Tactical Urbanism Salon
800 Block of East Market Street
Louisville, Kentucky
This project was in collaboration with Louisville Metro and Street Plans
Reimagining and actively visualizing future streetscape improvements of the 800 block of East Market Street through tactical urbanism

The Urban Design Studio brought Mike Lydon to Louisville to discuss tactical urbanism during a Sustainable City Series event with the public on June 21st at Fresh Start in NuLu. Mike Lydon was joined by a panel of local urbanists including Shane Corbin of the City of Jeffersonville, Dana Jackson of NC3, Patrick Piuma of the UDS, and moderator Gabe Bullard from Louisville Public Media.

Sustainable City Series event poster and image
Sustainable City Series Event at Fresh Start Growers Supply

The following day was the Tactical Urbanism Salon, where local urbanists and other community members gathered to reimagine the 800 block of East Market Street based on conceptual plans that would potentially redesigned the block and include the original Olmsted design with a vegetated median. The purpose of the salon was to physically demonstrate aspects of the plan so that participants could get involved in the process and  see an example of what was proposed rather than looking at plans on paper.

In preparation of the Tactical Urbanism Salon, Piuma worked with Dirk Gowin of Public Works on the reverse-angle parking demonstration by marking off where each line needed to be for official parking spaces. This portion of East Market has existing diagonal parking on both sides of the street. Reverse-angle parking essentially flips the parking so that the driver backs into the space and is in a position to be able to see on-coming traffic better, particularly when there is a bike lane between the parking and travel lanes.

Dirk of public works marking locations for reverse angle parking
Dirk Gowin of Public Works marking locations for reverse angle parking demonstration

On the day of the event, volunteers used the pre-marked locations to install the reflective traffic line tape.

volunteers installing reverse angle parking demonstration
Volunteers installing reverse angle parking demonstration

Other groups of volunteers, including Patrick Henry, Steven Ward and Jeremy Semones helped coordinate efforts to install temporary curb extensions with seating made from hay bales, as well as an arrangement of borrowed plants from Wallitsch Nursery.

volunteers coordinating hay bale seating
Volunteers coordinating hay bale seating and plant arrangements  (photo by Mary Beth Brown)

Steve Paradis, owner of Fresh Start Growers Supply, lent out an assortment of large trees that he also brought over on his skid-steer to simulate the treed media from Olmsted's original design.

treed median coordination
Treed median coordination
steve paradis and his fork lift
Steve Paradis of Fresh Start lending his forklift skills to place large trees
mike lydon and patrick piuma review progress of tactical urbanism install
Mike Lydon and Patrick Piuma reviewing the progress (photo by Mary Beth Brown)
volunteers decorating the temporary treed median
Volunteers decorating the temporary treed median
pop-up lemonade stand
Pop-up lemonade stands  (photo by Mary Beth Brown)
temporary curb extension, plantings and seating
Temporary curb extension, plantings and seating
volunteers relaxing in some temporary shade
Volunteers Porter Stevens and Ken Wilson relaxing in some temporary shade

Approximate 45 people showed up to participate in the Tactical Urbanism Salon. The UDS received a lot of great feedback from the event both about the process of using tactical urbanism to engage the public, but also related to thoughts on the streetscape redesign.

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