A little over $800,000 of a $7.9 million Centers for Disease Control grant is being used to develop and implement signage for the Louisville Loop. On Tuesday night, February 8, a public meeting was held at Farnsley-Moremen Riverside to get input on the plans.
About 45 people attended the meeting which was led by staff from Louisville Metro Parks and HNTB. HNTB is a large infrastructure design firm tasked with developing a master plan for the Louisville Loop signage. They gave a 40-minute PowerPoint presentation that began with some stern facts about the dangers of obesity and rates of obesity in Jefferson County. Apparently, this portion of the program was designed to show that we really are going to combat obesity with stylish and functional signage.
Ah yes, the signage. The preliminary drafts of the signage do look very nice and the HNTB people went to great lengths to show how the signs would direct people to and from the Loop and within the Loop. We've all dealt with confusing, inconsistent, and absent signage, so this "wayfinding" master plan is actually pretty important. It will set the design standards for the entire Loop.
At present, though, the maps and plans on display at the meeting focused only on the RiverWalk/Levee Trail -- the 21 miles that stretch from downtown to Farnsley-Moremen Riverside. With $200,000 allocated to the master plan, there remains $615,000 for "implementation." That's grant language which translates to buying signage and putting it in the ground. Sounds like a lot of money, but it will be just enough to pay for the directional signs and a few interpretive/historical signs. By spring, a pilot project will be installed at Lannan Park, and the final plan for sign locations wil be decided. March 2012, is the target date for completion of sign installation.
I found the staff at the meeting very open to questions and input. After the presentation, there were several map stations where you could put your suggestions for sign locations as well as notes about interesting features worthy of interpretive signs.
Another Louisville Loop public meeting is Tuesday, February 15, 6:00 PM at Farnsley-Moremen Riverside. This one will focus on the connection between the RiverWalk and Fairdale. Your opinion is much more likely to be heard in the early stages of these plans, so please try to attend.
Photo: Shawn Nevins