Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

PCGrad02

Environmental Issues in Memphis

7 posts in this topic

What do you think is the most pressing environmental issue in the Memphis area today? Do you think there is a need for bike lanes/alternate forms of transportation? How about Greenways and Ribbon Parks? Are the residents of Memphis unhealthy due to the lack of access to parkland? What do you think should/can be done about it? Any other options or suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Greenways and parks would help I think to some degree, esp. in conjuction with other urban renewal projects to make the areas they are located in more inviting to people and help provide a catalyst for change in more blighted and less attractive areas. I think citizens throughout all the neighborhoods in the city would be interested in seeing vacant land and blighted areas turned into parks if it can be done reasonably - ie if the land can be obtained and the park can be built and maintained at a reasonable cost. They certianly give more people access to outdoor activities which would help without a doubt. I don't think we should put too much hope on parks to change the health of the city's citizens alone though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though our parks system could certainly be better, especially with improvements/amenities/upgrades and with greenways to better connect the parks to neighborhoods and to one another, I don't believe that the Memphis area park system is in as bad of shape as some people make it out to be. We really do have lots of parks available throughout the City, County, and suburbs. I don't think that it is a lack of parks that keeps them from being used.

One factor is certainly the lower quality and/or lack of amenities within our parks. Case in point: Shelby Farms. It's nice as it is, but its size and potential have been relatively untapped.

Another factor is access. Many parks in denser parts of the city have decent neighborhood access, but the further out you get, the more you have to drive your car (maybe hop on a bus) to get to a park. If you just wanted to walk, you'll probably walk in your neighborhood. Bike lanes, greenways, and other transportation would help, but its more a product of sprawl and lower density development.

Lastly, and mostly unaddressable by local government, is people's desire to use the parks or exercise. Let's face it, it's VERY hot in the summers and not always pleasant in the fall and spring. Then, winter is cold enough to keep you indoors. That tends to dampen people's initiative. Then you have all the entertainment options in your home, car-dependency, general laziness, and probably many more causes/excuses to keep people from using the parks we have.

As far as general environmental concerns go, I know that Memphis has one of the first municipal environmental courts in the country. Judge Larry Potter worked to set it up and is still over it.

Environmental Court

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you think is the most pressing environmental issue in the Memphis area today? Do you think there is a need for bike lanes/alternate forms of transportation? How about Greenways and Ribbon Parks? Are the residents of Memphis unhealthy due to the lack of access to parkland? What do you think should/can be done about it? Any other options or suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^That's very true. Overall, Memphis seems to be decent with regard to always having sidewalks and curbs, having crosswalks painted at intersections, and having pedestrian walk/don't walk signals. We're far ahead of peer cities in regard to those 3 areas.

Environmentally, I think Memphis wastes a LOT of land because of blight. Blight in Memphis is out of control because our mayor thinks there's nothing wrong with it, and refuses to act. Finding and using ways to convert brownfields instead of constantly gobbling up greenfields should be priority #1 IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Environmentally, I think Memphis wastes a LOT of land because of blight. Blight in Memphis is out of control because our mayor thinks there's nothing wrong with it, and refuses to act. Finding and using ways to convert brownfields instead of constantly gobbling up greenfields should be priority #1 IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Water Pollution: Wolf River is better but still has a long way to go. Continued cleanup of Kilowatt Lake area and nearby IH and Firestone industrial sites is a must. North Memphis in general needs a lot of work on water pollution as well as any eastern Shelby County/Fayette County pollution sources which threaten the Memphis Sands Aquifer.

Air Pollution: TVA made the right economic decision a few years ago to keep the Allen Steam Plant a coal-fired plant rather than convert it to natural gas, but if the natural gas prices stabilize and start a downward trend, it's time to consider a switch. There are not enough scrubbers in the world to make coal plants clean, and the Allen Plant must be the biggest point source for air pollution for miles around. It singlehandedly creates the brown cloud above Memphis on stagnant air summer and winter mornings and hurts the metro area in non-compliance for particulate pollution. As for transportation, clean diesel will help immensely, as will reconfiguration of several local interstate bottlenecks in the next few years. I'm surprised the EPA hasn't mandated vapor recovery systems at area gas stations; that would help somewhat for summer ozone compliance. FedEx removing 727s and NWA removing DC9s from their fleets in the next few years will also cut particulate and NOx emissions.

Blight and resulting sprawl: Living in the city closer to work and school is a no-brainer. Changing a culture of government dependence and crime is probably the hardest thing to do here.

Biking/Walking Lanes: I have no problem with bikers as long as they are separate from cars, and I'm sure they think the same thing. 4-laning Union and Poplar with a turn lane and 2 small bike lanes would help quite a bit. There are a number of other roads wide enough in Memphis and the suburbs to devote the edges to bike lanes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.