Overton Park gives 20 parking solutions; wants public to vote - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Overton Park gives 20 parking solutions; wants public to vote

Rendering of improved interesction at Overton Park and McLean Blvd (SOURCE: Overton Park Conservancy) Rendering of improved interesction at Overton Park and McLean Blvd (SOURCE: Overton Park Conservancy)
Rendering of improved interesction and bus shelter Poplar Avenue and Cooper Street (SOURCE: Overton Park Conservancy) Rendering of improved interesction and bus shelter Poplar Avenue and Cooper Street (SOURCE: Overton Park Conservancy)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Overton Park is asking the public to vote on 20 ideas that could help fix persistent parking and transportation issues around the park, zoo and other attractions. 

The newest survey comes after a pair of public meetings earlier this month, where consultants explored the parking and traffic crunch, and talked about solutions other cities have used.

The group’s suggestions now range from using smartphone apps to show open parking spots, adding a bicycle sharing system, running a shuttle to nearby Overton Square, and creating more parking spaces on nearby streets or in a garage.

"We asked them to put everything on the table," said Melissa McMasters with the Overton Park Conservancy. “So eventually we could all react and talk together.”

A much shorter list of recommendations will ultimately be presented to park partners, which include the Memphis Zoo, Brooks Museum of Art, Levitt Shell and the golf course.

The number of attractions in the park has put parking at a premium on peak days. The zoo has handled the overflow by directing visitors to park on the Greensward, a tactic that has sparked controversy in recent years.

Zoo officials chose not to be part of the public meetings, but McMasters said the zoo has been speaking privately with the consultants and will get a copy of the proposals.

While the Greensward has been the most visible battleground, the conservancy is looking at solutions that go beyond individual cars.

"We've got so many different things to consider from pedestrian accessibility to a Shell concert," McMasters said.

Many of the consultant suggestions look to improve access not just for pedestrians, but for people getting to the park by bike or bus. Several renderings envision larger bus shelters, and more visible crosswalks to reach entrances on all four sides of the park.

The online survey lists all 20 proposals. Users can rate how much they support each idea, and if they would ultimately use it.

The survey will be available through the end of Sunday, February 28. The results will be passed along to a planning team. That group will draft the final recommendations, and post them online the week of March 7.

The conservancy anticipates a strong response over the next few days. More than 2,000 people filled out an initial survey, asking what attractions they use at the park and how they get there.

To participate in the survey, click here.

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