Zoo, Overton Park agree to plans that add 325 parking spaces - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Zoo, Overton Park agree to plans that add 325 parking spaces

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

Mayor Jim Strickland announced Memphis Zoo and Overton Park Conservancy have agreed to two points of mediation.

Strickland said both sides agreed to develop a plan to reconfigure the existing zoo parking lot to create between 50 and 125 new parking spaces. Both sides also agreed that on-street parking should be implemented along North Parkway as soon as possible.

Now that the Zambezi River exhibit is open, even more people will visit the Memphis Zoo and likely even more people will park on the Greensward. That will create more gnashing of teeth from people who don't like the Greensward parking.

"I appreciate they are trying to find a solution," Kelly Carroll said.

Caroll doesn't like the overflow parking on the Greensward, but she is encouraged by the plans to add more spaces for zoo patrons.

Strickland said those two items alone will create as many as 325 parking spaces.

However, not everyone is in favor of the idea.

"Be a safety hazard for families," Roderick Head said.

Head doesn't like the idea of people parking on North Parkway.

"I wouldn't mind doing it, but a lot of people would. It's a long way," Charlotte Boggs said.

The city will re-stripe the lanes on North Parkway next to the zoo from McLean to the edge of Rhodes College. The new parking spaces do not solve the problem, but Overton Park visitor Chris Carlile, who is in favor of a parking garage, said it is a start.

"I think all these people who come out here and protest would be willing to help either volunteer or give money to the cause in a fund raising effort," Carlile said.

Strickland said the new plans for parking spaces are not the end of ideas to solve the parking problems. However, the new spaces will not end Greensward parking on very busy days at the zoo.

Click here to read all our stories on the Greensward battle.

Both sides agreed to mediation back in January. That mediation is not over, but Strickland said those two agreements are already steps in the right direction.

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