Yet Another Cyclist Hit in Louisville

(above photo of the accident scene from the Courier-Journal)

The Courier-Journal reported this morning that yet another bicyclist in Louisville was hit by an auto driver, yesterday evening:

A 42-year-old Louisville man was charged with driving under the influence after police said he struck a bicyclist riding in the 1100 block of East Broadway early last evening, a Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman said.

Robert Kahafer was arrested about five miles from the scene of a hit-and-run accident that sent a woman to the hospital shortly after 6 p.m., police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said.

Kahafer was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, having an open container in his vehicle, lacking insurance and failing to notify the transportation department of an address change, she said.

The woman was taken to University Hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, Smiley said. She was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, which happened in the eastbound lanes of Broadway.

Police said Kahafer was trying to go around the cyclist in the left lane when his 1992 Buick Riviera struck her from behind. There was no one else in the car at the time and no one else was injured, Smiley said.

Kahafer was in custody at Louisville Metro Corrections last night and was scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. today

This incident comes on the heels of the tragic death of Jen Futrel, as we reported yesterday. All we can really say about this is the following: first, we hope Kahafer is prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows. Secondly, it’s about time Mayor Abramson showed a little more leadership in terms of driver education and traffic enforcement. The transportation grants from the state announced last week are nice, but — as we’ve said repeatedly — clearly more must be done to make biking safer in Louisville.

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3 Responses to “Yet Another Cyclist Hit in Louisville”

  1. As a new resident here in Louisville I have relied solely on my bicycle, and now my moped as well, to get around. My first suggestion of a simple solution is to DECREASE THE SPEED LIMIT ON BARDSTOWN ROAD. Why on earth is it 35mph? If there is a group, meeting, protest, awareness campaign — ANYTHING happening with regards to slowing down the texting, speeding, already distracted drivers on Bardstown Road please let me know. I am here and willing to help.

  2. Suggestions for a bike friendly city:
    1. reduce speed limits on Bardstown,Grinstead, Frankfort Ave, Lexington Road especially around blind spots
    2. have a bike day where there is no parking allowed on one side of Bardstown Road. The stores might make more MONEY since more people could park their bikes then park their cars. Bikers use back packs for shopping items. I could plan a shopping day with my bike, visit with other cool people at the restaurants, barrs, boutiques, ect. Bike/shop day.
    3. How can you encourage biking when there aren’t bike paths. How many more people will die?

    I would like to bike on Bardstown Road, Frankfort Ave. to shop for books,gifts,clothes and food but I feel like I am risking my life each time.

    The drivers from the East end aren’t used to watching out, yielding to bikers. They don’t respect bikets and are oblivious to the bikers who ride at night without their lights on.

  3. stateofthecommonwealth Says:

    I agree that the city needs many more bike paths, and hopefully as part of the Kentucky state transportation grants that were just announced, they’ll be established.

    As for bike/pedestrian days, New York City did something like that this summer where Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was closed on certain days. From what I understand it was successful. I’m not sure I see it happening in Louisville, at least not under the current administration. Even on parking-deprived and relatively foot traffic-friendly Bardstown Road, I’d bet that many of the merchants would be opposed to a no-car day, which would be a shame. That said, given that New York’s been leading the way on urban public policy (think of the smoking ban, for one), perhaps in the next five years or so, it could happen.

    As to “East End” drivers, well the problem isn’t entirely confined to one part of the city. Bicyclists have died on the Outer Loop and Dixie Highway this year, too.

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