Memphis to Add 15 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes

Memphis is making waves today with the announcement that the city will install 15 miles of protected bike lanes.

Over the last few years, Memphis has been rushing to add bike lanes. Now the city plans to take it to the next level. Image: Memphis Flyer

Led by Mayor A.C. Wharton, a few years ago Memphis embarked on an ambitious campaign to add 55 miles of bike infrastructure. Then the city inspired envy when last year it was one of six selected by the Green Lane Project to receive technical assistance toward building protected bikeways.

Now the Green Lane Project blog is reporting that Memphis is raising the bar again:

The bicycle-friendly mayor, who is credited with reversing Memphis’ reputation from worst city for bicycling to most improved, reaffirmed his reputation today, stating “We’re working hard to make sure we’re not just building quantity, but that we’re building quality bike lanes. We want all our citizens, young and old, to be able to make the choice to bicycle and feel safe and comfortable when doing so. Green lanes are how we’re going to take the next step to make Memphis the most bike-friendly city in Tennessee.”

To put Memphis’ plan for 15 miles of future green lanes into perspective, Memphis currently has zero green lanes, and between 1874 and 2011, only 62 such protected bike facilities were built nationwide. Memphis is playing an influential role in the exponential growth of protected bike lines nationwide; by the end of 2013, more than 200 green lanes will be on the ground. The Green Lane Project is supporting this growth.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Bike Portland reports that the Oregon Department of Transportation is taking additional measures to move away from a “highway-centric” approach. Milwaukee Rising explains that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is not only planning an unnecessary double-decker highway, but is planning to put it at eye level to neighboring homeowners. And Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space reports that a Washington-area firm is doing the kind of development that might be described as retrofitting the suburbs.