MRPP takes steps to make riverfront parks safer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis City Council held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss improving safety on Mud Island and making riverfront parks more attractive for tourists
The recent upgrades to parks along the Mississippi River are part of an effort to attract more people to the city and beautify it.
Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP), which manages Tom Lee Park, installed new park equipment along the riverfront Tuesday taking another step toward the completion of the park’s ongoing renovations.
George Abbott, the director of external affairs for MRPP, says the goal is to create a riverfront that matches the river itself.
Additional playground equipment was installed at Tom Lee Park on Tuesday, and Abbott says he’s looking forward to the park being a place that attracts not only tourists but also the people who call Memphis home.
“The riverfront really is the front door to our city,” Abbott said. “It’s kind of the image that we put out to the rest of the world and we really have the best river location in the whole country.”
In addition to the Tom Lee Park additions, the Memphis City Council also took steps to improve safety across Mud Island.
During the committee meeting, the council approved a resolution to recommend $800,000 for maintenance issues at the MRPP parks.
“We’re replacing pedestrian bridge lighting with updated LED lights,” Art Davis said. “We’ve also updated some of the outside lighting that you see when you drive by to more LEDs, so this is just a continuation of that.”
Brightening up Mud Island is just one step that Memphis River Parks Partnership will take to improve safety in the area.
“There’s a lot of areas that if not properly lit, it can attract some behavior that’s not the best for the public park,” Davis said. “So that’s what this money is for, just as a safety issue.”
At Tuesday’s city council committee meeting, MRPP officials shared how they’ll spend funds to address the issues.
“The first one is for $525,000 for the lighting of East and West Terminals of Mud Island,” Davis said. “It’s basically where the tram used to run between.”
The money will also cover upgraded fencing along Island Drive and Green Belt Park.
Park officials also plan to use $120,00 dollars to cover Front Street Garage repairs.
Abbott says he’s looking forward to these improvements attracting tourists and locals.
“Creating a great riverfront park that’s free, that’s open to everyone year-round, and gives you a place to hang out with your family... that’s only a good thing for Memphis,” Abbott said.
The Tom Lee Park project is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall.
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