The Memphis Police Department is implementing a new plan for downtown to manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic on weekends. The plan establishes a downtown “Pedestrian Corridor” for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, designed to improve public safety and the free flow of motor vehicle traffic and public safety in the downtown space.
MPD will have an enhanced law enforcement presence, supported by Shelby County Sheriff deputies when the traffic plan goes into effect at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and throughout the weekend. The new plan will involve an increased traffic enforcement presence to enforce the “No Cruising Zone Ordinance.” MPD officers will have designated foot beat assignments in and around Beale Street, and some officers will have fixed post assignments that will control the ingress and egress for motorists desiring access to hotels and restaurants downtown.
The officers assigned to key post positions will enforce a “zero-tolerance” policy for the following violations: cruising; drag racing; reckless driving; discharging a firearm, and reckless endangerment. Moreover, the Department will not allow “pop-up” street parties. Safety zones will be established with officers visible at several Downtown Memphis street corners and surrounding areas.
- The Police Department will place barricades at designated intersections at 8:00 p.m.
- On Danny Thomas Blvd., travel will be restricted to prevent motorist from driving west on Beale St. and west on Gayoso Ave.
- All Motorist will be allowed to travel east and west on Union Ave. The intersection of Union Ave. and Fourth St. will be restricted to prevent motorist from going south on Fourth St. from Union Ave;
- On Second St. at Union Ave, travel will be restricted and a police officer will be assigned to the location to prevent motorist from traveling south from Second St;
- Motorist traveling on Union Ave. will be diverted west to Front St. or east to Danny Thomas;
- Traffic will be restricted at Peabody Pl. and Front St. to prevent motorist from traveling east on Peabody Pl.
- Motorist traveling on Front St. will be diverted either north or southbound from Peabody Pl. Moreover, traffic will be restricted from travel east on Beale St.
- Motorist traveling on Martin Luther King Dr. will be diverted east to Danny Thomas Blvd.; notwithstanding, motorist residing at the Westin Hotel will travel north on B.B. King Blvd. to George W. Lee Ave. to access the hotel and its parking garage.
- Plan Ahead: Consider carpooling to minimize the traffic volume Downtown;
- Park Smart: Be mindful of parking only in permitted lots and be sure to pay attention to any “No Parking” signs to avoid citations or fines. Violators are also subject to having their vehicles towed and impounded. Also, be aware of possible road closures to plan your outings with minimal disruptions.
- Prevent Crime: Don’t make it easy for criminals to break into your vehicle. Remove all valuables including purses, cell phones, laptops, tablet computers, firearms and other valuables from unattended vehicles;
- Think Before You Drink: Don’t drink and drive. If you plan on drinking, designate a driver, take a cab or utilize other modes of transportation;
“After a very productive meeting between the CEO Paul Young and Beale Street business owners earlier this week, it was agreed that an enhanced law enforcement presence will help create a safe environment for people to visit, eat, and be entertained. The new traffic plan will be continually assessed to prevent the unintentional adverse impact on other downtown business owners,” said Chief CJ Davis.
“Creating the safest and most welcoming Downtown experience is vital to our City. Our region relies on tourism and the dollars spent at downtown restaurants and entertainment venues. That is why we are working together with downtown merchants, the city administration, and MPD to implement a crime-prevention strategy that will result in a better guest experience while reducing crime levels, including reckless driving and property crime,” said Paul Young, President/CEO Downtown Memphis Commission