Join the City of Memphis, Downtown Memphis Commission, and Riverfront Development Corporation on Sunday, June 15, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for an afternoon of fun to celebrate the grand opening of the newly configured Riverside Drive and Memphis’ first Open Streets event.
Open Streets is a nationwide movement to temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, opening them up instead for people to enjoy walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing. On June 15, Open Streets comes to Memphis as we celebrate the newly created bicycle and pedestrian pathways along Riverside Drive and find unique ways to encourage healthy activity and community growth by providing a space to make active living an easy, accessible and enjoyable part of life in our great city.
“There are currently over 80 Open Streets events in North America. We’ve been working to host an event like this here in Memphis for some time, and the recent developments along Riverside Drive offer us a great chance to join the Open Streets movement while also celebrating new ways to enjoy our riverfront and our public space,” says Kyle Wagenschutz, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Memphis.
Riverside Drive was recently reopened after being closed for two weeks while the City of Memphis implemented a pilot project to make Riverside Drive and the riverfront safer, more active and accessible. The project entails reducing Riverside Drive vehicle traffic from four lanes to two lanes between Beale Street and Georgia Avenue for the next 12 to 18 months. The space freed up on Riverside Drive is now devoted to bicycle and pedestrian activities. During the test period, the City will look at how Riverside Drive can be reconfigured permanently from Georgia Avenue to the Pyramid utilizing data gathered during the pilot project and public input scheduled periodically during the test period. The pilot project will give technical experts a chance to evaluate traffic impacts on Riverside Drive and the downtown street network as the ultimate configuration of Riverside Drive is determined.
The Open Streets event is free and open to the public. Activities will include live music by the Mighty Souls Brass Band, food trucks, games, and spaces for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike, walk, run, rollerblade, or skateboard along Riverside Drive. All activities will take place along Riverside Drive, adjacent to Tom Lee Park and Beale Street Landing, between Georgia Avenue and Beale Street.
Feel free to bring your bike, your running shoes, your pets (on a leash!), or your lawn chairs and umbrellas and help us celebrate what great open spaces can mean for our community!