Overton Park Plans To Create Pathways Through The Park - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Overton Park Plans To Create Pathways Through The Park

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - Attention Overton Park visitors! Leave your car at home. That is the future message of Overton Park to its many visitors.

It’s another busy day at Overton Park, the city’s oldest and most important public park. One of it’s problems is too many cars coming into the park. Keep in mind this was a park that opened in 1901 for people. The cars came later and now humans have to make room for the car. But, there is a plan to change that.

"We’re encouraging people to come in without their cars. We obviously don’t have enough parking for everybody. So, as part of that, we are working to make park entrances safer and more welcoming for bikes and pedestrians” says the director of the Overton Park Conservancy, Tina Sullivan. She says, “as always we’re hoping to get people in without their cars.”

The Overton Park conservancy along with Richie Smith Landscape Design has forged a rough draft of a plan that would create a pathway around the entire park.

Part of the plan is to give pedestrians more access to the park without having to compete with cars. In fact, no cars is the ultimate goal.

"Once you get into the park, once you cross over Poplar Avenue you’re in the street. There are no sidewalks in the park for pedestrians. So, families with strollers are navigating the roads with cars, especially on those busy days. So, we hope to add a little bite of a sidewalk that will be the linkage to all the sidewalks in the park,” says Sullivan.

The landscape architect, Richie Smith, who is working on the plan with the park, says it’s all about getting more people into the park. He says more people could come to the park on bike or foot instead of driving and parking in the park. That provides a healthy way to get to the park and enjoy it.

And for those who use the park now. It all makes perfect sense. Park visitor, Jim Malone, says "Oh, I think it’s a great idea. Anytime you can open up more access to the park for the people to enjoy it, the runners and bikers, that a great thing.

Some of the plan is already funded and you should start seeing some changes in 2015.

MORE: Overton Park shuttle service launches May 24th

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