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Author Topic: Memphis Highways  (Read 1147 times)

US71

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Memphis Highways
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:56:28 PM »

Coming home from the Memphis Roadmeet, I took some time to clinch the rest of the US Routes in Tennessee. I was mostly missing 72, but also part of Summer Ave. I first drove out US 72 to Mississippi, then turned around and came back through town.  The best way to describe the signage in Memphis is a clusterf*ck.  72 appears to end at Parkway, though it supposedly doesn't, but there are no signs in any direction except for TN 277 (and no signs for 64/70/79 south of Summer until you get to Union).

Summer Ave seems to be a hodgepodge of partial signage and erroneous signage. US 51 is co-signed with 64/70/79 before you get to 51.  Same with US 61.

If you blink, you'll miss the single US 64 sign at 2nd Street that shows you need to turn.

There is one sign pointing straight ahead for US 78 on 2nd Street, but no sign at the actual junction.

It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through town.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 04:57:20 PM by US71 »
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Brooks

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 02:17:32 PM »

TDOT would rather focus on Nashville and tends to ignore anything that has an effect on Memphis.  Also, the city itself being broke doesn’t help.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 03:10:15 PM »

What condition are Memphis's highways in (State Routes/US Highways/Interstates)? Does TDOT ensure they are in good shape?
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cjk374

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 03:41:09 PM »

What condition are Memphis's highways in (State Routes/US Highways/Interstates)? Does TDOT ensure they are in good shape?

I didn't think they were too terribly bad. The room for improvement is never full, but I have seen worse.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 04:52:56 PM »

Quote from: US71
It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through town.

Hence the condition of Lamar Avenue just North of the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. US-78 through there obviously should have been built as a freeway considering all the industrial facilities, trucking facilities and freight-rail inter-modal facilities adjacent to it. And then Memphis International Airport and the main Fed-Ex hub is nearby as well. Of course that might risk putting more traffic onto I-55 and the clunky old, narrow 4-lane bridge across the Mississippi. The lawmakers over in Nashville are going to have to deal with that issue at some point. They can kick the can only so far into the future. I guess maybe they're looking at waiting until the old structure finally collapses.
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sparker

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 07:22:54 PM »

Quote from: US71
It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through town.

Hence the condition of Lamar Avenue just North of the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. US-78 through there obviously should have been built as a freeway considering all the industrial facilities, trucking facilities and freight-rail inter-modal facilities adjacent to it. And then Memphis International Airport and the main Fed-Ex hub is nearby as well. Of course that might risk putting more traffic onto I-55 and the clunky old, narrow 4-lane bridge across the Mississippi. The lawmakers over in Nashville are going to have to deal with that issue at some point. They can kick the can only so far into the future. I guess maybe they're looking at waiting until the old structure finally collapses.

And then all three states, the City of Memphis, and the local MPO can form what would essentially be a circular firing squad and toss blame at each other for kicking the 3rd bridge idea so far into the distant future to be a nonentity!   :pan:
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hbelkins

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 10:17:12 PM »

It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through any major town.

FIFY.

Tennessee's city signage has always been horrible. Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga -- hard to follow the signed US routes through any of those cities. I was surprised to see US 11/70 signed through Knoxville as well as it was when I was there last year.
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Verlanka

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 09:56:15 AM »

Quote from: US71
It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through town.

Hence the condition of Lamar Avenue just North of the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. US-78 through there obviously should have been built as a freeway considering all the industrial facilities, trucking facilities and freight-rail inter-modal facilities adjacent to it. And then Memphis International Airport and the main Fed-Ex hub is nearby as well. Of course that might risk putting more traffic onto I-55 and the clunky old, narrow 4-lane bridge across the Mississippi. The lawmakers over in Nashville are going to have to deal with that issue at some point. They can kick the can only so far into the future. I guess maybe they're looking at waiting until the old structure finally collapses.

And then all three states, the City of Memphis, and the local MPO can form what would essentially be a circular firing squad and toss blame at each other for kicking the 3rd bridge idea so far into the distant future to be a nonentity!   :pan:
I could see that happening in about 20-25 years.
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Tomahawkin

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 04:02:58 PM »

OT, the city of Memphis must seriously be broke? Because I haven't seen any new high rises built there in the last 30 years??? I think Autozone park was the largest development built there in that timeframe??? Correct me if I'm wrong???
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capt.ron

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 05:02:29 PM »

Quote from: US71
It's almost as if Memphis or TDOT doesn't want you going through town.

