Contractors for City Engineering have started construction on an enhanced pedestrian crossing located on Poplar Avenue in front of the Central Library.
improvements will comprise one of the first capital improvement projects
undertaken by the City in recent years specifically to improve pedestrian
safety at a known high-risk spot. The pair of bus stops at this mid-block
location on Poplar Avenue count as some of the most used in the Memphis Area
Transit Authority’s system. Many Memphians access the vital resources and
information available at the Central Library by bus, and currently must either walk
nearly a quarter-mile out of their way to use the nearest signalized crossing
or risk an unprotected mid-block crossing. Over the years, multiple serious
crashes have occurred as people attempt the latter. As recently as March 2018,
a driver struck and killed a gentleman attempting to cross the street at this
project will install a median refuge island, high-visibility crosswalks, and a
pedestrian-activated flashing beacon. The refuge island will narrow the
crossing distance and safely break up the crossing into two stages. While City
code and State law already require drivers to stop for a person crossing at a
crosswalk, the flashing beacon will better alert drivers to a pedestrian’s
project is funded by a Transportation Alternatives grant from the Tennessee
Department of Transportation, with a 20 percent local match by the City of
Memphis. The construction budget for the project is $98,107.60.
part of construction, there will be multiple lane closures on Poplar Avenue
between Tillman Street and Lafayette Street. Lane closures will mostly be from
9:00 Am to 4:00 Pm on weekdays, with limited overnight closures on weekdays as
well. At least two lanes of traffic will be open in each direction at all
times. Construction is expected to last approximately three to four weeks,
on the Overton Park Sidewalk Project will start on Monday, April 29, 2019,
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.
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.
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
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.