On Wednesday of this week I drove [sigh] over to the Church Health Center for a community meeting sponsored by the Memphis MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization). Â The meeting was about implementing Phase II of the redesign of walking and biking facilities in and around Memphis. Â (Phase I involved a survey about what people in the community want in the way of facilities.) Â It’s the first of three meetings; the next two are planned for 9 February and 2 March, both Wednesdays.
This week’s meeting focused on multi-use trails, like the Shelby Farms Greenline. Â We have a small handful of these paths in Memphis and apparently more are to be planned, which was the main point of the meeting. Â After a brief introduction by Kyle Wagenschutz, we divided up into groups and clustered around huge maps taped to the walls of the room.
The maps were of Memphis and Shelby County and had existing walking and biking facilities labeled. Â Our task was to use stickers to indicate our points of origin, destination, and where we thought new facilities should go. Â It was pretty interesting. Â Here’s a picture of our map.
That’s Kyle’s arm on the right. Â I know it’s not a huge image, but look at the clusters of blue and orange dots in the center. Â The blue dots represent points of origin (i.e. where people live) and the orange ones are destinations. Â Most of the dots are clustered around Midtown, downtown, and east Memphis. Â You can see smaller dots surrounding the area; those represent where people would like to see walking/biking facilities, like bathrooms, water fountains, and bike racks.
The planners at the MPO will take our map and combine it with the maps from the other groups and use that to identify where people want trails and facilities. Â A pretty neat idea, I think. Â I don’t know what sort of barriers the MPO will face in putting our wants into action, but let’s hope they are few.