Hi everyone. Â There was a great article in today’s Commercial Appeal about the possibility of bike lanes being installed on North Parkway. Â The lanes would run the distance of the road, also known as State Route 1, from East Parkway to Danny Thomas Boulevard. Â (West of Danny Thomas, North Parkway turns into A. W. Willis and drops from six lanes to four, too few to allow for bike lanes, apparently.) Â If installed, the bike lanes would reduce the number of lanes in either direction to two from the current three.
The benefits of installing bike lanes on North Parkway are clear. Â The road runs through or past several neighborhoods, including Vollintine-Evergreen, Snowden-Claybrook, and Rhodes College. Â Moreover, installing bike lanes on this route would provide a vital and direct connection between Midtown and downtown. Â While the lanes wouldn’t run all the way to Front Street (as I understand it, although I could be wrong on this), the length of A. W. Willis between Danny Thomas and the river is relatively short and not too difficult to bike. Further, the bike lanes would end at the western edge of the St. Jude campus and would connect easily to the Overton Park/Broad Avenue/Greenline system of bike lanes and paths. Â Imagine the suburban employees of St. Jude parking their cars at Shelby Farms, hopping on their bikes and pedaling the twelve or so miles to work. Â This could be huge for biking in Memphis.
What’s most impressive about this proposal is the fact that many of the neighborhood associations and businesses along North Parkway are very much in favor of the lanes. Â This is in marked contrast to the (still unresolved) controversy about the proposed bike lanes on Madison Avenue, just a mile or so to the south. Â I don’t think I’m alone in wanting that situation to be put to bed, and soon.
If you’d like to learn more about the proposed bike lanes on North Parkway, there’s a meeting on Tuesday, 24 May, at 5:30 PM, in the Blount Auditorium in Buckman Hall at Rhodes College. Â Here’s a flier with more information.