Driving down Grinstead Drive today will definitely look a bit different than it did last week. Over the weekend construction began and was completed on the one mile section of Grinstead Drive in the Highlands between Cherokee Parkway and Bardstown Road. This section of Grinstead was pretty scary prior to the updates. In fact I wrote a blog post about it a long time ago called, “Grinstead Dr is scarier than clowns”. To me, it really has been a wicked scary road to drive on for a number of reasons. Hopefully all those reasons have been eliminated as of this week.
First, the new traffic pattern reduces the number of lanes of travel from four lanes to two. This is a key ingredient to reducing the number of accidents on this part of the road. If you drove down Grinstead Drive prior to these renovations you would know that the four existing lanes were sketchy at best. The far right lane on both sides of the street seemed more like a half lane, or a “clown-car lane” that simply did not accommodate a full sized vehicle. Also, since this is a main thoroughfare from the Highlands and downtown to I-64, four lanes of crazy people driving home from work as fast as they can frequently results in serious carnage.
Second, they have added a center turn lane for those wishing to turn left from either side of the street. This is a great addition since Grinstead Dr is a curvy mess. Before this renovation you could come off one of these major curves and find a car in your way at a dead stop waiting to turn. Not good. You would then be forced to pass the turning vehicle from the clown-car lane. Also not good. Especially since the closer you got to Bardstown Rd, the more likely someone would be parked in the clown-car lane, creating additional obstacles.
Third, bike lanes have been added to each side of Grinstead Dr. I personally will wait a few weeks before riding my bike down Grinstead for the simple fact that people just don’t pay attention. These changes to the traffic pattern need to be recognized by all drivers before I gamble on them. I think the bike lanes are great and I think we need more of them in this city, especially in the Highlands.
Finally, you can top all this off with some designated parking spots and fresh blacktop. Although Grinstead Dr was NOT the most beat up, cracked, cratered street in Louisville, it’s always nice to drive on fresh blacktop! There were also some grading issues that were addressed in order to keep standing water off the street. With a new facelift and smarter traffic patterns, Grinstead Drive will hopefully become one of the safer streets in the Highlands, but I would still watch out for clowns over the next few weeks.