Concerns grow over closure of half of Riverside Drive

MEMPHIS, Tenn, — Plans to build a pedestrian walkway along the Harahan Bridge over the Mississippi River are now part of a larger, national project.

The big river strategic initiative plans to build a paved cycling path that will run all the way to New Orleans.

Organizers are trying to attract cyclists from around the world to explore the Mississippi Delta.

The Big River Strategic Initiative hopes to have the bike trail and pedestrian bridge finished in two years.

That Harahan bridge project is what has Riverside Drive down to two lanes just one in each direction.

The other two lanes are now reserved for bikers and walkers.

It hasn’t been the most popular plan with drivers, especially after an accident on Riverside Drive this week shut down the road, trapping those who were already on it.

Riverside Drive is one of the main routes in and out of downtown Memphis.

Kyle Wagenschutz is the bike and pedestrian coordinator for the City of Memphis and says we should keep our minds open about the change.

Wagenschutz told us the number of people using the bike lane has been increasing.

Mayor Wharton wants to make the lane changes permanent along with other changes in Riverside Park.

5 comments

  • Cary Miller

    Keeping an open mind is one thing, but this is just boneheaded and very dangerous. There are great alternate routes in South Main for this bike lane, much better routes than Riverside where traffic comes off the interstate at a higher rate of speed, people are sightseeing the river while they drive, and Memphians are used to two lanes of traffic on this road since the beginning of time.

  • donthidebehindurscreen

    They are ridiculous for closing this road and it’s way too dangerous to be traveling head on with no barriers. Especially considering most people are speeding thru there. I take it every day on my way to work and of course they didn’t consider what would happen during the accidents, they never think ahead. Only think of how to attract more revenue to the area with these bicycling bafoons. There is a perfectly good sidewalk they can ride on. Did no one consider the fact that WE PAY TAXES TO DRIVE ON THESE ROADS?! WHAT ARE THE BICYCLISTS CONTRIBUTING?!

  • Aaron

    What was the median for the former four lane road is now serving as a concrete physical barrier between cars and biker/pedestrians. It’s quite safe.

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