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Grant Awarded to Improve Pedestrian Access in CBU Neighborhood

MEMPHIS — A $750,000 grant for pedestrian infrastructure improvements to the southern border of Christian Brothers University along Central Avenue is the largest among the Transportation Alternatives grants recently awarded by the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization to the City of Memphis and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA). The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a federal source of grants restricted for use on infrastructure projects that address pedestrian or bicycle connectivity or access to public transportation by walking or biking. The combined value of the six projects funded by the grants is nearly $2.2 million.

The Christian Brothers University Pedestrian Access Improvements project will bring pedestrian infrastructure improvements to CBU’s southern border along Central Avenue between Early Maxwell Boulevard and East Parkway. Included in the plans is the modernization of the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at at Central and East Parkway as well as at Central and Early Maxwell (at the entrance to CBU’s Central Lot); repairs to the existing sidewalk along that stretch of Central Avenue; and improved and relocated bus shelters.

This project will provide a vital point of connectivity for pedestrians traveling to and from CBU, Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, Middle College High School, MATA bus stops, the Fairgrounds and Kroc Center, and retail locations west of East Parkway, all of which are currently within a quarter-mile of each other.

 “The coming years promise to be an exciting time for pedestrian mobility in the Fairgrounds and Midtown communities,” according to Sean MacInnes, Chair of CBU’s Sustainability Committee. “Around the same time this Central Avenue project is nearing completion, the extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline into Tobey Park will also be underway. Within the next five to six years, CBU’s students and the rest of the surrounding community will be able to safely bike right from our backdoor all the way to Shelby Farms.”

“The projects address locations called out as priorities by the City’s Pedestrian and School Safety Action Plan,” says Nicholas Oyler, the City’s Bikeway and Pedestrian Program Manager. “Some of these are even demonstration projects recommended by the plan to illustrate how design improvements can make the street safer for everyone, but especially for those on foot.”

The timeline for each project varies, with each likely reaching construction within one to three years. As part of the planning process, public input meetings will be held in conjunction with each project.

More information about this and the other TAP projects is available in The Daily News and The Memphis Flyer. To keep up-to-date on bicycle and pedestrian news across the city, visit Bike/Ped Memphis.

Posted by Cory Dugan at 3:40 PM