Three access points to the park would be improved as part of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian path enhancement project.
Poplar & Cooper
Improvements to the park entrance at Cooper St. coincide with the City of Memphis’ plans to stripe bike lanes on Cooper. The proposed design would have a small landing area for bikes and pedestrians crossing Cooper into the park, possibly a low stone balustrade akin to the ones at the Veterans Plaza Drive entrance to the park. This feature would likely offer benches and a point of respite, but be subtle enough not to interfere with the views into the park. A new perimeter path would run through this landing area, connecting this entrance to the park’s trail system. Currently, visitors entering at this location must traverse the golf course to pick up a road or trail in the park.
In 2016, the City striped bike lanes and added a lane of parking along N. Parkway. To maximize the potential of these improvements to alleviate congestion in the park, our planned improvements to this entrance begin with repairing broken sidewalks. We also propose adding new crosswalks from the Rhodes College side of the street to the park side. A new section of trail would also connect from the Old Forest road system to the new perimeter path, eliminating the need to walk or ride on the street that leads into the park (which is used by vehicles).
Poplar & Tucker
This entrance is heavily used, especially by Memphis College of Art students crossing over Poplar into the park. Once they arrive, there is no sidewalk leading into the park.
The proposed improvements would add a sidewalk along the edge of the road, which is already wide enough to accommodate it without interfering with the park’s entrance gates. The sidewalk would lead up to Golf Drive, where a new crosswalk would be striped. Then it would connect to an existing sidewalk in front of the Brooks Museum of Art. The thin strip of median at the Poplar & Tucker intersection would also be widened to further distinguish traffic lanes and to be more aesthetically pleasing.