Overton Park Sidewalk Set for Construction

Overton Park West End Rendering (Credit: Amanda Gillvery)

Construction on the Overton Park Sidewalk Project will start on Monday, April 29, 2019, weather dependent.

The project is a collaborative undertaking by the City of Memphis, Memphis Area Transit Authority, and the Overton Park Conservancy. The improvements will include a new sidewalk on the north side of Poplar Avenue from Kenilworth Place to Veterans Plaza Drive, a curb extension at the northeast corner of Kenilworth Pl. and Poplar Ave., reconstruction of the median island on the north side of the same intersection, and crosswalk enhancements. The goal of the project is to improve safe pedestrian access to Overton Park and the existing bus stops on this segment of Poplar Ave., which are currently inaccessible by people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Existing Conditions: Currently no accessible path leads to the existing bus stops.

The project originated from a planning process led by the Overton Park Conservancy in 2015 as part of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan, which identified Overton Park as a regional hub for people traveling on foot or on a bicycle. OPC engaged park users and the general public, and developed preliminary designs for the sidewalk based on the input collected.

The project is funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and administered by MATA. The City of Memphis applied for the grant in coordination with the Overton Park Conservancy. The construction budget for the project is $176,246.16.

Existing Conditions: The lack of an accessible path poses a hazard to people with limited mobility or child strollers.

A later phase will extend the new sidewalk east of Veterans Plaza Drive to a future entrance plaza at Cooper Street. The extension and plaza are currently under design, and should reach construction within the next two years.

Great urban parks provide safe and easy access to all people, no matter how they get around. Through these projects, Overton Park continues to grow more accessible for more Memphians.

As part of construction, the westbound outside lane of Poplar Avenue will be closed from 9:00 Am to 4:00 Pm on weekdays. Construction is expected to last approximately 45 days, weather dependent. The Kenilworth Pl. and Veterans Plaza Dr. entrances into Overton Park will remain open to drivers at all times during construction.

Overton Park Sidewalk East End Rendering (Credit: Amanda Gillvery)

Memphis to Expand Shared Mobility, Seeks Applicants

More mobility options are coming to Memphis, as we seek to expand the local offering of shared mobility providers and vehicles.

The City launched a pilot phase of the Shared Mobility Program in May 2018. Three Operators (Bird, Explore Bike Share, and Lime) have participated in this pilot phase, and have cumulatively provided a fleet of approximately 1,750 Shared Mobility Devices. Since the beginning of the pilot phase, the City has permitted the local presence of these Operators with individual interim operating agreements. Input from the pilot phase guided the development of permanent Operating Regulations that reflect national best practices within this emerging and rapidly growing field.

The City of Memphis now invites Shared Mobility Operators to apply for the permission to operate in Memphis. The City will transition into a permanent Shared Mobility Program in June 2019. For the program’s initial year, the City seeks to permit 3 to 5 Operators, and a cumulative fleet of up to 3,000 Shared Urban Mobility Devices. The City reserves the right to permit Operators’ respective fleets at various sizes. The City will select Operators via a competitive application process and evaluate applicants by their demonstrated experience, organizational and technological capacities, and alignment with the goals of the City’s Shared Mobility Program.

The Shared Mobility Program will partner with private entities to expand mobility options in Memphis, with emphases on safety, equity, and sustainability. The Program believes that effective and successful shared mobility services:

  • Lead with a philosophy of access by all, regardless of geography, income, race, gender, or ability.
  • Engage residents of local communities through proactive efforts to improve services.
  • Reduce automobile dependency, while increasing access to opportunities.
  • Provide a true and reliable mobility option, and not merely a recreational activity or novelty.
  • Supplement traditional public transportation by providing first- and last-mile connections.

The Program is housed within the Division of Engineering, and is a subset of the Bikeway and Pedestrian Program. Fees collected from Operators as part of the Program will be used to support active transportation infrastructure, programs, and operations.

Click here to download the City’s full “Invitation for Applicants,” and here for the City’s final “Shared Mobility Operating Regulations.”