City moving forward with bike lanes along Madison

Madison Ave. is set to get dedicated bike lanes on both sides of the street between Cooper and McNeil streets.

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. has ordered the city Engineering Division to proceed with restriping Madison in preparation for the bike lanes.

Wharton reached his decision after reviewing the results of a traffic study done by an engineering consultant, Kimley-Horn and Associates. According to information from the mayor’s office about the study, vehicular traffic between major intersections along the 1.5-mile route would only be slowed by a few seconds with the inclusion of the bike lanes.

Wharton’s full statement about his decision:

“Madison Avenue is a vitally important central corridor for dozens of small businesses and thousands of families. It is imperative to the long-term economic prosperity of Midtown and the entire city that it be as safe, accessible, and vibrant as possible. As we’ve seen throughout Memphis and all over the country, bike lanes are encouraging people to be healthier, more environmentally friendly, and more supportive of locally owned small businesses. The Kimley-Horn traffic study and the public meetings that were conducted by Looney Ricks Kiss earlier this year strongly indicate that we can look forward to those same benefits along Madison Avenue.

“However, I am highly sensitive to the merchants’ concerns about business traffic along Madison. I have pledged to them that we will continue to work with them and to monitor commerce on the street and that we will make adjustments should they become necessary.

“I want to thank the public and all of Madison Avenue’s stakeholders for their input and patience. We are committed to making this street a destination – not just a thoroughfare.

“As we work with the private sector to make Madison Avenue a truly vibrant Midtown entertainment district, installing these bicycle lanes is an obvious first step, but we acknowledge that it is only a first step. We will be looking at possible future enhancements along Madison Avenue, including other streetscape and infrastructure improvements.”

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