Council Votes to Make West Main Safe
Passed by the Georgetown Council on February 8, 2016
CITY OF GEORGETOWN
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF GEORGETOWN REGARDING SAFETY ON WEST MAIN STREET
WHEREAS, the City of Georgetown, Kentucky, population 31,653, is the ninth largest city in the Commonwealth and is estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 2.67%, making it the fastest growing in the Commonwealth among cities above 3,000 population; and
WHEREAS, U.S. Census trends forecast that the City will become the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth within the next two years; and
WHEREAS, Georgetown has a proud history of being a walkable city, and the Council wishes to ensure that it remains so by encouraging its residents and visitors explore the downtown area on foot; and
WHEREAS, walking or bicycling to work is a way of life for many residents, and the Council wishes to foster a safe environment for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike; and
WHEREAS, West Main Street/U.S. 460/Frankfort Pike between Broadway and Paynes Depot Road is heavily traveled by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians; and
WHEREAS, the area immediately surrounding West Main Street is densely populated with numerous single family homes, multi-family housing complexes and commercial businesses; and
WHEREAS, West Main Street is a bus route connecting downtown to Western Elementary and Elkhorn Crossing School; and
WHEREAS, Water Street, which intersects West Main Street, is experiencing tremendous growth and revitalization and is one of the City’s most important tourist attractions; and
WHEREAS, West Main Street is a state highway maintained by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; and
WHEREAS, the Georgetown City Council specifically finds that West Main Street has significant pedestrian and traffic safety problems, to wit: Street lighting is inadequate. There are too few streetlights, and the existing light fixtures are obscured by dense tree cover, greatly reducing their effectiveness.
The sidewalks are inadequate. There are no sidewalks starting from Montgomery Avenue to Paynes Depot Road. Between Highland Avenue and Royal Springs Street, the sidewalks are not contiguous and tend to discourage rather than encourage pedestrian use. In several locations the sidewalks are not wheelchair accessible.
The road is too narrow. Between Water Street and Hillside Drive, the road is too narrow to support the current vehicular traffic load, especially when combined with pedestrian and cyclist use.
The shoulders are too narrow. On the north side of West Main Street, heavy vegetation and a rock wall border closely to the road. Further west, the terrain drops sharply, necessitating a guard rail. On the South side, a combination of steep slopes, stormwater infrastructure and landscape installations such as rock walls all but erase the shoulder.
These factors, combined with the road’s speed limit and traffic load and the population density make for an unsafe situation for motorists, cyclists and
pedestrians. Pedestrians are forced to walk in the road. The same terrain features that make the shoulder too narrow also encourage or force pedestrians to walk in the road.
On numerous occasions, pedestrians have been observed walking in the street along West Main Street. Several persons have been observed pushing strollers in the road. Because the road is too narrow, motorists have no way of
safely avoiding pedestrians or cyclists.
In 2013, Ms. Loretta Wallace of Georgetown was struck and killed on West Main Street at Kentucky Avenue. She was walking in the road in an area with no
sidewalks on either side. Having a sidewalk might have avoided this tragedy.
Speed limit and population density signage is inadequate. Motorists traveling east bound on 460 are given inadequate warning of rapid reduction in the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph to 35 mph or of the equally quick increase in population density. The area where Ms. Wallace was struck and killed has a dense population, and the posted speed limit is 45. There are few if any indications to motorists
of the potential for pedestrians in the roadway.
There are no designated crosswalks at any point on West Main Street west of Broadway.
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City of Georgetown, as follows:
The City Council hereby respectfully requests that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet fully investigate the concerns identified n this Resolution; that KYTC incorporate its findings into a written report to the Council; that KYTC use this Resolution and the results of its investigation to seek funding in the Commonwealth Road Plan for improvements to the road infrastructure on West Main Street, including installing sidewalks and street lights, street widening, right-of-way acquisition, and other improvements identified as necessary by its investigation and report.
This RESOLUTION was approved by vote of the City Council, City of Georgetown on the 8th of February,
CITY OF GEORGETOWN
By: Tom Prather, Mayor
Tracie Hoffman, City Clerk/Treasurer