City to host third public input meeting on Riverside Drive project

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- We're just days away from another public meeting on the future of Riverside Drive, and while city officials said they want your input, some aren't so sure the city is really listening.

A couple of recent dangerous wrecks on Riverside have drivers talking about changes they want to see.

"We live down here, and we're here in the park all the time, and we never see anyone riding their bikes up and down Riverside Drive," downtown resident Steve Parham said.

The city shut down part of Riverside Drive after Memphis in May last year and turned it into a bike and pedestrian lane.

Since that time, the city has held two public input meetings to see what people thought of it.

"We've been using the public feedback to tweak and alter some of the design options that were available," Kyle Wagenschutz with the City of Memphis said.

Another meeting is planned for Thursday. The city said it anticipates more foot traffic in Tom Lee Park after Bass Pro opens, making the pedestrian lane necessary.

Some, like Memphis resident Sarah Thomas, want to see it stay.

"There are a lot of mean drivers out there who do really obnoxious things to bikers, and having more of a dedicated spot is a great opportunity," she said.

Most told WREG it's more a liability than anything. A street light is still missing after one of several dangerous wrecks on Riverside Drive.

"It's just an accident waiting to happen," Parham said.

Online, the city asked people to share their thoughts on several designs for the area.

Officials said they narrowed them down to two based on public input.

"The final solutions are not the choices the city's been making, but the choices driven by the community feedback we've been receiving," Wagenschutz said.

However, many still wonder whether it's worth their time and whether their opinions will really make a difference.

Thursday's meeting will be held at the MATA Central Station. Doors open at 5:30 and the presentation begins at 6.

To take the Riverside Drive survey for yourself, click here.

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