Improvements coming to Jackson Avenue

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's one of the busiest streets in North Memphis, and now the city has some big ideas about how to improve it for business.

The city's plan focuses on this portion of Jackson Avenue between Claybrook and Speed Street.

This may be the city's area of focus, but community members made it clear there are other concerns they want to be addressed first.

There's plenty of ideas on how to improve this portion of Jackson Avenue.

"Maybe focus on revitalizing the outlining properties," said community member Wilma Love.

But with every good idea, there is also a valid concern about the City of Memphis's current Memphis 3.0 initiative to revitalize Jackson Avenue between Claybrook and Speed Street.

This is one concept drawing of what the street could look like: improved crosswalks, new streetlights, and only one lane for traffic in each direction.

The cosmetic changes are meant to attract businesses.

"Create a commercial anchor for the neighborhood," said Director of Housing Community Development Paul Young.

Young says he also feels the changes could have an impact on lowering crime. Within the last week, a 28-year-old man was shot and killed on Jackson.

Ann Yates was born and raised in North Memphis. She wants to see the City of Memphis concentrate on eliminating blight and controlling crime, before focusing on a beautification project.

"How are you going to put paintings on buildings and yet you walk around the corner and there is a jungle?" Yates said.

In total, the city has about a million dollars set aside for improvements.

The decision on how to improve the street is not final, and there are expected to be several community meetings to help nail down a plan.

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