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Officials Dress Up Short Street Ahead Of Breeders' Cup

Josh James
New pedestrian-friendly crosswalks and expanded seating areas on Short Street

Pedestrians making their way down Lexington’s Short Street might notice the trek just got a little friendlier.

When you picture Short Street, the one-way downtown corridor bordering Cheapside Park and other popular hangouts, chances are Times Square in New York isn’t the first comparison that comes to mind. But the famously busy intersection turned pedestrian mecca is one of the models Downtown Development Authority president Jeff Fugate says city planners hoped to mimic on a small scale as officials prep for the Breeders’ Cup in October.

"With people in mind, what we did is we expanded the area of walks, we put in expanded sidewalks, we shortened crosswalks so it's safer for people to cross the street, we've added tables and benches so that you have a place to have lunch or sit outside and enjoy a conversation," he says.  

And adding some greenery to the brief stretch of road is award-winning gardener Jon Cartloftis, who also took some inspiration from the Big Apple.

The facelift comes as part of a pilot project meant to gauge whether the city can effectively draw more foot traffic downtown. Fugate says the city conducted a survey ahead of the changes and plans to follow-up with another in November.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.