The second public meeting to identify parking and traffic solutions for Overton Park was held last Thursday, February 18. Many thanks to the hundreds of people who came out to listen to the team’s recommendations, and to First Baptist Church – Broad for hosting the meeting.
The team developed potential solutions based on the following guiding principles:
- Overton Park should be accessible by all users, regardless of ability or mode of transportation
- Activities in Overton Park should cause minimal disruption to other activities or conflict with the experience of the park by visitors, and minimize impact on neighbors, especially during peak usage events
- Maximizing the utilization and usefulness of man-made resources (e.g. shared parking, communications, management) should be encouraged in order to efficiently use those resources
- During peak usage events the natural resources of the park should remain intact with minimal (e.g. overflow parking) or no impact (Old Growth Forest) to the greatest extent possible
- Multiple cost-effective and impactful solutions to parking and traffic problems should be implemented as they are available so as to address current issues as quickly as possible, with the aim of implementing solutions that work for the long-term
- Safety, security, accessibility and attractiveness should be addressed when making any enhancements in the park
Here is a list of potential solutions that are being considered by the consultants:
1. Smartphone apps or park institution websites communicating parking availability and/or transportation alternatives
2. System for reserving parking prior to arrival
3. System for valet parking during peak demand
4. Availability of designated ride-sharing pickup/drop-off locations (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
5. Paying more for parking during peak demand
6. Pedestrian improvements at surrounding intersections (high-visibility crosswalks, pedestrian countdown signals, and signage)
7. Accessible sidewalks and curb ramps at select locations to connect park facilities
8. Availability of a shared bicycle system (short-term rentals for use to/from or within Overton Park)
9. Dedicated bicycle path or route within the park
10. Financial incentives (e.g., discounted admission to attractions, discounted fares) to patrons who arrive at the park via transit
11. Enhancements to MATA bus shelters and sidewalks connecting them to the park
12. Availability of a “circulator” or shuttle that connects nearby destinations and off-site parking to venues in the park
13. New on-street parking along both sides of N. Parkway adjacent to the park
14. Additional on-street parking within the middle of Galloway Ave. between McLean and Evergreen
15. A parking garage located near the Zoo parking lot between the Zoo and the Arts complex (Prentiss Place lot), resulting in several hundred additional spaces
16. A parking garage located on the north side of Overton Park (N. Parkway) adjacent to the Zoo, resulting in several hundred additional spaces.
17. Reconfigured and/or expanded Zoo main parking lot, resulting in a hundred or more additional spaces
18. Expanded paved parking at select locations within the park
19. Adding fortified grass parking areas to accommodate occasional overflow parking along select roadways where recreational activity does not occur
20. Providing a planted berm between the Greensward and the Zoo main lot to screen views and provide a boundary to overflow parking
Give Your Feedback
The park institutions will react to a draft recommendation plan that incorporates some of these options. You can weigh in by taking an online survey. This survey will be live until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 28. Results will be shared with the planning team as they draft their recommendations. Please only fill out the form one time!
We anticipate having the final recommendations from the planning team during the week of March 7, at which point we’ll release those on our website.
The presentation below provides more detail about the potential enhancements to the park listed above. To view the slides, mouse over the window below and click the arrow icon in the lower-right corner to go full-screen.