Riverside Drive changes spark spirited meeting

Riverside Drive changes spark spirited meeting
City leaders say reversing the plan is among three possibilities once the pilot period is over. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
City leaders say reversing the plan is among three possibilities once the pilot period is over. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - The often maligned Beale Street Landing set the scene Tuesday evening for another controversial discussion—a public meeting on the merits of changes to Riverside Drive.

"One day last week I almost got hit by a car," said one attendee.

"There are no shoulders being provided over there," said another.

Car and truck traffic lanes were cut in half so bicycle and pedestrian routes could be added.

"So far in July there's only been one accident, which is about normal," said Memphis City Engineer John Cameron.

Cameron took the lead at the meeting and much of the criticism. Many contend that bike routes are underutilized and that pedestrians still prefer adjacent Tom Lee Park.

"I use it," said pedestrian Brennan Villines, who was walking along the new lanes with his dog Rick. "I certainly hope it stays here and expands even further."

"This is a luxury I don't think we can afford," said commuter Randy McKinna who drives Riverside daily to and from work.

"I'm advocating they revert back as soon as possible," said McKinna.

City leaders say reversing the plan is among three possibilities once the pilot period is over.

"If there's a reason to move forward with this configuration, we'll do that," said Cameron. "If there's a reason to move forward with a different configuration, we'll do that," he added.

The pilot program is expected to last 12 to 18 months.

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