negotiating a set of commitments by the Fischer administration and others to help support the work we are doing to revitalize the corridor. Individually, they are baby steps; but taken as a whole it is a significant effort to reset expectations, build lasting partnerships and act now to make things better. The focus is on cleanliness, vibrancy and the concerns of area residents.
Chronologically, LMPD has already opened up late-night overtime pay availability to the entire department (not just the Fifth Division) to increase patrol in target areas, such as the 900 block of Baxter Avenue (including the Walgreens parking lot), Speedway and Mid City Mall.
On October 31st the Planning Commission will begin to consider changes to the Land Development Code relating to smoke and vape shops, including zoning, location and the approval process. Ultimately, the Commission will forward its recommendations to the Metro Council for legislation.
During the week of November 4th, Louisville Forward will conduct the first of two corridor-long code enforcement and zoning enforcement sweeps to address property maintenance violations. At the same time, the department will recruit the same property and business owners to apply for façade, accessibility and other local loan programs. Carrot and stick. The second sweep will be in the spring. (Louisville Forward will present more information to the Highland Commerce Guild on October 30th, 8:30am at Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana, 2440 Grinstead Drive.)
Louisville Forward has also agreed to fill the empty (since May) urban design position responsible for the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue Overlay District by no later than November, and to err on the side of the Architectural Review Committee rather than the staff level approval process going forward.
Beginning in December, we will provide for the first time some measure of due process to the public for renewal of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) liquor licenses. (See the Crime Report below.)
Finally, the administration is working to identify funding so that we can undertake Phase II of the Bardstown Road Corridor Safety Study in early 2020 – a detailed traffic Synchro model to support roadway reconfigurations (or not). (As I wrote two newsletters ago, implementation of the Phase I crosswalk improvements are funded and scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.)
I mentioned NGO partners, as well: With help from the volunteer-driven Bardstown Road Improvement Group (B.I.G.), we are auditing approximately 150 streetlights from Broadway to the Watterson Expressway to report outages, which LG&E will replace old high-pressure sodium lamps with new LED lights by the end of November.
Beginning next month, in partnership with the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (L.I.B.A.), we will launch a business attraction campaign to repopulate vacant storefronts that once catered mostly to visitors and tourists with neighborhood-serving retail, office and professional services.
And by the end of the year, in partnership with Block by Block and the Coalition for the Homeless, we will install half a dozen donation boxes along the corridor to reduce panhandling by directing money to member agencies that work collectively to serve the homeless in our community instead.
The road goes on forever but it begins here, with all of us.
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We are down to only six Old Cardinal Stadium Seating benches still in need of sponsorships! The locations are Grinstead Road at Bardstown; Bardstown Road at Stevens, Alfresco, Lauderdale and Woodbourne; and Barret Avenue at Ellison. The three-seat sponsorship at Grinstead costs $850 and the other two-seat sponsorships are $637.50. The plaques are a great, tax-deductible way to celebrate a loved one, show that your business supports the community or otherwise express yourself. Please contact me to get yours today. We will have them on the streets before Thanksgiving.
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In two weeks, I will be out of the office, so Jasmine, Taylor and Alex will be on eNews duty. Learn more about them and what they have been up to. It will be a good look at the inner workings of our office.
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