Friday, February 14, 2014

Complete Streets - How Do We Get There From Here?

Public Meeting Announcement: Complete Streets – How Do We Get There From Here?
Everyone wants our streets to be safe for pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit in addition to automobiles and freight carriers. Everyone wants our streets to be vibrant public spaces that inspire economic vitality.

Please join Livable Memphis and the MidSouth Complete Streets Coalition at a public meeting to give your valuable input on why you want safer, more accessible streets, and how we can get there.

The Active Transportation Alliance, our consultants on this project will demonstrate of how Complete Streets strategies can be used in locally. Complete Streets safely accommodate all users and serve a variety of modes –– each prioritized based on need and context. Memphis is committed to Complete Streets, and a Design Manual is the roadmap we will use to get there.

You will learn:
  • What is a Complete Streets Design Manual and why does Memphis need one?
  •  Who ultimately decides how streets and public spaces are designed?
  •  What are the obstacles to building great streets that are safe, accessible and meet the needs of the community? Is it cost, design standards or process?
  • How does this effort relate to our Regional Greenprint Plan?

We will take a closer look at some Memphis-specific projects to investigate:
  • How were design decisions made for some recent street renovation projects? How did that “project delivery process” give us the roadways we have today? How can we do things differently in the future?
  • Would a Complete Streets Design Manual help incorporate Complete Streets strategies into their designs?
  • Let’s see how Complete Streets Strategies could be incorporated into the Memphis Heritage Trail – a historically significant route through the heart of downtown.

When: Wednesday February 19, 5:30-7:30pm
Where: 1548 Poplar Ave. Memphis TN 38014. In the Memphis Leadership Foundation building across from the Home Depot in Midtown.
Who: Anyone interested in safe, accessible streets
Details: Free and open to the public – REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Pizza and refreshments provided courtesy of Self+Tucker Architects.

TO REGISTER: Complete Streets – How Do We Get There From Here? or call 901-725-8370

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mayor Wharton signs the Memphis Complete Streets Executive Order!

Mayor Wharton recently signed the Memphis Complete Streets Policy as an Executive Order! This is great news: it means that from here on out, our streets will be designed and retrofitted to accommodate all user. We will post a link to the official executive order once it's on the City's website.

Here is a photo of Mayor Wharton signing the order. 

Call to Action:
Please take a few minutes to send Mayor Wharton a thank you. Send him an email at Use your own words or use this draft as a guide:

Dear Mayor Wharton, 
Thank you for signing the Memphis Complete Streets Policy Executive Order. I'm so proud of you for being a champion for safe streets that accommodate all users. While I frequently drive my car, I am also a pedestrian, cyclist and transit user. I am eager for streets that provide me with many safe and pleasant options for how to get around.
I'd like to walk, bike, or take transit to ____________________ more often. Complete Streets will make it easier for me to get there. Thank you again for encouraging a vibrant street life, providing healthy lifestyle choices and making Memphis more livable.

A special THANK YOU to all of the members of the Policy Development Team for all of your hard work in drafting the order. 

Next steps: creating the Street Design Manual....stay tuned!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Presentations Update

As part of the effort to make our streets and our transportation network more complete, we have been taking the conversation to the community and engaging on what the Complete Streets policy effort is all about and the pressing issues behind it.  These events usually consist of a viewing of our twelve-minute promotional video followed by a power point presentation on the status of the local effort, why Complete Streets is good for our city and county, and how people can be supportive.  We're glad that through this process the Complete Streets message appears to be very well-received.  We just want to continue to get in front of more people.  Thus far, organizations that have hosted a presentation include:
  • Great Streets Health Communities conference
  • Livable Memphis - Pizza with Planners
  • Community Development Council of Greater Memphis
  • Collierville Planning Commission
  • Memphis Area Association of Realtors
  • Crye-Leike Realtors
  • Memphis Regional Design Center - Urban Design 101
  • Let's CHANGE Summit with Health Memphis Common Table
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Shelby County Health Department
  • Memphis Housing Authority and Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Sierra Club
Presentations are also soon to be made at ULI - Memphis and USGBC - Memphis.  Over 300 people have been exposed to our Complete Streets effort from these presentations, and as of today, 148 people have signed Complete Streets Coalition pledges of support.

Thank you to everyone who has hosted a presentation, taken part in the conversation, and signed a pledge of support.  The feedback we have received has been tremendous and we greatly appreciate your support in making Memphis a better place to live!

We continue to reach out to business, community, and civic organizations of all kinds, so if you are a part of an organization that would like to host a Complete Streets presentation, or know of one you'd like to suggest, please contact us and let us know.

Friday, December 7, 2012

MidSouth Complete Streets Progressing

Complete Streets are roadways designed to enable safe, attractive, and comfortable access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit users of all ages and abilities.

Here in Memphis, we like to focus the conversation on a few core principles; among them, economic growth and fiscal responsibility.  From time to time on this blog, in addition to making posts specific to our outreach and advocacy efforts, we may post articles that relate to the goals identified by our Complete Streets Policy Development Team.  Today a column was published in The Detroit News discussing the city of Detroit's impending bankruptcy. 

We don't mean to equate Memphis with Detroit, for a variety of reasons, and we certainly are not suggesting that if only Detroit had a perfect Complete Streets policy in place, disaster would have been averted.  We do believe, however, that Complete Streets is critical to correcting public balance sheets, because - broadly speaking - a Complete Streets policy that allows for the development of a more people-friendly city will also create a place that is more economically vibrant and fiscally healthy as well.  Today, Memphis has roughly as much public space as private space, most of it in the form of roadways dedicated to moving cars.  Public space does not generate revenue, but is supposed to serve and augment the economic activities and value of the private space that pays for it (aka, property taxes).  But how are we supposed to pay for the increasing ratio of public space we have, in addition to the necessary public services we need to function, when the amount of public space meets -or, in the future, potentially exceeds - the amount of private space?  That's one major factor contributing to budget crunch in cities all across the country, not just Memphis and Shelby County.  Complete Streets allows for the  creation of streets and an overall transportation network that serves more users, better with the same or less public space.

We're glad to be finally able to use this forum to provide updates on our progress, outreach, and advocacy.  As always, please reach out to us, and if you'd like to schedule a presentation, email Wes Riddle at or

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Complete Streets Video!

Full Version of the MidSouth Complete Streets Video

Short Version of the MidSouth Complete Streets Video

Monday, July 30, 2012

Contact the Coalition

For more information about our efforts, please contact Livable Memphis at: or

Site Under Construction

Please be patient as we set up this website! Coming soon:

  • Our video making the case for Complete Streets for our region - the greater Memphis, TN metro area.
  • A list of members who have pledged support of the Coalition
  • Updates on educational events about our local Complete Streets effort
  • Updates on work of the Policy Development Team
  • Progress updates on the Memphis and Shelby County Executive Orders and the Design Guide