Entrances and Access

Poplar and Cooper entrance to Overton Park

A worn area has been created at the Poplar/Cooper entrance due to the absence of a connection to the park’s trail system.

A place as popular as Overton Park, with so many attractions in a small space, is bound to face some access issues. One of the most common challenges we face in the park is a lack of parking spaces, especially during big events. As we work to improve the parking issue in the long term, we continue to encourage non-vehicular access to the park.

Several of the park entrances are difficult to access on foot or by bicycle. Cyclists entering the park from Cooper Street, for example, find only a worn grassy area when they enter the park. There is no path for them to enter, and no connection to the park’s trail system except by riding through the golf course.

Improving access to the park from its surrounding neighborhoods and from the city as a whole is the Conservancy’s next major priority. Proposed projects include:

We’re working with the City of Memphis Division of Parks & Neighborhoods and Ritchie Smith Associates to create preliminary designs and plans, thanks to a Mid-South Regional Greenprint Subplanning Award.

The Poplar/Cooper entrance and the sidewalk improvement projects have been funded by the Tennessee Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) through the City of Memphis, with matching funds from First Tennessee for Poplar/Cooper. Because they are state-funded projects, their completion is dependent upon the release of those funds in 2017-2018.

A map of all the proposed improvements is shown below. Click for a larger version.

Proposed Overton Park access improvements