Bike Lanes Coming to Peabody
On a Tuesday evening, February 6, in the cafeteria of Idlewild Elementary School, Nicholas Oyler of the city’s Bike/Ped Memphis program unveiled a city-funded plan to resurface Peabody Avenue and to re-stripe the avenue to accommodate bike lanes.
The plan will change how vehicles and bicycles use Peabody from Bellevue Blvd to Cooper St., through all of Central Gardens. The plan would first resurface Peabody and repair potholes and other roadway hazards. The second part of the plan includes re-striping that would: add bike lanes in both east and west directions; add a striped median down the middle of the roadway; reduce the roadway in both directions from two lanes to one. Current street parking configurations would remain mostly in place, and could be supplemented with more street parking.
These changes will slow traffic, will greatly improve both pedestrian and bicycle safety, and create, as Nick Oyler said, the “last mile” in completing the Greenline bike route that connects The Harahan Bridge and downtown to Shelby Farms and beyond.
Reactions were mixed, with most in the audience in favor of the proposed changes. Those not in favor were strongly concerned over the slowing of the traffic on a route that is widely-used for commuters heading to and from downtown. Those in favor of the changes were anxious to see improvements in bike and pedestrian safety, especially for school children in the mornings and afternoons to and from Idlewild and Grace St. Luke’s.
For further reading to understand how safety has been improved nationally with the addition of bike lanes, please check out this article from CityLab:
Public input is still being welcomed. From Bike/Ped’s Facebook page:
“If you weren't one of the nearly 100 citizens who attended our public meeting about Peabody Avenue last week -- or even if you were -- the online input survey is now live and will remain so until March 2nd. Please share your preferences and concerns!”
The online survey is available until next Friday, March 2nd.
Central Gardens AssociationP.O. Box 41382 • Memphis, TN 38174-1382
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