Frankfort Avenue workshop

12 Feb Upper Frankfort Avenue

The northern section of Frankfort Avenue is in transition. New developments along River Road, including RiverPark Place and the future site of Waterfront Botanical Gardens, are transforming the downtown gateway to the Butchertown, Clifton, and Crescent Hill Neighborhoods. The intersection of Pope Street, ¾ of a mile south along Frankfort Avenue, is developing into a strong neighborhood commercial and activity node. In between Pope and River Road, the nodes and land uses are a fragmented, but great collection of neighborhood businesses and other amenities. With the rapidly changing dynamic of this area, how can we proactively begin to develop a vision for this important corridor so that we can be ready to inform an actionable plan when infrastructure investment funds become available?

To begin a dialog around improving the corridor, the Urban Design Studio, with the assistance of Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning, held an informal discussion and workshop on December 15th, 2014 with local stakeholders and interested individuals. The main goal of the discussion was to begin to identify some of the opportunities and challenges of the current state of the corridor and spark discussion around its potential.

The attendees reviewed the area and broke out into groups to contribute their thoughts on different sections of the corridor, followed by further discussions during a report-out session. The following interactive map lists the opportunities and challenges identified. Clicking on the markers brings up more information about each point on the map. Blue points indicate “opportunities or assets,” while the red points highlight “challenges.”

Opportunities and Challenges along Upper Frankfort Avenue
Map Key

As you can see from the map, the groups identified a number of opportunities and challenges along the corridor. Some general comments made included:
Develop continuous bicycle and pedestrian access from St. Matthews to River Road
Improve circulation and connectivity between Mellwood Avenue, Story Avenue, and Brownsboro Road
Clifton and Butchertown Preservation Districts should guide the use of materials and streetscape design

This workshop is the starting point of a process to proactively gain input on the strengths and weaknesses of the corridor and informs a scope for a formal plan. Though funding sources and timelines for a formal plan have not yet been identified, investment is happening in the corridor and more is anticipated. Ideally, an informed plan to address the streetscape and corridor needs would be timed to begin as the Waterfront Botanical Gardens’ first phase is nearing completion (likely 2017-18) to address immediate traffic safety concerns and begin to unify the corridor.

The next steps in this effort will be to broaden the discussion on the corridor and begin looking at the specific opportunities and challenges to determine potential low-hanging fruit that might help in a pre-vitalization effort. How can we improve the corridor now with low-cost initiatives that build momentum for future permanent change? How can public art, tactical urbanism, and civic experimentation lead to better planning and a bright future for this important gateway corridor?

If you are interested in being involved in the discussion please email us. We will post information on future discussions on our website.