Summary of Most Recent Public Comments

Summary of Public Comments on the Brownsboro Road – Road Diet Project

As Submitted to Louisville Metro Public Works (LMPW)

March 30, 2012 – April 29, 2012

May 16, 2012

The comments as summarized herein are provided by the Safe42.org group, an advocacy group recommending implementation of the project.  The views expressed here are solely of the group and not necessarily reflective of others involved or associated with it.  [To download and view a .PDF file of this document plus the associated data spreadsheet, click here .] 

Introduction

Louisville Metro Public Works (LMPW) instituted another public comment period regarding the proposed Brownsboro Road – Road Diet Project.  The comment period was undertaken to solicit further public feedback on the proposed project.  The comment period began on March 30, 2012 and closed on April 29, 2012.  The public could either submit comments in writing or send them via electronic means to LMPW. 

The notice language can be seen here.  

Through an Open Records Request to LMPW, the Safe42.org group obtained a digital record of the comments submitted to Metro with specific personal identification information redacted from the comments.  Subsequently, members of the group analyzed the comments and made a summary of them tallying whether or not the comment was for the project – Pro, against the project – Con, their reason(s) and whether or not the person submitting the comment was a neighborhood resident, a commuter, and business owner or some combination. 

Summary of Comments

In all, LMPW received approximately 398 comments during the 30-day comment period.  Most were submitted electronically.  Of the comments analyzed, 159 were for the project (Pro) representing 42% shown in BLUE and 218 were against the project (Con) representing 58% show in RED - a 16 percentage point spread. 


pir chart  w/ commuters


Note that the responses tallied do not add up to 398 because some responses were either:  1) duplicates, 2) heavily redacted so the disposition of the comment was not known, and/or  3) missing with only a transmittal or mention of a comment. 

Overall, the commuters and business owners tend to be against the project and the residents of the neighborhood tend to be for it.  Most who are against it are worried erroneously about added delays and extended travel times, despite the fact that LMPW’s own analysis indicates only marginal increases in travel times of 4 to 10 seconds per trip.  Of those opposed, many respondents also indicated that they would rather see the installation of traffic signals and/or mid block pedestrian crossings rather than the reduction in lanes.  No new alternative solutions were identified.  None of the proffered  solutions are warranted per the regulatory standards nor, as shown in earlier studies, would they prove to be effective in solving the problem.  Commuters fail to realize the fundamental functions of  Brownsboro Road:  US 42 is an arterial highway and commuter route for them, but it also serves the important function as a local “road” for those residents in the Crescent Hill, Clifton and Clifton Heights neighborhoods.  More importantly, for those that are visually or physically impaired or who do not own an automobile, the sidewalks of the roadway are the “local street” for these individuals.  Business owners are fearful that slower volumes of traffic and controlled access, with reduced speeds will be harmful to businesses when the overwhelming body of national research on the subject points to the contrary.  Local residents are almost uniformly citing increased safety for all (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists) as their reason for supporting the project. 

Removing the comments from those identified as “commuters” – approximately 42 comments, a set of respondents who have a self-serving interest against the project, reveals a smaller split of respondents and a closer percentage of respondents who are Pro (Blue) vs. Con (Red).  The graph below shows the percentage split if the “commuters” are removed from the data set.   


pie chart w/ no commuters


In all cases, most of the Con or against the project comments cite erroneous reasons as to why the project should not proceed including comments related to increased traffic congestion and commuter travel times, opposition to “two laning” the road, the curious notion that sidewalks are an expensive “luxury,” or that the installation on the north side will benefit only a few individuals. 

Conclusion

While certainly not scientific, in terms of the number or nature of comments, Safe42.org’s interpretation of the results indicate that the there is support for the project where it counts most – in the community most readily affected by the project or to be affected by project inactivity.  More importantly, the overwhelming majority of Con or against comments - either from commuters, or business owners or even neighborhood residents -fail to articulate a fact-based argument as to why the project should not proceed.  Like many endeavors of this nature, the comments against the project are born of fear, misinformation, and the notion that change and the risk aversion to such is more than the project’s benefits, while professional research, years of practical application and LMPW’s own analysis indicate otherwise.   Thus as evidenced by the rational technical arguments and support for the project locally, we overwhelmingly urge LMPW to implement the project as soon as practicably possible. 





Subpages (1): Public Comment Notice
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Kevin McAdams,
May 30, 2012, 5:34 PM