Hence the condition of Lamar Avenue just North of the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. US-78 through there obviously should have been built as a freeway considering all the industrial facilities, trucking facilities and freight-rail inter-modal facilities adjacent to it. And then Memphis International Airport and the main Fed-Ex hub is nearby as well. Of course that might risk putting more traffic onto I-55 and the clunky old, narrow 4-lane bridge across the Mississippi. The lawmakers over in Nashville are going to have to deal with that issue at some point. They can kick the can only so far into the future. I guess maybe they're looking at waiting until the old structure finally collapses.
They should have upgraded Lamar Ave to a controlled access facility beginning in the early 1970's. Of course, we all know hindsight is 20/20.
Now, Lamar Avenue is a nightmare to get through. It does get better once you get close to Mississippi (has a couple of grade separations) but right off of I-240, its downright horrible.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2019, 05:13:12 PM »

How hard would it be to improve highway signage in Memphis anyway? Is TDOT too cash-strapped or too lazy to give the many highways that go through the city better signage?
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sparker

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 06:11:29 PM »

How hard would it be to improve highway signage in Memphis anyway? Is TDOT too cash-strapped or too lazy to give the many highways that go through the city better signage?

Seems that for reasons ranging from political to sheer apathy, the TN state government and its subordinate agencies -- including TDOT, of course -- tend to put Memphis at the bottom of their priority lists.  But they seem only too willing (within limits) to enhance the area around the periphery -- almost encouraging outward movement to the 'burbs -- constructing TN 385 -- even pre-I-269 re-designation -- attests to that, particularly in regard to the E-W section from I-240 to I-269.  But they'll gladly finance TN/I-840, the I-26 facility south into NC, or anything else that crops up in the central and eastern part of the state. 
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 11:14:34 PM »

What condition are Memphis's highways in (State Routes/US Highways/Interstates)? Does TDOT ensure they are in good shape?
As bad every other state I've been in this year (Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa)
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 11:06:23 AM »

OT, the city of Memphis must seriously be broke? Because I haven't seen any new high rises built there in the last 30 years??? I think Autozone park was the largest development built there in that timeframe??? Correct me if I'm wrong???

Quite a bit is going on in downtown Memphis but I doubt anything over 25 stories.

https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2019/04/02/clipper-developer-seeks-height-exception-special.html?iana=hpmvp_memp_news_headline#g/449779/1


Quote

On Feb. 12, FedEx Logistics CEO Richard Smith said his company will occupy part of the Clipper, as well as the old Gibson factory, creating an "office campus" that Smith expects would eventually host at least 1,000 employees of the operating company.

The hotel will be developed in partnership with Senate Hospitality, owners of the Westin Beale Street, located just a block away. Senate is currently considering multiple brands for the hotel.




Then there's the billion buck Union Row project. They completed a big property buy last week

https://amp-commercialappeal-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.commercialappeal.com/amp/1975792002?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.commercialappeal.com%2Fstory%2Fmoney%2F2018%2F11%2F12%2Funion-row-memphis-5-things-know-downtown-development%2F1975792002%2F

And then there's the new convention center Hotel drama  eith there's going to be a new 30 story Lowes or 100 North Main gets redo into a hotel or maybe both.


« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 11:19:07 AM by Wayward Memphian »
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Tomahawkin

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 12:24:39 PM »

Thanks for the 411. I find it baffling that not much has been developed around Beale? I love Beale St almost as much as Bourbon st...
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 03:48:45 PM »

Thanks for the 411. I find it baffling that not much has been developed around Beale? I love Beale St almost as much as Bourbon st...

Well, there's Servicemaster HQ that relocated to the Peabody Place building. FedEx Logistics going into the Gibson Guitar building and that development I linked. One Beale has finally broke ground althought the office tower part's height is unknown and it it the last phase. You had the Chicsa dedevelopment, the Memphis Brewery dedevelopment, the Old Dommicks distillery and the new Malco theater all very near Beale.

