To all of the nearly 200 people who attended the City’s public input meeting this past Monday evening, thank you! We’re grateful that so many citizens would take time from their busy lives to participate in the design process. We’re even more grateful for the rich, comprehensive feedback you provided.
Before going any further into the details from Monday evening, let me be clear: you can still provide input on the 10 design proposals by taking an online survey:
The survey will be available until 11:59 PM, April 17, 2017. Please take the survey, and encourage others to follow suit.
Furthermore, you can download all of the poster displays from the meeting here:
At the meeting, a few frequently asked questions emerged:
- What happens next?
- The public comment period remains open until April 17, 2017. After receiving and reviewing all feedback, we’ll publish a summary of results. This input will determine how we proceed with the 10 design proposals. Assuming feedback is positive, the projects will reach construction by fall 2017.
- Why aren’t sidewalk/streetscape improvements included in these proposals?
- The Federal grants used to fund these re-paving projects come with the stipulation that they are to be used for roadway work “curb-to-curb”. In other words, these funds won’t cover the cost of sidewalk reconstruction or streetscaping enhancements (i.e. street trees, benches, lighting, etc.) because those items fall outside of the permissible scope. One exception, however, is with sidewalk curb ramps at street intersections. These will be re-constructed, if needed, as part of the projects. We are continuously searching and applying for other funding to be used on sidewalks and pedestrian safety improvements.
- Can we have more protected bike lanes?
- In general, the City is moving toward the application of so-called protected or separated bike lanes (those with a buffer space and physical barriers of some kind between the bike lane and the adjacent car lane) more and more often, however, these come with a higher up-front cost to construct. Hearing this request from the pubic is important, though, as it demonstrates demand for this kind of facility. This is why we ask for your input, and it is duly noted.
- Why are you taking video?
- At the meeting we had a videographer on hand to generally record the setting, but specifically to provide the option of a video comment to those attendees who would like to leave one. We’re still in the process of reviewing and editing the recorded footage, and hope to have a final product released in a couple of weeks.
What further impressed us during the meeting was the number of attendees who arrived by bike. Despite canceling the bike valet parking at the last minute due to what seemed to be an imminent thunderstorm, people nonetheless came on two wheels. Community organizations such as Revolutions Bike CoOp and the Memphis Hightailers even organized group rides to the meeting. By our count, more than 50 individuals — about a quarter of all attendees — arrived by bike. Although without the special event racks to assist with parking, Bike Walk Memphis volunteers welcomed attendees riding up to the library and kept a watchful eye over their bicycles.
Bike Walk Memphis volunteers, ten in all, provided much needed additional assistance indoors, manning the sign-in table, acting as scribes, and generally pointing attendees in the right direction. Thank you to Bike Walk Memphis for your support!
If you took any photos at the meeting or on your ride there, please share them with us on Facebook and Twitter (@BikePedMemphis). We’d enjoy seeing the meeting from your perspective. Thanks to our friends at Bike Walk Memphis, Revolutions Bike CoOp, and Memphis Cyclist for providing the photographs used here.