Pedestrian features installed last year in Downtown Memphis will now be removed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The bicycle lanes and pedestrian sitting area along Peabody Place that were installed just a year ago will be removed, according to City of Memphis.

As part of the Great Streets Pilot Project Downtown, Peabody Place was narrowed to make room for a two-way bicycle and pedestrian sitting area.

Memphians didn't love the results of the project. Feedback from people living and visiting the area now has City of Memphis looking at once again revising Peabody Place.

"The project has still been successful. One of the goals of the project was to spur conversation in the community about how our streets can be designed better," Nicholas Oyler, manager of the Bikeway and Pedestrian Program for City of Memphis, said.

Oyler said the city received feedback from residents who enjoyed the seating and biking areas but also heard concerns from the street's stakeholders centered around traffic congestion and difficulty accessing the parking garage.

A turn lane will be installed along the full length of Peabody Place, and the pedestrian bump-outs will remain at the intersections. On-street parallel parking will also remain.

Silly Goose, a bar off Peabody Place, will use the space in front of their spot as an outdoor seating area to serve patrons.

"I'd hate to see the idea lose momentum because I think it was a great idea to bring this neighborhood into more of a walking friendly neighborhood, but this was a tough street to do it on," Silly Goose's owner Daniel Masters said.

The Division of Engineering will investigate the installation of protected bike lanes on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue instead of the pilot lanes that were on Peabody Place.

City crews are already preparing to make the revisions to Peabody Place. The street furniture is being removed ahead of the street work, which will begin in early June.

Intermittent lane closures and less on-street parking should be expected during the construction, which will take place in the first half of June.

The city said it's looking into federal grants that could pay for widened sidewalks in the future.

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