New plan will permanently end parking on Greensward

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - City of Memphis released a new plan Wednesday for parking at the Memphis Zoo.

It comes after a five-year dispute over zoo visitors parking on the Overton Park Greensward.

There is something for everyone and not enough for both sides. The plan calls for hundreds of new parking spaces at the zoo and no more parking on the Greensward.

The city was ready with many Memphis police officers in the actual room where citizens would hear the presentation.

The IMAX theater at the Pink Palace Museum was mostly filled with Greensward supporters to listen and see the latest plan to add more parking spaces for the Memphis Zoo and preserve the Greensward--a grass area used for overflow parking during peak zoo times.

One part of the plan stuck out to many people.

"They're still taking part of the Greensward," Greensward supporter Pam Branham said. "They want to be on grass because they're paving grass."

Yes, a couple of acres will be paved over.

After a lengthy presentation by the design team, people could ask questions. But to make sure the audience stayed "kind and respectful," questions had to be written on cards so they wouldn't be shouted out.

The plan calls for more than 350 trees that will be removed, but more will be planted as a barrier to the Greensward and in the actual parking lot.

Four-hundred-nineteen new parking spaces will be added.

It was noted that there is no plan that will make everyone happy. This is a compromise.

"The issue with the actual plan seems, it seems like they've done their best with the criteria they have," Greensward supporter Teddy Crum said.

If you couldn't attend Wednesday's meeting, you have until Feb. 28 to email your concerns and comments to the zoo.

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