Section of Union Avenue to get new median, bike lanes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A block on Union Avenue in the Medical District could see some big changes.

A median, more trees and even bike lanes are coming to Union Avenue between Marshall and Manassas.

This fall, the city of Memphis plans to invest about $1 million adding landscaping along with the other improvements.

“This one block will be the first piece and will set the tone for the new design of the rest of Union Avenue,” said Nicholas Oyler, Bikeway and Pedestrian Manager for the City of Memphis.

Oyler said changes are in store for one of the city's busiest streets, and it's time to start thinking about everyone using union these days.

"We want to make streets safer for anyone who uses them and not just people in cars," Oyler said.  
Drivers like Anthony Nolan agree.

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“I think that’s a good idea. They need to widen the lanes, I know that’s kind of impossible because they’re very narrow,” Nolan said.

According to Nolan, tight lanes during rush hour makes it hard to get by sometimes.

“Vehicles like trucks or SUVs have a hard time traveling, particularly when you have a MATA bus on Union Avenue,” Nolan said.

The city said they can and are planning to widen sidewalks. They're also working to enhance bus shelters.

Right now, Oyler said the city is considering including a median or middle lane for the rest of Union as well.

It’s also worth noting, the city does not plan to add bike lanes onto the rest of Union heading east beyond the Medical District.