Community meeting tonight on Riverside Drive changes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The City of Memphis will have its first community meeting to discuss the recent changes on Riverside Drive tonight at 6:00 at Beale Street Landing.

Recently the city cut Riverside Drive down from four lanes to two.

The lanes closest to the river are now dedicated to biking and pedestrians from Beale to Georgia Avenue.

There was little input before the plan was implemented.

Right now, the project is in a 12 to 18 month  tests phase.

Not everyone has been a fan of the project.

Many drivers say the road was designed as four lanes for a reason, heavy traffic and the fact it connects two interstates.

A car crash last month caused concerns because the entire road was blocked and no plan had been put in place to deal with such a situation.

One plan presented to Mayor A C Wharton would turn all of Riverside Drive into two lanes with bike lanes.

The plan would also removed the free large parking lot from Tom Lee Park in favor of on street parking, possibly with parking meters.

The community meeting is the first of several that will be scheduled so that data can be shared and public comment can be made.


    • tjonesmfs2

      Amen. Finally, we are putting people ahead of cars and some people can’t stand it. This is about rightsizing Riverside Drive to the amount of traffic that it carries, and it’s much safer now than it was before. Finally, drivers have to adhere to the speed limit instead of speeding up and down Riverside Drive.

  • Moriah

    It was a really stupid idea to begin with. There’s a perfectly good park right next to it for you to ride your bike.


    I think it’s great to provide more opportunities for bikers and pedestrians, and connect the entire riverfront to Beale Street. I just hope Riverside can support the possible increase in traffic after Bass Pro opens.

    • langor1

      If we had a bike riding community that would be fine and I don’t really see why pedestrians can’t just walk in the park, but this “if you build it they will come” mentality is ignorant.

  • ron

    The way this works is they listen to everyone’s comments then do exactly what THEY want to do. It does not matter WHO IS PAYING FOR RIVERSIDE DRIVE. Lets give it to those who pay no wheel tax at all.

  • debra

    “A plan Mayor A C Wharton is heavily considering would turn all of Riverside Drive into two lanes with bike lanes.” That says it all.

  • donthidebehindurscreen

    I take this route daily to and from work and it is a nightmare now. I have literally seen 5 people ride bikes in that lane since the change was made, most of the time it’s used for walkers who for some reason think these lanes are better than the sidewalks already in place. AC Wharton is an idiot! All he cares about is revenue from tourists and cares nothing for the ACTUAL citizens of Memphis.

  • Jim Williams

    The state biking codes do not require that a biker actually use a biking lane. Bikers still have the option of using the traffic lane. The code requires bikers ride to the right on the traffic lane except if the lane is “substandard.” The code is not entirely clear about what a substandard lane is. However, it appears that a substandard lane is one that is not at least 14 feet wide. Very few lanes in Tennessee are 14 feet wide, and the biker has the option of “taking the lane.” This is another way of saying the biker may ride in the middle of the lane and does not have to move to the right side of the lane. For example, North Watkins extended is a four lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit. There are wide biking lanes on each side. However, I have seen bikers ignore the biking lane and ride two and three abreast in the right lane. At least once, I saw bikers two abreast, one in the biking lane and the other in the right traffic lane forcing cars to the left lane. “Pack” bikers are the worst. Some will be in the biking lane and others will be in the right lane. If this happens on North Watkins extended, then it is likely to happen anywhere, including Riverside Drive. I think the current state biking codes are too vague in some instances and need to be “tightened” in order to have clear and precise rules of the road for both bikers and motorists. Until then, it is really premature to be turning large segments of major roads into bike lanes that bikers don’t really have to use – and some don’t. Some immediate suggestions: 1. if there is a biking lane, bikers must use it (and cars may not) 2. bikers must ride to the right on traffic lanes where there is no biking lane. (Drop that vague “substandard lane” exception because it is up to the motorist to allow the three foot passing space anyway. It is much easier to follow the three foot rule when the biker is to the right side of the traffic lane.) 3. cease the practice of “pack riding” in this county!!!!!!!! because it is too dangerous. (This not only includes those riding/racing in tight packs, but also those bikers spread out over several car lengths in a traffic lane.) 4. while bikers may ride two abreast in Tennessee, they may not obstruct traffic and must move to the right in single file for motorists to pass (The “substandard lane” exception allows them to remain in the traffic lane two abreast.) 5. bikers may not ride in a traffic lane with a car escort behind them.

  • ron

    I think they should shut down all the streets downtown and allow pedestrians and bicycles only and homeless people who don’t pay taxes to maintain them.

  • Tom Jones

    WREG has been comical and shameless in its drumbeat to oppose this welcome change in Riverside Drive. Frankly, it was Channel 3 trucks speeding up and down Riverside Drive that made it unsafe. This is a welcome change and we need to keep it, despite all the hard work by WREG to drive up opposition.

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