Residents speak up about proposed changes to Riverside Dr. - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Residents speak up about proposed changes to Riverside Dr.

Some residents also expressed concerns about city administration not being open and transparent. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Some residents also expressed concerns about city administration not being open and transparent. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Impassioned, downtown Memphis residents sounded off about the future of Riverside Drive on Thursday evening.

The City Engineering Department laid out two alternative plans for Riverside Dr. once it is complete, both including space for bike lanes.

Many residents expressed disdain for the current layout of Riverside Drive, which reserves two lanes formerly used for vehicles, for bikers.

“It's a failed experiment," said Tom Gettlefinger, who is one of many residents opposed to using traffic lanes for bike lanes.

The two future alternative plans both add a turning lane to help ease traffic congestion, and include bike lanes either side-by-side or split with the direction of traffic.

Some say the bike lanes add character to the city.

"We love being able to see people out and in the streets,” said Downtown resident Nicholas Oilers.

Other residents also expressed concerns about city administration not being open and transparent about how they plan on implementing the new alternatives. They also question why the plan was not placed before the city council for a vote.

Both City Council Chairman Myron Lowery and Councilman Berlin Boyd say they have plans on drafting a formal letter to Mayor A C Wharton to discuss halting current alternatives for the project.

"We are not against bike lanes, but we are against how they are being implemented in the city," said Councilman Berlin Boyd.

The first phase of implementation on one of the new plans will be complete following Memphis in May.

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