Memphians divided on Great Streets pedestrian project

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some Memphians are talking about some not so Great Streets in Memphis, and they believe a pilot project is backfiring in Downtown Memphis.

But, others are asking for the project to be given a chance.

Some said the new design for the Great Streets Pilot Program is a waste of time and space.

At the corridor of Peabody Place, near Main Street, is the city's latest pedestrian friendly project. But, it is a project that has Memphians divided.

The area was once used as a parking lot, but now it is a seating area. However, that means one less lane for motorists to drive on.

Some people are asking what the seating area's purpose is for Memphians.

"It's a one-year test. The purpose of it is to demonstrate how we can design our streets to be safer for everyone that uses them," Bike Way and Pedestrian Program Manager Nicholas Oyler said.

Oyler is with the City of Memphis Engineering Division and said the $200,000 project was done with private donations and is just the beginning. He said there is much more to come.

"We're partnering with Epi-Center, and they're going to find entrepreneurs, small businesses to actually rent out some booths and create this cool retail market in the pedestrian space," Oyler said.

A spokesperson with the city said most feedback has been positive, but they have received complaints about visibility problems at the entrance to the Peabody Place garage.

On Friday, the city sent crews out to put up additional reflective posts.

Whether you are for the project or against it, it will be here for at least one year.

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