Idlewild Gate Scrapped for Compromise One-way Street Deal


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No gate will be built to close off Idlewild from Union following a compromise struck by Belz Enterprises and the Memphis City Council Tuesday.

The proposed gate was a cornerstone of the plans for a $43.5 million development at the corner of Union and McLean. The gate was planned to protect Idlewild from the traffic produced by that new development and the newly constructed Kroger store planned for Union next year.

The gate idea was scrapped in principle by a representative of Belz Enterprises, the developer of the proposed mixed-used project at Union and McLean.

In its place, Belz agreed to the creation of a westbound left turn lane at McLean and Union and making Idlewild a one-way street north from Linden and a two-way street south from Union to where the gate would have been located. Traffic will be able to turn south on Idlewild to enter Kroger and the new Belz development, but will be restricted from going any further south on Idlewild by signage and possible curb enhancements.

The compromise was proposed by council member Jim Strickland, who will be the mayor of Memphis in a month.

“In 30 days I’ll have slightly more influence than I have right now and I feel very good that I can get a left turn signal there at McLean and the one-way, two-way solution there [on Idlewild],” Strickland said.

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