They'll be adding more docking to Beale Landing cause VikingCruises is on again with  a400 passenger ship due in 2021 and a second in 2023. The Conventuon Center getting nearly 300 million redo plus the plans St Jude has for its substantial TE holdings in the  Pinch.  There's literally billions in the works for Downtown Memphis. It just flys underneather the radar
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UptownRoadGeek

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 08:58:28 PM »

Anybody care to breakdown the reasons behind the disdain Tennessee has always seemed to have for Memphis?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2019, 01:52:02 AM »

Putting it bluntly: Memphis has too many black people. That's the reason for the disdain. Never mind the positive history Memphis gives to the rest of Tennessee regarding its influence upon popular American culture. The folks in Nashville and even the folks in Knoxville look down their noses at Memphis as if it is the anus of the state. Of course, there is no shortage of criminals within Memphis trying to make the city live down to that reputation. But the whole thing is kind of a self perpetuating circle. If you have a major American city struggling from neglect you can't really expect the city to improve by doubling down on that whole "let's neglect the living hell out of the place" angle.
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2019, 09:15:12 AM »

Putting it bluntly: Memphis has too many black people. That's the reason for the disdain. Never mind the positive history Memphis gives to the rest of Tennessee regarding its influence upon popular American culture. The folks in Nashville and even the folks in Knoxville look down their noses at Memphis as if it is the anus of the state. Of course, there is no shortage of criminals within Memphis trying to make the city live down to that reputation. But the whole thing is kind of a self perpetuating circle. If you have a major American city struggling from neglect you can't really expect the city to improve by doubling down on that whole "let's neglect the living hell out of the place" angle.

It doesn't help when they elect the likes of Steve Cohen as their US Rep. I'm a conservative but I know that will never happen and I miss the days of pragmatic Congressmen like  Harold Ford Jr in spite of the sins of his elders.

Memphis is at a crossroads yet again. It got it's knees stable under Wharton and is starting to punch back with Strickland. But, guess who is running again after the scandal and shame has faded, King Willy.

The new Gov gave Memphis 10 million of his 60 million in FU  funds to the Tom Lee Park redo. I'm worried over how it might negatively effect the Music Fest which is a huge draw to Memphis but there is some promise in it

I have long said that Memphis should study Tivoli Park in Copenhagen for Mud Island. Elements are already there with the River Walk, Amp, Museum that needs some love, ect.

Modernize the Amp, go for signature architectural open air roof that preserves skyline sighlines (Think Sydney Opra House.

Update the Museum, add a flying Theater like Soarin' at Epcot to fly the Whole  length of the River.

Add a foot bridge to Beale Street Landing, Add an Aquarium to southern End , make ita  part of the Memphis Zoo and use combo tickets. Possible Boutique Hotel with exclusive aqaurium room windows

Like Tivoli, add a small amount of rides that make proper use of limited space in the area between the current museum and the New Bridge in a 1800s ornamental iron style, with hints of steampunk, think the iron works on the paddlewheelers.

This replaces a regional void left by Libertyland going away under King Willy. There are well over 2 million people in a 3to 4 hr drive of Memphis.

Add more botantic appeal all over. Possible European style Christmas market over the Island in Nov and Dec aling with massive lights to generate near year round appeal for most of island.

Admission to the Island stays free but aqaurium, musem, rides, concerts are a la carte od comnation tickets. No season passes, It does not need to be a babysitter.

Add an Egyptian themed indoor waterpar resort around the northern end of Downtown (Pinch, St. Jude area) and Memphis becomes a great weekend get away for Families to help drive some tourism beside music.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 09:21:36 AM by Wayward Memphian »
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2019, 09:45:52 AM »

Anybody care to breakdown the reasons behind the disdain Tennessee has always seemed to have for Memphis?

Until the mid 90s it was the "business city" of Tennessee. The shift happenes when Conservatives get control post Mcwhorter and the Democratic hold was broke. Memphis Politicians lost any influence they had, they then elected a Mayor that became a plague that wouldn't cure.

There was a pivotal point for Memphis in the late 80's. They got cheap on their NFL expansion push and decided to renovate the  Liberty Bowl, Jacksonville made a better pitch on stadium renos. Jacksonville get it by the slimist of margins. It cemented the minor league mentality of Memphis for many. Had Memphis Offered up a new stadium like would have likely got that franchise and while the team may or may not have been successful it would have elevated the standing of the city. It's wnership would have been rock solid as well. Hyde and Fogelman family led the charge.

I will contend that Nashville also got a break when AA dehubbed BNA. That allowed Southwest to move in a grow it. MEM was the last major dehub after the consolidations(although Delta killing CVG by a thousand cuts). That cost MEM bigtimw. Southwest had firmly established itself in peer cities like New Orleans, Nashville and St. Louis, Memphis was the odd man out.

Arkansas hasn't helped with it's neglect of East Arkansas. I think the lack of a true outer circle of Memphis proper has held it back. That is why I would love to see a north bridge and south bridge. To complete a loop of Memphis.

