Is Louisville Kentucky a water city or not? A good description of Louisville might go something like this; ‘a city located on the Ohio River, but has chosen to isolate itself from nature’s beauty & power.’
The edge of downtown spreading into West Louisville has the potential to be the next step in the evolutionary narrative of Louisville. Unfortunately, there is a very large divide separating this area from the beauty & potential of the Ohio River.
Interstate 64 running west from I-65 to I-264, figure 1 below, is prime for development connecting the city. The concrete jungle only allows for the convenience of shuttling automobiles around this area. This divide should be transformed into multidimensional growth potential, bringing together this great city.
Cities across the country have already come to this conclusion & removed sections of interstate in their downtowns, e.g., Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Chattanooga, & Milwaukee.
Reforming this section would create unlimited development potential in numerous areas, but I do not think the correct solution is removing. Instead of removing & creating a lot of waste, lets create an area as unique as the surrounding neighborhoods.
I propose something irreplaceable & different. Keep this section of the interstate & develop into an extension of downtown & surrounding neighborhoods. Has anyone heard of NYC’s High Line Park? It’s amazing. Lets improve on this great idea for Louisville. This development would serve as a symbol of the city’s uniqueness, along with a catalyst for an explosion of growth.
Boutique shops & restaurants would bring life to fill the voids missing from the waterfront, Figure 2 below. Louisville must take advantage of the waterfront. The Waterfront Park is amazing & provides numerous benefits for the city. There is even talk about developing the Waterfront Park into West Louisville, which needs to happen. Parks are beautiful & provide numerous benefits, but more is required for excitement. Blending downtown, Waterfront Park, & West Louisville into a thriving neighborhood. Create a pedestrian haven where businesses are surrounded by trees & plants.
Lets create an area dedicated to localize traffic instead of an ever-expanding waistline, Figure 3 below. Currently there are six lanes of traffic divided into two sections: east & west traffic. The section traveling west would turn into businesses & parks. East bound section would be developed into a two way street with parking spaces. Underneath are currently four lanes of traffic. The same idea could occur, i.e. two lane road & parking with stairs / elevators going to the neighborhood in the sky.
The Ninth Street ramp would also be redeveloped in the same philosophy, Figure 4 below. This will become a unifying area where local traffic of automobiles & pedestrians are accessing the neighborhood in the sky. Reintroduce the ramp into the urban framework, leading to growth in the surrounding areas.
The possibilities are endless.