Cyclists rally in favor of dedicated bike lanes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cyclists rally in favor of dedicated bike lanes

(WMC-TV) - Cyclists took to the streets Friday during their lunch breaks to rally for designated bike lanes.

It's a hotly disputed issue in Midtown and Downtown Memphis as well as other parts of the city.

Staging a bike ride down Madison Avenue to Memphis City Hall, the group rallied for "Great Streets."

"Memphis wants great streets," cyclist Marvin Stockwell said. "We want streets that are safe for people to travel, whether you're in a car, on a bike, or walking down the sidewalk."

The cyclists hope they will be able to convince lawmakers to support dedicated bike lanes.

"Today is going to be a nice show of support to our political leaders to say this matters to us as Memphis," Anthony Siracusa said. "It matters the way we're perceived with the rest of the nation, and it matters to people thinking about settling here."

While some Madison Avenue business owners are worried the move could hurt their businesses, others have disagreed saying bike lanes will help transform the area into a vibrant, livable community.

"Beginning with Madison Avenue in Midtown we can take a big step towards making it a vibrant destination where people want to buy homes, start businesses, take a walk, ride bikes, and support a strong and thriving local economy," Siracusa said.

Now that the decision rests with city leaders, cyclists hope they can convince them of a great opportunity to transform Madison Avenue into a great street.

Business owners have already received some support from Memphis City Council members.  Friday, councilwoman Janice Fullilove said, "I am not against bike lanes at all, but changing Madison Avenue from four lanes to two isn't going to work. I support an alternative plan for a shared bike lane. An engineering traffic study must be done first before a decision is made."

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