Thursday, October 21, 2010

Best use?

A number of interesting points were raised in today's Commercial Appeal article about moving the General Services maintenance area out of Overton Park.

It's great to see Mayor Wharton and CAO George Little affirming their commitment to legal protection for Overton Park's old growth forest. It's also great to see support for viewing the Greensward as a fully developed space for people, which it is, rather than as vacant land.

But the idea of spending unknown amounts of money to demolish all of the workshops, garages, greenhouses, offices, a fuel station, and other buildings in the maintenance area... in order to build a parking lot for the Memphis Zoo? That idea needs a lot of work.

The Memphis Zoo is proposing to shuttle their visitors, using the zoo's large diesel trams, via interior park roadways that have been closed to motorized traffic since the early 1990s. These roadways are heavily used by park visitors as safe and peaceful routes to walk, run, and bike. Motorized traffic does not belong on the interior roads of Overton Park.

We all agree that the Memphis Zoo needs a better way to handle overflow parking. The zoo currently controls nine acres of paved parking in Overton Park. Wouldn't it be much easier and cheaper, and more sustainable, to convert a few acres of an existing lot into a multi-level garage?

Or even simpler, the Memphis Zoo could provide traffic control on busy weekends and encourage visitors to make better use of the plentiful street parking in Evergreen.


Unknown said...

Save our park from over development! We want a park for people and trees and plants, not streets, business development, and parking lots. Thank you for protecting our heritage.