As part of Overton Park Conservancy’s efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to the park, we’ve been studying ways to make our entrances and paths more welcoming. One of the projects we’ve identified is creating a perimeter path that rings the park, so that pedestrians and persons in wheelchairs can safely travel along the edges of the park and onto the interior trail system.
In 2013, we proposed that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) award the City funding for several park access improvements. Through the Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), TDOT granted $422,000 to the City to enhance sidewalk access on the park’s perimeter. To access these dollars, the Conservancy must raise another $87,000 in matching funds.
Our first priority for these funds is making long-needed improvements to the existing sidewalks along N. Parkway. Together with the City of Memphis Division of Parks & Neighborhoods, we will repair the broken sidewalks along N. Parkway between McLean and University, and extend a new sidewalk to the park entrance. This improvement will complement the City’s addition of bike lanes and a street parking lane that holds up to 100 cars.
An added benefit to this work is the potential to alleviate the issue of overflow Zoo parking. Because of the proximity to the Zoo’s N. Parkway entrance, these 100 new parking spaces can be filled with Zoo employee parking, freeing up spots in the existing lots and making it less likely that the park’s Greensward will need to be used.
If you’d like to contribute to this project and help us access the funds so we can get started, please donate using the form below or call us at 901-214-5450.