Cherokee Park Scenic Loop Reopening Fully To Cars On Labor Day

Aug 31, 2021 at 11:05 am
A cyclist takes a break in Cherokee Park.
A cyclist takes a break in Cherokee Park. Photo by Kathryn Harrington

The Cherokee Park scenic loop will be swarmed with cars once again on Sept. 6, when it fully reopens to traffic — just in time for Labor Day, a holiday known for picnics and outdoor activities. 

The Louisville Metro Council voted last week to lift partial road closures, citing issues with access to the park for people with mobility issues and those living farther away. Opponents said the loop was safer for pedestrians, cyclists and children without cars.

Cherokee Park first closed to cars at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. It’s now been closed, at least partially, for over a year. 

The city originally said the park would reopen fully to traffic on Wednesday, Sept. 1, but Metro Council President David James announced in a release last night that the city would be waiting until Monday in order to prepare the park. 

Louisville Parks and Recreation Director Dana Kasler said in a statement that the changes will “require a great deal of coordination” and include road striping and signage and barricade removal. 

“We want ensure the public has plenty of notice to alleviate as much confusion as possible,” said Kasler. 

Parks and Recreation employees will work throughout the week to prepare the loop for reopening. Their progress will depend on weather conditions. 

In a statement, James said, “We want to make sure everyone, including our employees, are safe as crews work to restore the Scenic Loop for automobile use. Labor Day seemed like the perfect date to have everything in place and reopened as part of the holiday.”

Louisville bicyclists are planning a slow ride through Cherokee Park on Wednesday before the changes take hold.

“City leaders are held hostage to a grumpy few who hate bicycles,” said former mayoral candidate Ryan Fenwick in a tweet promoting the event. (He is not an organizer.) “See you in the park Wednesday at 6pm.”