MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The Highland Strip near the University of Memphis campus is trying to reinvent itself with new retail apartments and condos. It’s an ideal spot where more than 30,000 people go by every day. One problem is it’s not always safe for pedestrians, and the city’s first effort to improve safety didn’t go very well. The community is hoping Highland Strip 2.0 will be better.
Rendering show what things will look like after the University Neighborhoods Development Corporation and designers Looney Ricks Kiss are done.
A grassy median, more pedestrian friendly elements, and those grey planter pots that absorbed the impact of car crashes in some cases saving people from serious injury.
What’s different about this project is that designers are employing a bit of a different approach. They started at the center, smack dab in the middle of Highland Street, and not looking at it as a divider between the University of Memphis, businesses, and the community.
“We want a street that works for students, visitors, employees, property owners, and business owners,” said designer Jonathan Flynt.
Plans for this project include slowing traffic down, and designers are interested in finding out the average speed of cars down Highland. The whole point is to make this make the Highland Strip more pedestrian friendly.
Landscaping, improved sidewalks, and an improved railroad crossing at Highland and Southern are expected to make life –and business– much better on the strip.