MidtownMemphis.org sets out to improve a neglected corner at Avalon and Madison

A popular strip mall on one side, a vast parking lot for the ever-popular Cash Saver on the other. Murphy’s Pub on one corner, the shell of the old Antenna Club on another, and the new Madison Midtown apartments almost complete a short walk away, across from Minglewood Hall.

This area around the corner of Avalon Street and Madison Avenue is in the heart of Midtown Memphis and is seeing a population increase that is about to increase yet further. However, the area has been neglected and is a danger to pedestrians, bus riders, scooter riders, and bicyclist. Crossing Madison at Angelus and/or Avalon is a challenge.

MidtownMemphis.org’s (MMO) long-term goal for an improved Madison Midtown project is to make this area safer, more attractive, and strengthen its sense of place. Our hope is that the community and commuters eventually see this area as a place that Memphians care about.

Madison Avenue through Midtown was initially redesigned in 2010 to add bike lanes and on street parking. Although on-street parking was needed in most areas, the parking lane in this block is rarely if ever used for parking due to the large, underutilized surface parking lots on both sides of the street. No separation exists between the parking lots and the sidewalks on either side of this section of Madison Avenue. The on-street parking lane in front of the Cash Saver is used as passing and turning lane by speeding cars heading west on Madison, which creates an extremely danger situation.

Conceptual improvements at Avalon Street and Madison Avenue

The area could be improved and made safer by adding crosswalks, slowing down traffic, adding banners, and adding shade with street trees and landscaping. Clearly marked crosswalks and narrowing the flow of traffic would help tremendously. A first step could be painting and landscaping the parking lane to make its use clearly not a travel lane. Large self-watering planters could be added in the underused parking lane as well as the underused portion of the Cash Saver parking lot, possibly in the triangles at the end of each row of cars.

MidtownMemphis.Org has created the attached conceptual improvement plan after holding multiple meetings and conversations with adjacent property/business owners and neighborhood association representatives. As an initial step toward implementation, MMO partnered with Clean Memphis to organize a M.L. King Day neighborhood area clean-up, which attracted area volunteers. MMO formed an improvement committee and did a walking audit to survey conditions and walkability of the area. As a next step toward raising awareness of the conditions and need for improvements, we met with the City of Memphis Engineering’s Pedestrian & Bike Coordinator and are processing a request for MMO to organize and hold a PARK(ing) Day event on Madison Midtown as part of International PARK(ing) Day on Friday, September 17, 2021.

See the attached PARK(ing) Day flyer for more information and how to participate. 

https://www.myparkingday.org/                                                          https://midtownmemphis.org/

MidtownMemphis.Org (MMO) is a place-based non-profit community development corporation that nurtures authentic character, thoughtful development, and vibrant community.

2 Replies to “MidtownMemphis.org sets out to improve a neglected corner at Avalon and Madison”

    1. For purposes of the effort to improve the area along Madison, I am certain the cemetery won’t be disturbed. I’d check out MidtownMemphis.org for more info.

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