Proposed simpler alternative- Fix Farm Rd Intersection

Walter Kulash, a nationally famous traffic engineer, has recently designed an alternative solution to the Farm Road traffic problem.  His design will be much less expensive and much quicker to implement than the TDOT plans for Kirby Parkway (aka Shelby Farms Parkway).

The design includes:

  1. A longer left-turn lane for eastbound Walnut Grove traffic, so that evening rush hour traffic won’t back up into the eastbound flow lanes.
  2. A longer left-turn lane for southbound Farm Rd. traffic, so that the left-turning and right-turning traffic do not block and delay each other.
  3. A westbound auxiliary lane from Farm Rd to Humphries Blvd., so that the Farm Rd to westbound Walnut Grove traffic can flow continuously, and not negatively impact the Walnut Grove traffic coming from further east.
  4. Extending the northbound merge lane on Farm Rd, so that the two streams of traffic that turned from Walnut Grove do not conflict with each other.
  5. Careful consideration of radii on the turning ramps, and of the timing of the cycles of the traffic signal.

The Sierra Club has been promoting the general idea of this alternative design for more than a year.

Improved Farm Rd Intersection

Improved Farm Rd Intersection

Upcoming Public Meeting

This blog has been quiet for a year. I apologize to loyal and interested readers.

But we’ve been working hard, analyzing the situation, and meeting with officials. AND, there’s a lot happening, and a lot about to happen. More on everything as I update the blog today and in the next day or two.

First thing– I want to make sure everyone knows about the Public Hearing scheduled for this Tuesday 9/24 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm (and later if there are more commenters), at the Agricenter. I asked TDOT to change the time, but they said no!

Please be there, and tell them what you think about the plans for the road!

Look at the next few posts to see why the Sierra Club (Chickasaw Group) is against current plans for the road, and why we are suggesting an alternative.

Here’s a Windshield-Info-Card that you can print, cut into 8 cards per page and put under windshield wipers. It has the basic info about the meeting, plus key links:

And here’s the text from the cards:

!!Don’t Split My Park!!
TDOT Plans to build highway thru Shelby Farms Park
Environmental Issues, Legal Issues, Cost Issues
Simpler Alternatives can fix problems sooner

>>Public Hearing- Tue Sept 24, 5pm-7pm
Agricenter, 7777 Walnut Grove Rd, Memphis

>> If you can’t make the meeting, send comments to: , ref Kirby Parkway, Shelby County

>> More info at this blog:

August 23rd Panel Discussion Well Attended, Provides Useful Info on the Parkway and Issues (Environmental, Financial and Other).

The August 23rd Panel Discussion was well attended- nearly 90 individuals were there to hear about plans for the Parkway- the “Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement” (SFEIS).  They heard about the plans, and the objections.

John Cameron, Director of Engineering for Memphis, talked about the Parkway as part of a desire to have a network of roads to handle traffic, rather than relying on a few large roads (like a 16 lane freeway in Atlanta).  He also showed some of the design concepts being considered for the road to make it park friendly.  Mr. Cameron’s presentation is here.

Laura Adams, Executive Director of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, presented an overview of the Park’s Masterplan, and many of the positive things going on in the park.  She also joked with John each time he mistakenly referred to “The Park” as “The Farms” (which it was called some time ago).  She also reviewed the Conservancy’s position on the Parkway design, and how the city engineers are working to address their issues.  Ms. Adams’ presentation is here.

Dennis Lynch, Transportation Chair for the local Chickasaw Group of the Sierra Club, was next.  He presented details on some of the reasons the Sierra Club objects to the current plan for the road- including risk to the aquifer (Memphis’ great water supply) and the floodplain, building an interchange immediately adjacent to the leaching landfill, plus the need to consider a less expensive, less impactful alternative. Financial issues and the tight restrictions of Section 4(f) regarding building a highway across a park were also highlighted. Mr. Lynch’s presentation is here.

Brian Waldron, Director of the Ground Water Institute at the University of Memphis, talked briefly about some of the aquifer and floodplain issues related to the roadway, and related information which he has provided to the project’s planning team.

Gregg Elliott, a resident of Shelby Place (a neighborhood just North of the Park) expressed concerns about maintaining and enhancing access to the Park from the north, as well as protection of the Park’s pastoral character and natural resources.  She said a neighborhood association survey of original homebuyers indicated that a high percentage (around 90%) indicated proximity to the Park as one of their reasons for buying in that location.  Finally, she indicated concern about egress from the neighborhood via Showboat onto Whitten during rush hour, once the planned parkway is completed.

Following the presentations there were a number of good questions which continued until the last possible moment when we had to rush out so they could close the library.  I’m going to try to summarize those questions in the near future.

Thanks to all who organized the meeting, and thanks to all who attended.

August 23rd Meeting

On August 23, the Sierra Club will sponsor a panel presentation and discussion on plans for the Shelby Farms Parkway (aka Kirby Parkway).  Please put this meeting on your calendar.  Come to hear the plans and learn about the environmental concerns.

Government officials and planners, representatives of the park, and the Sierra Club will present key details of the proposal and related environmental issues.

Date/Time: August 23, 6:00-7:30pm (5:30 “Meet & Greet”)
Location: Benjamin Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave, Memphis

The published plans can be reviewed before the meeting at
Shelby Farms Parkway – Supplemental Final EIS
and   Section 2- Appendix

Thank you.

Shelby Farms Parkway – Supplemental Final EIS