Friday, September 14, 2012

Building the Missing Link - The Green Lane Project

Memphis built its first traditional on-street bike lane in the fall of 2008.  Just four years later, the city is finalizing plans to build and fund its first protected bike lanes along Tillman Street and Broad Avenue.  This dramatic shift in the city’s focus was driven largely by the efforts of Memphians - business leaders and citizen advocates with the vision and courage to work together to build a better city, one street at a time.
Creating the Missing Link
The idea for a protected bike lane, or Green Lane, along Broad and Tillman grew from the need to build a missing link.  On its eastern end, The Shelby Farms Greenline connects to the majestic 4,500 acre Shelby Farms Park.  On the western end, Livable Memphis program coordinator Sarah Newstok saw an opportunity.  “The greenline attracts such a diverse group of riders,” Newstok said in December of last year.  “We wanted to get those riders all the way to Overton Park on the western side.”
For the the full-story, follow the Green Lane Blog here.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Memphis on the Move

In the spring of 2012, Memphis, Tennessee was honored to be named one of 6 cities participating in the Green Lane Project, a national effort to engineer, plan and implement protected bicycle lanes across the United States.  Many of the Green Lane Project Cities have been and remain dedicated to the development of innovative bicycle infrastructure; San Francisco was among the first cities to develop green bike lanes - literally bike lanes painted green to draw attention to treacherous junctures within their bike lane network.  Washington D.C.’s 15th Street cycle track, a two-way bike path separated from automobile traffic by a buffer of flexible bollards, was one of the first protected bike lanes opened in the United States.  Last year, the city of Chicago developed one of the finest lengths of protected bike lanes in the United States along Kinzie St., and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has committed to the construction of 100 miles of protected bike lanes within the next four years.  In the next three years, Mayor Emmanuel wants every Chicagoan to be within a half mile of a bike lane. 

But in some ways, the city of Memphis is very unique when seen beside the other five Green Lane cities. Check out the Project Green Lane Blog to for the full story on Memphis.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Moving the Needle in Memphis

Earlier this week, Memphis was one of six U.S. cities honored by the Bikes Belong Foundation as participants in the “Green Lane Project.”  The six cities were chosen from more than 42 metro-areas applicants for their commitment to developing protected bicycle lanes, or on-street bicycle lanes protected from automobile traffic by a physical buffer.  Protected, on-street bikeways have – for decades – defined cities large and small in Denmark and the Netherlands.  But in America, where traffic engineers are bound largely to the auto-centric design standards outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), there is little technical guidance for and few domestic examples of protected bikeways.

That is, until now.  For the cities selected to participate in the Green Lane Project, engineers and city officials will work as a national leadership team to develop best practices for protected bikeway design in America.  This work of patenting new street design will provide a notable degree of comfort for traffic engineers and city officials across the country, due in part to a subsidized fact finding trip for city engineers, Mayors and other officials that will allow them to analyze protected bikeways in Denmark and the Netherlands.  The Green Lane Project is, for this reason, an initiative with tremendous national significance for progress towards complete streets, livable communities, and sustainable development.

So yes: the Green Lane Project is a big deal.  But for the City of Memphis, being named among this elite cohort of cities is especially significant.

Read More at SmartCity Memphis...