May-June 2007 Newsletter
From the President
“Louisville will be Portland quicker than Portland became
I heard that enigmatic phrase at the League of American
Bicyclists’ Bike Summit, which was held in Washington, D.C., on
You may never have been to Portland, Ore., but I’ll bet that
you and every other cyclist know Portland’s reputation as a (the?)
pre-eminent bike-friendly city.
To say that Louisville is hot — in cycling circles — would be
an understatement. Listening to Mayor Abramson, the keynote
speaker, paint his vision for cycling in Louisville and hearing
the thunderous response of the audience, you wouldn’t know that
there was a time when many of us felt we lived in a cycling
backwater. So, you can imagine how heady it was for the Louisville
contingent to be spoken of in the same league as Portland.
Louisville stayed in the spotlight in an over-subscribed
learning session that was held after lunch. The panel focused on
the three things that helped drive Louisville’s success: the bike
summit model; money, public and private; and the Metro Loop, an
idea that has caught the community’s imagination.
Every community, no matter how well developed its cycling
infrastructure, can benefit from a bike summit and a group of
citizens like our bike task force to follow up on commitments. Of
course, they also need a mayor or other political leader to give
impetus to the effort and direct the city administration to help
implement the summit’s recommendations. If the cycling community has
ploughed the ground the political leaders will sow it.
Money is harder to come by. Very few towns will have $70 million
to spend on cycling facilities. (David Jones has or will raise about
$30 million and Sen. Mitch McConnell earmarked $38 million for the
Metro Loop and the city has added the rest on bike lanes and designs
for new facilities.) But every community can demand that cyclists
receive a share of the federal transportation funds allocated to
Finally, we can thank geography for the third driver of success.
The Ohio River, Floyd’s Fork and development-retarding karst geology
have created a route for the Metro Loop in a ring of parks circling
the county. I realize that many cyclists are concerned that the
Metro Loop — like the Big Four Bridge — is more recreation than true
transportation route. I say ride the wave, which, I’m convinced, will
swamp opposition to other cycling facilities and make it imperative
that bicycling connectors be included on arterials to the loop.
We have a long way to go before we get to Portland. But I believe
fervently that if we stay vigilant we’ll get there sooner and be in a
PREVIOUS ARTICLE |
LBC home |
Copyright ©2007 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
contact the for question and/or comment about this page.
web posted: 21 May 2007
last updated: 22 May 2007