LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The state of Kentucky ranks 37th for the number of commuters that bike or walk to work and at Falls City Community BikeWorks they provide the tools and expertise to fix the bikes. 

What You Need To Know

  • Falls City Community BikeWorks open shop is open to the public and has bikes, tools, parts and volunteers who can teach you how to repair your bike

  • Nathan Green is the open shop manager at Falls City who is now recovering after a hit-and-run crash

  • There have been 67 reported bicycle accidents so far this year in Jefferson County

“A place for people to learn about bicycle repair and it’s also supposed to be a community place where people can come to work on their bikes and also ask questions,” John Krueger, co-founder of Falls City Community BikeWorks said.

A mission Krueger has strived to provide for the last eight years, but many who use a bike as their primary source of transportation like Falls City’s members are concerned about the future.

“I was on Broadway with an 800 lumen light that was as bright as a car’s headlight and I was turning left onto a street. The driver was turning left onto Broadway and they hit my back tire and my left leg,” Rob Monsma, advocate with Streets for People, said. 

Ten years ago, Monsma made the switch from four wheels to two wheels.

Falls City Community BikeWorks co-founder John Krueger teaching a Louisville resident how to fix his bike. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)

“What can go wrong in a situation like this is that an inattentive driver kind of comes into the bike lane and clips you from behind,” Monsma said. “Obviously paint is not enough to stop a 1,200 pound vehicle from occupying the same space as you.”

According to the Kentucky State Police data portal, in 2021 there were 114 reported bicycle accidents and there have been 67 so far this year.

Nathan Green is a survivor of one of those accidents. On most nights, he would serve as the open shop manager at Falls City Community BikeWorks, but instead he’s recovering after a hit-and-run crash.

“Bicycling should not be a risk of life. It should be something you should be expected to do safely in our city. It’s a form of transportation like any other,” Krueger said.

That’s exactly why bicyclists are pushing for change.

“This is a buffer protected bike lane. You also have bike lanes that don’t have this three-foot buffer from the traffic,” Monsma said. “What we would really like to see is physical barriers separating the bike lanes from the driver lanes.”

Such a move could help with the safety and future of walking, biking and transit.

Since 2020, there have been 320 reported bike accidents in Jefferson County according to the Kentucky State Police data portal