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Memphis in May responds to redevelopment plan for Tom Lee Park

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis in May International Festival is speaking out about the current plan to remodel Tom Lee Park.

The latest design from Memphis River Parks Partnership eliminates all of the free parking spots and include 68 metered spaces on the west side of Riverside Drive.

This is different than the plan presented to the public a few weeks ago that had more parking areas along Riverside.

Memphis in May responded to the plan with the following statement:

“While parking in the new Tom Lee Park design has sparked much public discussion, Memphis in May has no involvement with the quantity of parking spaces and the fees that may be charged for parking.

We were, very surprised that the MRPP cited Memphis in May as the reason for the unexpected change to the parking plan for Tom Lee Park presented in January 2021 this year, as all previous designs presented to the Design Review Committee through October of 2020 contained a 4-lane Riverside Drive, without a median, with three separate parking pods, on both sides of Riverside Drive, and containing over 130 parking spaces. It is our understanding from the City that this change was proposed by the design team as a cost saving measure.

The City granted approval of the 90% design submittal presented in early May, but we have not yet seen the detailed drawings submitted for permit approval, which we have requested on multiple occasions. We will not have a clear idea regarding the impact of the new park design on Memphis in May Festival events until we receive the scaled detailed drawings and have the opportunity to conduct a proper test fit, ideally before construction begins in Tom Lee Park.”

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