UPDATED: Cooper bike lane plans released

By MicroMemphis


The repaving and bike lane striping of Cooper Street should begin this summer and plans call for the project to wrap up by Aug. 15 — a full month before the annual Cooper-Young Festival.

Kyle Wagenschutz, City of Memphis bike/pedestrian coordinator, said the restriping is scheduled for this paving season, which runs April through October. Seven streets are included in this group with three of the projects already completed.

Wagenschutz said he is fairly confident the repaving of Cooper Street could start in late June or early July.

Photo by Miriam Hegner

According to the City, the Cooper corridor project, which will extend from Southern to Central, should take seven to 10 days for milling of the asphalt and repaving, weather permitting. After that, it will take another couple of weeks to complete striping and signs. During that period, the street will remain useable.

Wagenschutz said the City of Memphis has kept the Cooper-Young Festival in mind as it moved through scheduling. In fact, the project was delayed last year in consideration of the festival.

“We put it off last year to avoid having it coincide with the Cooper-Young Festival,” Wagenschutz said. “We pushed it off with the contractor. I think we are being good stewards with this.”

City officials, cycling advocates and the Cooper-Young Business Association agreed in 2010 on a plan to install bike lanes along Cooper as well as on reducing the number of lanes to one per direction plus a turn lane.

“Bike lanes are a good thing, but parking around here is rough already,” said Young Avenue Deli’s manager Phillip Stroud. “The parking situation needs to be fixed before anything else is added.”

His restaurant is in the area that will lose parking spaces, along with Mulan, Cafe Ole, Do Noodle and the Beauty Shop.

But he thinks cyclists needed to be treated with respect, too. “We need a happy medium,” he said.

Ashly Snyder from Cooper-Young Glassworks worries that with reducing the driving lanes to two per direction, less people will come through Cooper-Young and stop by his store. “But it’s good to have a safe cycling option to get through the city on bike.”


MicroMemphis, a multimedia news site that covers issues in Cooper-Young, is a project of the University of Memphis Department of Journalism. It can be found online at cooperyoung.weebly.org and on Facebook and Twitter. Lurene Kelley, Miriam Hegner and Idil Issak contributed to this report.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

Share This Post On


  1. Young Avenue Deli won´t loose any parking space with less lines in Cooper. Right now you can not park south of Young Ave. on the right side going south.
    It has been proven that slower traffic increases sales and interest in retail stores around bike lines. Madison Ave is an example here in Memphis with bike lines detractors installing bike racks because they have realized the potential costumers.
    Valet parking is one of the reasons for people not coming to Cooper and Young business without that service. It should not be allowed in Cooper and Young.
    More lines and more cars have not been working so far. Is the traffic now so terrible in McLean? or Madison? or North Parkway? We need more bike lines and we need them to be connected. We need a more human and educated city. Thanks Kyle Wagenschutz for making it happend (or thanks for doing your part)

    Post a Reply
  2. Bike lanes are not going to detract from business. Cooper Young lost our business because of the pay to park situation. When you have a tight budget, rare nights out without children, and many other options downtown,in midtown, and out east, the idea of paying to park to go to dinner is not appealing. We can go to Overton Square, see a show, eat dinner and grab dessert at Yolo without the parking charges.

    Post a Reply
  3. The bike lanes will do nothing but good things for Cooper Young, I believe. Thank you, Kyle Wagenschutz for overseeing this project. As to the pay to park situation with some restaurants – I don’t see what the problem is. It provides a convenient option for those diners who want the service, meanwhile there is still plenty of FREE parking available within walking distance (Cooper down to 1st Congo, Blythe, Evelyn, Oliver, Nelson, etc). Yes, you have to walk some extra steps, but it wouldn’t be any more than say, walking from Studio on the Square to YoLo…..

    Post a Reply
  4. Unsure why the No parking sign willl be removed from Cooper at Nelson. It’s so hard for residents to pull out on Cooper now. If more parking is needed, then the CYBA needs to build a parking garage. Our safety should not be put in jeopardy.

    Post a Reply
  5. Please no garage; will totally ruin the “look” of the neighborhood and the amount of parking provided would not be worth it.

    It is hard to pull out onto Cooper from Nelson; always avoid that if at all possible but good question why remove the sign?


    Post a Reply
  6. The “No Parking” sign on Cooper near Nelson would not be totally removed, but it would be moved closer to the intersection. Right now, it appears that the sign is approximately 100 ft from the intersection of the streets, whereas after it is moved it will be around 50 ft. It may definitely still be a point of concern though.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>