The City of Memphis has more than 3,400 miles of existing sidewalks and many more miles of streets without any pedestrian infrastructure. As the public infrastructure in the city, including sidewalks, continues to grow older, the need to be proactive in maintaining this vital transportation network remains high. However, with access to only limited resources for sidewalk maintenance, the city desires to prioritize those improvements in the short-term that will provide the largest benefit to safety of the most vulnerable users while being the best stewards of sidewalk investment funding as possible.
In spring 2014, the city began work to produce the City of Memphis Pedestrian and School Safety Action Plan which will serve as the city’s first strategic plan for addressing the deteriorating conditions of sidewalks as it relates directly to providing safe access to public school inside the City of Memphis boundaries. By focusing on schools, the city hopes to prioritize improvements that students, children, and families will benefit from when walking to and from school, but also the parks, community centers, and libraries often times located in close proximity to schools.
The plan has included input from a number of community groups, pedestrian advocates, city officials, and technical advisers which has resulted in the development of criteria by which projects are being compared on a data-driven merit system that seeks to place precedent for those projects that will have the greatest impact on pedestrian safety, mobility, and accessibility for those residents with the greatest vulnerabilities including children and seniors.
This nearly year long process has resulted in the development of a prioritized project list that places each of the highest scoring projects into one of ten phases, to be implemented as funding allows in the future. This draft project list, and corresponding maps, are now available for review. If you have any comments or suggestions about the drafted prioritization, notice a missing segment or intersection you believe is important to include, or have other general comments to share, please feel free to email them to Kyle Wagenschutz, Bike/Ped Program Manager using the information provided here.
A detailed presentation of the plan’s methodology and findings will be given on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 5:30pm-7:30pm, at the Memphis Leadership Foundation, 1548 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 as a part of Livable Memphis’ Pizza With Planners workshop series. Draft reports are also available here and can be viewed anytime before or after the meeting.
PDF versions of the Draft Project Prioritization List and Maps can be found here.