What we think: The plan for KY 53 is one for the future

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Ths is the way a road should be planned, and it sets the standard for our future.

We hope you studied the drawings of what Mount Eden Road someday may look like.

Maybe you even took the time to attend Tuesday night’s meeting when engineers and transportation officials were available to answer questions.

This road project is a very important step for Shelby County and Shelbyville – and we don’t say this simply because vehicles will be able to traverse the road more efficiently and safely.

The concepts presented by the state’s artists are in our view the sort of visionary and creative approach that we should adopt for all such projects in the future, a thoroughfare that provides the opportunity for pedestrians and cyclists to coexist peacefully with heavy traffic and thus create the sort of healthy community that would benefit all of us.

To be sure, the widening of the roughly 1.5 miles of KY 53 from Interstate 64 to U.S. 60 is long, long overdue.

Traffic has grown exponentially with development south of Shelbyville, and a road that was too narrow in 1968 has become in 2008 an impossible and dangerous funnel of traffic for motorists attempting to enter and exit the road.

A stoplight that was ill-positioned for residents and the creation of turn lanes to adjust traffic flow were all the remedies that could be had in those 40 years. Those were bandages “now” but not the “future.”

So “now” we understand that the good and proper repair will be completed, and we are elated to see that the “future” is included with the extra paths for pedestrians and cycles.

We would love to see this concept extended right through downtown Shelbyville and out 7th Street to Clear Creek Park and across 10th Street to Red Orchard Park.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to hop on your bike at, say, Weissinger Hills and ride right across town for your baseball or softball game? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to walk safely to the pool?

We would love for our citizens to be encouraged to leave their cars and use their feet, thus affording them the opportunity to be healthier, for our community to be healthier and for our energy supply to be healthier.

This widening project is important for traffic flow, but trails and sidewalks are important for blood flow.

And, in the long run – or ride – that is even more important.