Pedestrian safety improvements on Bardstown Rd.

Photo by https://flic'kr/p/5A9t49

Sometime in the past week, the City of Louisville rolled out a small, but important, change to the traffic patterns on Bardstown Rd and Baxter Ave in the Highlands.

It’s so minor, you might not even have noticed.

As of the beginning of last week, all crosswalk signs change to a walk signal for 3–5 seconds before the stoplight actually turns green.

While it seems small, the ramifications of this change are quite large.

It enhances pedestrian safety by given people a chance to start going through the intersection before traffic starts moving. This makes people more visible and gives slower people more time to cross, both of which reduces the chance for accidents.

In addition to the safety benefit, this also sets the stage for an important mental shift. Louisville drivers are some of the most entitled I’ve ever encountered when it comes to interactions with pedestrians.

This small shift finally gives foot traffic priority over vehicle traffic, an idea that everyone is going to have to get used to if we’re ever going to bring Louisville’s pedestrian fatality rate down.