Cities across the US have created Departments of Transportation (DOT’s) in recent years. DOT’s serve two primary functions: (1) they set clear priorities, and (2) they coordinate complex projects amongst internal and external agencies.
Louisville Metro Government has struggled in both regards in recent years. There is a disconnect on priorities. Goals set by one department are not respected and adhered to by other Metro departments.
More problematically, the projects the City has funded are not getting completed. As of fall 2022, for instance, fully funded projects to convert downtown streets to two-way and redesign Market St to be more bike/ped friendly have not even started. Unfortunately, many more examples exist where the City has been unable to coordinate and implement projects.
We propose that the City create a DOT to address these issues. A DOT would look at transportation holistically — considering long range planning, engineering restraints, parking needs, and transit viability, among other factors — and set a clear path forward. Additionally, the DOT would work to see that projects made their way to completion — starting with realistic budgets and ending with cooperative interagency coordination.