If you are a frequent user, you have a spot where you regularly park to get on and begin your walk or run. This can be a designated trailhead, a business parking lot, on the street or if you are one of the fortunate ones, you live close enough to walk from your home.
Our Greenway is referred to in phases, with Phase 1 being the strip of asphalt between 20th and 25th streets. When it was installed back in 2001, the only true access points were at the ends, either the sidewalk from 20th or 25th streets. There was no designated Greenway parking area. Several years ago, the Church of God Offices added two connecting sidewalks from their western parking lots, and Greenway users have adopted the parking lot next to Kingsway Press as a popular Phase 1 launching point as well.
Currently there are two official trailheads where users can park in a lot designated for the Greenway. One is at the curve of Harris Circle and includes 18 spaces, a restroom and water fountain. The other is off of Mohawk Drive adjacent to Home Depot.
A 14-space parking area is located at the playground behind First Tennessee on Raider Drive, and one of the more popular starting points is the First Tennessee parking lot. There are other connecting points, such as the Cooke’s Food Store parking lot. Another little-known, but designated access point is next to the shop By Design Only off Stuart Drive (not to be confused with Stuart Road). Stairs lead from the parking lot to the pedestrian bridge.
Phase 5 of the Greenway, which is nearing completion, will have the most number of new access points of any previous section. At its northern end there will be the existing Tinsley Park picnic and playground area. Although not designated as a “trailhead,” it has more than two dozen parking spaces and will also have a completely renovated/replaced playground, as well as a brand new restroom by the end of this month. Accessing the Greenway at this point will be an approximate three-mile excursion south to Willow Street or a short mile north to Mohawk.
One of the key elements of the Greenway project is to connect with neighborhoods. So far, every phase has added new connections, usually by tying in with existing sidewalks. The primary beneficiary of Greenway access this time will be Northwood subdivision, a well-established development with entrances off of Keith Street across from Chick-fil-A. A new sidewalk connecting to the Greenway is being installed at the end of Woodcrest Circle.
A final new connection point of this phase is a new sidewalk which has been poured behind the Creekside shopping plaza on Keith Street. Plenty of parking is available at the back of the plaza and the sidewalk will join with the new Woodcrest Circle entrance behind the medical office facility located on William Way.
Everyone has their favorite Greenway starting point, but within the next 30 days those favorites may change as work is completed on this connecting piece which will gives us an unbroken ribbon of Greenway from Mohawk Drive to Willow Street. It will be a welcome addition to our community.