Input Sought on Transformative Changes to Madison and Court

Rendering of the shared street concept proposed for Upper Court.

As recently shared, we’re currently soliciting public input on proposed changes to street segments included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Improvement Program Re-Surfacing projects. In partnership with various community organizations, the public input period for proposed changes to segments of Madison Avenue and Court Avenue is now open through November 8, 2020.

Madison: Stitching Downtown and the Medical District Closer Together

Past partnerships with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative have yielded transformative and eye-catching changes to streets in the District, such as on Manassas St. and MLK Ave. The resurfacing of Madison Ave. from Front St. to Pauline St. introduces another opportunity for safety and streetscape enhancements beyond the typical treatments possible through paving projects. Building on those past partnerships, we’re joining forces with the Downtown Memphis Commission and the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to propose similar innovative enhancements on this segment of Madison.

The resurfacing of Madison from Front to Pauline is scheduled between fall 2021 and summer 2022. An assessment of existing conditions, including historic traffic volume, and desires from stakeholders have led to a proposal that includes a “road diet,” bump-outs at intersections, flex pedestrian space, bike lanes, and potentially mid-block crosswalks.  

The public and Madison Avenue stakeholders are encouraged to contribute to the Madison Avenue FY22 Resurfacing & Streetscape Enhancements Public Input Survey through November 8, 2020.

Along with the project partners, we are co-hosting the Madison Avenue Resurfacing & Streetscape Enhancements virtual public meeting on Thursday, October 29th at 5:30 PM. Attendance is limited to 100 people and registration is required at: madisonavenue.eventbrite.com

Court: Come to the River

Like Madison, the resurfacing of Court Avenue from Riverside Drive to Main Street is scheduled between fall 2021 and summer 2022. And as with Madison, to propose and undertake significant changes we’re collaborating with community partners: Downtown Memphis Commission, Innovate Memphis, and the Memphis River Parks Partnership. 

The proposed configuration would significantly calm traffic and create a safer street for all users, whether on foot, on bicycle, or in a car. Our priority with the proposal is to visually and physically enhance the connection between Fourth Bluff Park, Main Street pedestrian mall, and Court Square. This “Upper Court” block from Front to Main would be designed as a “shared street,” and have a plaza-like feel to it.  

Furthermore, while the current scope and budget of this re-surfacing project may not be able to accommodate changes on Front Street, we are seeking additional public input on tentative enhancements that could improve the safety of crossing Front Street on foot, and better connect the riverfront parks with Main Street and Court Square. 

The public and Court Avenue stakeholders are encouraged to contribute to the Court Avenue FY22 Resurfacing & Streetscape Enhancements Public Input Survey through November 8, 2020.

Along with our partners, we are co-hosting the Court Avenue Design virtual public meeting on Thursday, November 5th at 5:30 PM. Registration is required at: https://lu.ma/3daos2zi

Public Input Period Open for Slew of New Bike Lanes, Road Diets

Proposed cross section for Cherry Rd. (Willow to Park) now out for public comment.

UPDATE 10/20/2020: The comment periods for the FY22 CIP Resurfacing proposals presented below – except for Court Ave. and Madison Ave. – closed on Oct. 18th. We will be announcing the final decisions on each proposal in 1-2 weeks. For Court and Madison, please visit this post.

The Division of Engineering has finalized the list of street segments included the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Improvement Program Re-Surfacing projects. Many of these are proposed to receive bike lanes or undergo a road diet. The public input period for those is now open, and we need to hear residents’ input on the proposals. Read on to review the full list, and learn how to share your opinions.

Fiscal Year What?

Let’s first break down the meaning of “Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Improvement Program.” The City budgets funding and projects in a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. Fiscal Year 2022 (a.k.a. FY22) will take place from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Capital Improvement Program, or CIP, refers to the budget that City Council passes every year to fund big ticket and typically one-time expenses, such as street projects or building a new library. The CIP budget is distinct from the operating budget, which covers day-to-day expenses.

Street re-paving projects, or re-surfacing as we call it, can take place within the CIP budget and Operating budget. Re-paving projects covered by the latter tend to be small, neighborhood streets, while re-pavings covered by CIP funds are generally multi-lane roadways.

So, what are the takeaways? One, the FY22 CIP Re-Surfacing projects will tentatively take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. And two, the streets listed below do not represent an exhaustive list of all streets in Memphis to be re-paved in that time period, as many more neighborhood streets will also be re-paved under the Operating budget. A map for scheduled re-paving projects can be found here.

Some Streets Would Change Less than Others

When streets are due for re-surfacing, City Engineering assesses various criteria, including traffic volume, to determine an appropriate configuration to enhance safety conditions for multiple types of road users and with an emphasis on vulnerable ones (i.e. people on foot). Sometimes due to various constraints, a re-configuration of the street is not possible through a simple re-surfacing project. Other times, we can still achieve improvements that enhance safety without having to remove a travel lane, for example, by just narrowing wide lanes and adding bike lanes. In instances where we are not proposing any change in the number of travel lanes or on-street parking, the proposed configurations go straight to design.

If a proposed configuration would alter the number of travel lanes or on-street parking, however, we conduct public outreach prior to commencing the design work. Input from the outreach shapes the ultimate proposal that proceeds to design.

The FY22 CIP Re-Surfacing List

The following street segments constitute the FY22 CIP re-surfacing list. The proposed changes to the configuration, if any, are stated in parenthesis. Proposals with a alteration from the existing number of travel lanes or in on-street parking are listed as a hyperlink. Follow the link to take a survey about the proposal, view the proposed changes, and learn about “Virtual Office Hours” to discuss the proposal. If the street segment is not listed as a hyperlink, the number of travel lanes and the on-street parking will remain unaltered.

All surveys will close at 11:59 Pm on Oct. 18th.