Protected bike lanes downtown will cater to 'everyday' cyclists - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Protected bike lanes downtown will cater to 'everyday' cyclists

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Some cyclists say bike lanes by the river may not be the best place. Some cyclists say bike lanes by the river may not be the best place.
Four lanes will become two. The southbound lanes will close to traffic and become protected bike lanes. Four lanes will become two. The southbound lanes will close to traffic and become protected bike lanes.
But city officials say build some bike lanes and the bike riders will come. But city officials say build some bike lanes and the bike riders will come.

(WMC-TV) - Riverside Drive will shut down to traffic for Memphis in May, but when it reopens the street will never look the same again.

Some cyclists say bike lanes by the river may not be the best place.

"It's scary to drive in this city. So it's scary to bike yeah," said resident and cyclist Tommy Schlather.

But city officials say build some bike lanes and the bike riders will come.

"The number of people bicycling has doubled over the last three years," said City of Memphis Bikeway, Pedestrian Coordinator Kyle Wagenschutz.

Wagenschutz says big changes are about roll down to Riverside.

"We need to provide better infrastructure so we're not just catering to cyclists who like to wear spandex and lycra and like to ride 30 miles, but we're catering really to everyday people who maybe wanna see this city by bicycle," he said.

Four lanes will become two. The southbound lanes will close to traffic and become protected bike lanes. The northbound lanes will be for car traffic in both directions from Beale Street all the way to Carolina Avenue.

"That'll be a great use of the property here," said Schlather.

Some drivers worry about change.

"I think that's gonna be kinda crowded on the road. There's not gonna be much room," said resident Brennan Trim.

But city hall says it will monitor traffic flow and when Riverside Drive gets repaved in 2015 make necessary changes.

"Riverside Drive is really sort of a natural fit," said Wagenschutz.

The city wants to add 22 miles of protected bike lanes over the next three years. Read more about it in the detailed report released last week in the State of Bicycling 2014 here.

To take a digital tour of how bike lanes and paths will connect from Shelby Farms to downtown Memphis, click here.

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