THE EAST ARTERY

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ALL GREENLINES LEAD TO SHELBY FARMS

In addition to the myriad improvements that Shelby Farms Park is currently engaged with in their Heart of the Park campaign they have tacked on an extension to the Shelby Farms Greenline that will give easier access to neighborhoods to the east of the Park. What was originally slotted to be a 4.15 mile extension was increased to approximately 7.25 miles with the announcement of another grant received and a pending approval for a third grant.

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy Board President Tom Grimes succinctly likened the Shelby Farms Greenline to a circulatory system that is the lifeline for the Park. This extension will take the Greenline from its current terminus at Farm Rd and Mullins Station Rd to align with a short section of Lenow Rd. When the extension is completed sometime after 2016 it will make Shelby Farms Greenline almost 14 miles long – the longest continuous greenline in Shelby County.

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IS THIS THE END, BEAUTIFUL FRIEND?

So what happens at the end, do we just turn around and go back? While the Shelby Farms Greenline in its current state gives access to the Park for many Midtown and East Memphis users there are plenty of other Neighborhoods who access the Greenline starting in the Park. We need only look at the success of Republic Coffee and the development boom happening in Binghamton (Tillman/Broad) to know what lies ahead for Cordova Town Centre and the myriad businesses, homes, and schools along the eastern route. Outdoors, Inc. employees are probably stoked on the little gravel spur that goes over to Fischer Steel Rd (which will be even better when the Access Plan is funded and completed) and that Starbucks at Cordova Station Ave is going to see a lot more business unless a local jumps in with a coffee shop.

But this isn’t even the end. The Greenprint – the master plan for greenlines in the region – shows us that this 13 miles is only half of the total Shelby Farms Greenline. The other half extends even further east into Fayette County.

HOW THE WEST WILL BE WON

When you get to Tillman you can see that there is still rail bed on the West side of the street. There are plans to extend the Greenline to the West over to Flicker St. The challenge here is active rail lines so the plan calls for a bridge. A grant has been requested to connect the Greenline to Tobey Park and then it’s an easy skip to the Fairgrounds, Kroc Center, Children’s Museum and the Liberty Bowl. In the future we’ll be bicycle trailer-gating at Tiger Lane!

THE TOTAL PACKAGE

Shelby Farms breaks down the status of all the existing and planned future sections of the Greenline:

  • 6.5 mile Greenline. Complete and open since 2011
  • 4.15 mile Eastward Extension. SFPC and Shelby County broke ground last week and this section is currently under construction, set to open Spring 2016.
  • 2.5 mile additional Eastward Extension. This portion has been funded and Shelby County is now negotiating with CSX Railroad to acquire the Right of Way to build the trail before pursuing design, engineering and construction, which is at least a year away.
  • 0.6 mile Westward Extension. Grant funding is pending and the Right of Way has already been secured for this short section of trail.

Shelby Farms Greenline Full Extension Map

 

 

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