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Council Weighing Options To Avoid Repeat Of Traffic Fiasco


Urban County Councilman Russ Hensley says he witnessed firsthand the nearly legendary traffic backup caused by the Luke Bryan concert at Talon Winery, which had concertgoers up in arms.

"It was quite a sight," Hensley told the council. "The police were kind enough to let me fly in Air One to let me get a bird's eye view. And literally, I shared some pictures with the council people and I've tweeted one of them out. The traffic was backup from Talon Winery all the way to Dove Run on Tates Creek inside New Circle Road. It was bumper to bumper outbound."

Officials estimate 20,000 attendees flocked to the show this week, but Lexington city leaders say when it comes to regulating the event, their hands were tied thanks to a 2006 Board of Adjustments decision permitting wineries to hold functions like Tuesday's concert.

One solution, according to city planning commissioner Derek Paulsen , would be to require a permit for such events. To that end, the council agreed to refer the matter to the public safety and planning committee for review.

In light of the traffic congestion , one council member is urging officials in charge of road construction and maintenance to hold off on major projects during the city’s Breeder’s Cup festival.

During a meeting Thursday, Fifth District councilman Bill Farmer worried aloud about road work that could throttle traffic.

"I don't want work that is needed and projects that are ongoing to be interrupted, but the week of Breeder's Cup, if we can keep from blocking streets where me might be repairing a manhole, someone else might be laying a piece of pipeline or something, I just think the less things that are in the way while folks are in town, perhaps the better off we all might be," he said.

Lexington CAO Sally Hamilton said city commissioners will put their heads together and work to minimize work in potential trouble spots.

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.