City Engineer Response to the Lynch Nolan Plan (LNP)

Manny Belen's response to the LNP Optimal Zoo Parking Plan. Our rebuttal of this letter is in our FAQ.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Belen, Manny <>
Date: Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 4:00 AM
Subject: RE: Memphis Zoo Optimal Space Usage
To: "" <>
Cc: "Strickland, Jim" <>, "Cooper, Darlene" <>, Memphis Mayor <>

Ms. Buttermore,

While we agree that the “Lynch-Nolan Plan” (LNP) does maximize the number of parking spaces, it provides minimal consideration to the following:
1. City Council Mandate:  Spaces in the LNP are 9’x18’ and do not meet the Council requirement.
2. City Council Mandate:  Tree Preservation is minimal in the LNP.
a.    LNP states - “less 90 spaces to keep mature trees over 1’ wide.”  This provides ~15,500 SF of greenspace.  The Concept Plans presented to the City has ~100,000 SF of greenspace utilized solely for tree preservation. The current total number of surveyed trees is 718.
b.    For reference, an ideally placed 12” tree removes 3-4 parking spaces depending on root pruning, assuming it is perfectly located and placed.
3. Traffic and bike/ped flow and parking lot function
a.    Eliminating Morrie Moss / Prentis would pose significant traffic and ped/bike safety challenges for patrons of both the park and the zoo.
b.    The LNP reroutes park patrons all the way around Poplar to North Parkway
c.     Long drive aisles upwards of half a mile around the parking lot will pose challenges that will result in worsening the traffic condition in the area.
4. Pedestrian refuge areas and walks are minimally addressed.
5. Lastly, when the LNP is overlaid with existing footprint of parking area it shows expansion east, beyond our scope area, and potentially requiring significant number of trees to be removed. Our desire is for the parking solutions to be integrated into the Overton Park experience, not a segregated solution.  To do this end,  we must provide safe and thoughtful access,  to and through, and around the parking lot.


The Concept Plans presented to the Advisory Team last Thursday provide the following:
1.    City Council Mandate:  415 Additional Spaces, 9’x19’ spaces, 22’ Aisle Width
2.    City Council Mandate:  Tree Preservation
3.    Limits improvements along SE ridgeline
4.    Improves traffic flow
5.    Improves bike/pedestrian access and safety

The Concept Plans provide the best balance of the needs of all park users, while maximizing efficient use of existing surface parking lots.


Manny Belen, P.E., M.P.A.
City of Memphis
Division of Engineering
125 North Main Street Rm. 644
Memphis, TN  38103