The Paris-Lexington Road: Community-Based Planning and Context Sensitive Highway Design
Krista L. Schneider
The Paris-Lexington Road, located in the heart of the historic Kentucky Bluegrass Region, is a scenic, twelve-mile corridor between Lexington and Paris. Beginning in 1969, the state of Kentucky set out to widen the road and improve safety and capacity, a plan that lead to a bitter twenty-year battle pitting local conservationists, historians, and property owners against motorists and pro-development interests. The objections resulted in a 1979 federal court injunction that halted the project for fourteen years.
This Land and Community Design Case Study offers a critical review of the Paris-Lexington Road project, which has come to be regarded as the model for context-sensitive highway design in America. Krista Schneider describes the Paris-Lexington Road’s significance to landscape architects, regional and community planners and policymakers, and transportation officials. The author also addresses the role of landscape architects in highway design, and examines the many contemporary challenges and opportunities that were a part of the Paris-Lexington Road project.