Borrowing the idea from Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and their A Better Block Project, advocates at Livable Memphis temporarily redesigned Broad Street to show what the block could look like if transformed into a walkable, bikable art district destination. With assistance from an Advocacy Advance grant and city support, Livable Memphis temporarily re-made the street with more pedestrian space, bike lanes, traffic calming and temporary pop-up art, coffee and bike shops.
While such commercial districts already exist in Cooper-Young, Overton Square and near the University of Memphis, Broad Street’s connection to the new Memphis Greenline makes it particular accessible by bike. In a city previously known for it’s disregard for cyclists, advocates and the city’s new (and first!) bicycle coordinator are making great strides.
Efforts like these can show the desire for changes to street design and the impacts they can have. With the high turn-out at this event and and studies showing the cyclists often spend more money shopping than their four-wheeled counterparts, perhaps such street designs are necessary to stay afloat in these uncertain economic times. Let’s hope that one day Broad Street can be transformed permanently.