Louisville, Ky., – One Louisville man is on a mission to get the Louisville Loop completed and give its wanderers an easy way to take advantage of all the wonders the partially completed thoroughfare offers. All it took was a case of stir-crazy and not having a map.
“Last Winter sucked. Like a lot of people, I went stir-crazy and had to get out of the house. In my quest for space to roam, I drove to the far reaches of Floyds Fork Park, walked back into the woods, and stumbled on the Louisville Loop,” said Tom Johnson. “In the dark days of February, to give myself incentive to leave the fireplace once in a while I made a point of walking a different parts of the Loop. The Loop has completed sections all over. The trail through the spectacular Floyds Fork parks is an idealized vision of what the Loop might be some day. The Loop is more-or-less complete from the far southwest corner of Jefferson County along the river and through neighborhoods to Waterfront Park. There is an endearing couple of miles along Pond Creek off Manslick Road.”
One day, though, he found himself driving in circles looking for a trailhead.
“I cursed the government for not publishing GPS coordinates for the Loop. Then I thought, ‘Someone should do an app!'”
The idea for the LouLooper app was born in that moment. Now Johnson needs to raise at least $12,500 through his Kickstarter campaign to make the app a reality.
“What I’m raising money for now is a very minimalist version of what the app should eventually become. Version 1.0 will cover the basics, and if it is even a modest success I’ll collaborate with the users and the parks and anyone else who wants a voice to make v 2.0 even more useful,” Johnson said. “he goal is to raise that money in small increments so the app will have a pre-launch user base. I would love it if the capital came from 500 different $25 backers.”
Johnson’s hopes are two-fold: have a great app to help people utilize the loop, which, in turn, would generate more and more support to get the loop completed.
“The Loop is a planned 100 mile trail that circles the city. Its intent is to tie the city together and inspire physical activity. It has the disadvantage of being a long-term project in a short-term world,” he said. “The benefits of its completion are somewhere in the future, but the hard work and expense of getting it built are immediate. As a society, we don’t do that kind of deferred gratification well, and there is talk that maybe half of a Loop is sufficient.”
Johnson’s Kickstarter campaign can be found here.