There is a folklore that in the early 80s Southwest approched Arkansas about expanding the West Memphis airport to handle commercial passenger traffic. It wanted the then healthy Memphis market and this would be as close it could get with the WA restrictions to connect directly to Dallas.
Clinton and Little Rock killed it because they wanted to protect LIT. If this tale is true, and the people that told it in the day, say it was, imagine the what ifs.

Same what ifs if the race car track owner had spent 50k and paved that 'then' dirt superspeedway there at Lehi. You can still see it from I-40 just to the south.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 10:29:44 AM by Wayward Memphian »
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Wayward Memphian

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 10:27:07 AM »

Anybody care to breakdown the reasons behind the disdain Tennessee has always seemed to have for Memphis?

Nm.
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hbelkins

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2019, 02:18:56 PM »

Putting it bluntly: Memphis has too many black people. That's the reason for the disdain.

 :-D :-D :-D :-D

That's funny.

Every state has places that whine and cry over a perceived "neglect." In North Carolina, Charlotte cries that the Triangle and Triad get all the attention. Here in Kentucky, Louisville has an inferiority complex, saying that Lexington, northern Kentucky, and the rural areas of the state are held in higher regard.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 02:33:56 PM »

There is a folklore that in the early 80s Southwest approched Arkansas about expanding the West Memphis airport to handle commercial passenger traffic. It wanted the then healthy Memphis market and this would be as close it could get with the WA restrictions to connect directly to Dallas.
Clinton and Little Rock killed it because they wanted to protect LIT. If this tale is true, and the people that told it in the day, say it was, imagine the what ifs.

I just got into Memphis a couple of hours ago, and am currently camped out in my father's (retired from 40+ years in the Shelby County planning department) apartment.

He says that the West Memphis airport proposal never really got much past the spit-balling stage.  It's probably not right to give then-Governor Clinton credit for killing the idea, but his lack of support certainly didn't help.

In terms of the disdain of the state towards Memphis....Tennessee has always been somewhat culturally divided along the grand divisions of the state, with some disdain being felt towards the "other" divisions.  However East TN and Middle TN are more similar to one another than West TN, so....

The vibrant African-American culture in Memphis in the late 1800's up to the Great Depression also didn't help with Memphis' reputation with the rest of the state.

Factor in differences in population density, and Memphis' proximity to Arkansas and Mississippi, the local economic doldrums of the past few decades, scars from the Civil Rights Era and continued issues with racism, and significant differences between Memphis' political preferences in the past 20 years vs the rest of the state.....
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 04:38:00 PM »

The replies about Memphis are spot on.  There are only a handful of democrats in Tennessee and the vast majority are elected out of Memphis.
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edwaleni

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Re: Memphis Highways
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 05:14:27 PM »

As a non-resident of Memphis and casual observer, here is my 2 cents.

Being on the river, Memphis was (at one time) a major commerical hub. This then brought the railroads maintaining its commercial status.

East Tennessee used to be considered "neglected" post WW2, (all the alum and nylon plants closing) isn't that why Knoxville got the World Expo? To bring commerce eastward?

From an economic perspective, Nashville is booming, especially in and around Franklin. I don't think it was about NFL or hockey or anything like that.  Nashville offered a midrange economy, semi-mild winters and relatively cheap real estate.

Knoxville continues to grow due to nearby tourism in Gatlinburg, Dollywood, the Smokeys etc.  It draws in people from the east coast.

Today Memphis isn't known as a river hub or a rail hub anymore, though it does serve as a major east-west rail gateway.  It is known generally for music, Elvis and FedEx.  Not many people know about the Memphis Belle anymore. The Pyramid had weeds growing. Sports came through the Griz and the Tigers.  But unless you are a music fanatic, it doesn't translate into a tourism destination.

Interesting that someone mentioned Jacksonville Florida. Like Memphis, it used to be the business, political and military hub of Florida.  Today the last high rise building was built in the 1980's. It used to have at least 5 Fortune 500 HQ's.  It doesn't do tourism like the rest of Florida and is only known by its only Tier 1 sports team the Jaguars.  But since the end of the Cold War, it has lost a large part of its military economy (just like NAS Memphis was demoted to JB Millington).  Most of the corporate HQ have relocated to Tampa or Miami. Most of the manufacturing it housed at one time has left and been replaced with assembly and warehouses on the fringe of town.  The only thing Jacksonville was able to carry over was banking and insurance.  Today, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Chase all have major operations there.

There has to be something more that Memphis has retained or is developing at a lower level that can be exposed externally more effectively, and don't say the casinos @ Tunica.

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