Saturday, August 13, 2011


As many of my longtime seven faithful readers know, I have a pet peeve about incorrect or ill-designed streetname signs. It has been a problem in Louisville since about 1986, with the dismissal of a former streetname sign worker in the Signs and Markings office of the former Louisville City government. Since that time, I've watched as Louisville's streetname signs have changed sizes, shapes, and degrees of accuracy over the years, usually not for the better. I have complained and complained to former members of the Board of Aldermen and former Directors of Public Works, all to no avail. I gave up officially complaining about six years ago.

But this entry isn't about the former City of Louisville, or the former County of Jefferson, or their successor-government, Louisville-Jefferson County Metro, although I have much to say on the same subject as it pertains to Louisville Metro, but not in this entry.

This entry concerns streetname signs you may have recently noticed in and around the University of Louisville campus. They are new and bigger than most of our standard signs, and they are red- and black-lettered in honor of the school's colors. They display the streetname and street-type designation (in an abbreviated form) as well as a direction where appropriate, and a block number. To my knowledge, they have all the streetnames correct. And, to my knowledge they have all the abbreviated designations correct although it took me a minute to figure out that OVPS means Overpass, as in the Denny Crum Overpass, which is co-signed with the inordinately long 100 block of Central Avenue, which runs about four blocks long all the way over to Crittenden Drive. The only longer 100 block of any street in Jefferson County is that of the Outer Loop, where the 100 block runs for about two miles from Third Street Road eastward to the Northern Ditch. But, I digress.

This discussion is about the block numbers U of L has posted on these beautiful new signs. The signs, I am told, were erected as part of a beautifying effort, perhaps to lure a professional fraternity designation to the school, perhaps not. If I were trying to beautify the campus, the least I would do is check the addresses to make sure that the new signs had correct block numbers. About 1/4 of all the new signs U of L has erected in this program are incorrect, which doesn't say much for our local college.

Several months ago I brought this to the attention of Dr. James Ramsey, the University's president, by pointing out several of these errors via his Facebook page. Dr. Ramsey responded that such matters were handled "somewhat below his level" and that he would look into it. Because of the respect I have had for Dr. Ramsey dating back to his budget days in state government, as well as the good work he has done during his U of L tenure, I expected something as simple as correcting a few streetname block numbers would be an easy task. Especially on a college campus where pizzas and Chinese food, and perhaps other commodities are regularly delivered, one would think such correct signage would be a given. These signs should and could also be helpful to police, fire, and EMS personnel in times of emergency, except these, which are incorrect, could possibly delay life saving assistance because the University apparently doesn't deem public safety an important enough issue to correct the signs.

I understand that Dr. Ramsey doesn't deal with correcting streetname block numbers. I was only bringing it to his attention. I believed him when he said others would look into the matter. Either they've ignored his assignment or he never made it. None of the incorrect signs I addressed to Dr. Ramsey several months ago have been corrected. Since that time, more incorrect signs have been erected. How diffiuclt can it be to ascertain a correct block number? Obviously, too difficult for the U of L sign erecting crew.

This afternoon me and a friend drove out 4th Street observing the dammge from this afternoon's powerful storms. There, in front of the Bettie Johnson Hall dorms, which are clearly marked with the address of 401 W. Cardinal Boulevard is a brand new streetname sign, directly in front of the building proudly, but incorrectly, proclaiming that section of road to be 300 W CARDINAL BLVD.

Such errors are uncalled for and should be addressed and corrected.


Anonymous said...

I believe that you and U of L are both wrong, the correct sign would read 300 W Brandeis Ave.

Anonymous said...

Brandeis is one block south of Cardinal. Not sure what Marty is talking about. We have a new dorm on 3rd and Brandeis but Johnson Hall is on Cardinal at 4th like Jeff says.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.