Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mediation Talks Yield New Parking Spaces for Zoo

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 4:05 PM

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Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said the mediation talks between the Overton Park Conservancy [OPC] and the Memphis Zoo have yielded two plans that could create up to 325 new parking spots for the zoo.

In one of his first acts as mayor, Strickland brought the zoo and OPC together in January for mediation talks, a process in which a neutral third party helps groups find compromise. The mediation discussions came after the zoo and OPC filed separate lawsuits to solidify their claims of control of the Overton Park Greensward.

Mediation remains ongoing but Strickland sent out a special notice from Memphis City Hall Thursday to share the two agreements already made:

1. City crews will soon reconfigure the Memphis Zoo lot for extra parking spaces, Strickland said. The move could yield 25-125 new spaces for zoo parking.

2. Those street crews will also begin working on a plan to create nearly 200 new spaces of on-street parking along North Parkway.

Strickland called these two plans, which could yield a total of 325 new spaces “a huge step forward.”

Here’s the rest of Strickland’s statement:

“And this is hardly the only result of mediation, which remains ongoing. Many other issues are being discussed, and I’m more optimistic than ever that the process will produce a result. Just those two items above are proof that this is working.

“The Memphis Zoological Society and Overton Park Conservancy are wonderful entities run by people of goodwill who love this city. I have met and/or spoken with many of them through this process, and their passion and desire to put in the real work to make this mediation successful makes me know we’re going to produce consensus.

“I understand the mediation process seems slow. I understand it’s hard to follow. But the items I shared above are movement. They represent clear progress. While we are not at the finish line, we are much closer than we were in January. And I just wanted to share that with you today.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Overton Park and the Memphis Zoo — two great assets in the core of a great city — this very weekend.”


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