Memphis Joins National Protected Bike Lane Project

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A rendering of the proposed green lane for Broad Avenue.

The Green Lane Project, sponsored by the national bicycling nonprofit Bikes Belong Foundation, will include Memphis and five other U.S. cities in its plan to support the development of protected bike lanes over the next two years.

"Protected bike lanes," also known as "green lanes," are lanes buffered from traffic with curbs, planters, posts, or parked cars. The goal of the Green Lane Project is to provide resources and technical assistance to selected cities in their efforts to install these buffered lanes. Other cities participating in the initiative are Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.

“Mayor A C Wharton has catalyzed a dramatic turnaround for bicycling in Memphis, making the city a
perfect partner for the Green Lane Project,” said Martha Roskowski, Green Lane Project director for
Bikes Belong. “Green lanes benefit everyone who uses city streets, not just people on bicycles. They
ease congestion, save valuable resources, and help create a healthier community.”

The proposed Overton-Broad connector path, which will connect Overton Park to the Shelby Farms Greenline, will be a protected two-way bike lane, separated from traffic by a landscaped buffer. The connector project is still in the planning stages.

“The Broad Avenue Overton project will use innovative bicycle facility design to provide access to an
underserved community, inspire reinvestment in the urban core, build on the success of what Broad
Avenue has already done, and connect public green spaces,” said Kyle Wagenschutz, Memphis’
bikeway/pedestrian coordinator. “We’re thrilled by the prospect of what’s ahead for our city over the
next two years with the support of the Green Lane Project.”

Over the past year, the city has installed 35 miles of bike lanes, and more than 55 more miles are scheduled to go in over the next year. That development led to Memphis moving from one of the worst cities for bicycling according to Bicycling Magazine in 2008 to being named the “Most Improved City” in the same magazine's Best Bike City Rankings for 2012.

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