Develop a multi-modal transportation network and infrastructure; seek collaboration with regional transit partners for the commuting public.
When people decide how to get from one point to another, it is very important to provide them safe and competitive options. According to walkscore.com, Lexington has an average walk score of 34, indicating a community car-dependent, where most errands require a car; a transit score of 25, demonstrating that only a few nearby public transportation options exist; and a bike score of 44, which falls within the lowest range, meaning Lexington is only somewhat bikeable, with minimal bike infrastructure.
Vehicles (or mobile sources) are a significant contributor to urban air pollution. Technology (cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels) will continue to reduce vehicle pollution, but more people living in an area generally equates to more vehicles on the road. Recent national trends show a decrease in personal vehicle miles of travel per person, and it is likely that this trend will continue. However, the population is also increasing, and the economy is entering a period of growth. Thus, it is anticipated that overall travel demand will continue to grow. If the community does not meet this increased demand in an efficient and multimodal manner, additional congestion may ensue, potentially compromising air quality.
From the public input analysis of the Lexington Area Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan in 2017, results show more than 60% of Lexington residents are interested in biking, but are concerned about using bicycles in the urban area. People report that biking seems difficult and dangerous, due to driver behaviors such as speeding, inattention, failure to yield at intersections, etc. Most people think biking is important for transportation and recreation, and they praised projects like Legacy Trail and the Town Branch Trail.
Mass transit options should be competitive in terms of economic value, comfort level and time consumption. Transit parking facilities, development within walking distance and pedestrian accessibility to transit stops are some of the tools to encourage people to take advantage of the mass transit option for commuting.
Regional commuting tools have great potential to expand those options, and additional organizations to collaborate on regional commuting should be explored. Lexington is a major employment hub for the Bluegrass area. In estimates from 2015 census data, 49.5% of Lexington workers live outside of Fayette county and commute into Lexington every day, while 50.5% are employed and living in Lexington-Fayette County. Commutes into and out of Fayette County primarily take place along the major arterials leading into and out of Lexington. As population and employment growth continues into the future, these major arterials will continue to serve these commuting patterns at the regional level. Recent data shows Lexington workers still rely highly on single-occupant vehicle driving. The infrastructure for multimodal commuting is in the MPO plan of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
Developers and employers should explore options to provide priority parking spaces for car-share vehicles, design for safe and easy ingress/egress during peak hours, and provide shuttles for residents to and from transit stops. New transit stop shelters should be designed with improved user comfort, such as clean, durable and comfortable seating, weather protection, and police signs to avoid illegal behaviors.