MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s amazing how something so peaceful can get people so fired up.
This summer, city engineers took half of Riverside Drive and made it for bikes and pedestrians only from Beale Street up to Georgia Avenue.
It’s part of the continued effort to make Memphis more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
HERE is the plan they are using.
“If it’s getting utilized, that’s a great thing, I’m all for it, but I’m getting my own data,” said one resident.
Tuesday night, the city held an input meeting at Beale Street Landing where you could pay $5 to park and attend the meeting or walk from AutoZone or try to find a parking space in the packed Tom Lee lot.
Many residents said no one is using the bike lanes, and squeezing all the cars into two lanes is dangerous.
After all, there is a reason engineers put in four lanes.
“They just stop in the middle of Riverside and panic and don’t know what to do,” said another.
Engineers ay they won’t have usage data till fall at the earliest.
The plan to is have a permanent plan in place by next summer when repaving is planned for Riverside Drive.
Some options include taking all of Riverside down to two lanes, right up to the Pyramid.
People say the road just isn’t wide enough, in-fact there have been several crashes incl.
They wanted to know why the city would do something like this and not even get their input.
The road changed without a single public meeting.
The answer from city engineer?
“I’m concerned this is the new protocol, we build a project and ask for comments after and that doesn’t feel good to me,” said one angry resident.
City leaders had few answers.
While many who drive Riverside are angered by the changes.
But there are those who love it and believe there is potential to bring more people downtown.
“There was anger when Madison bike lanes happened and that seems to be a success,” said one resident.
“A lot of younger people are drawn to the city by projects like this,” said a cyclist.