$30K Grant to Support Woodward Avenue 'Complete Streets' Plan

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan awards funding to the Woodward Avenue Action Association to help transform the 27-mile corridor.

The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to support its efforts to develop a Complete Streets master plan for Woodward Avenue.

The grant is from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and complements the $752,880 grant that was previously awarded by the Federal Highway Administration for the initiative.

The association, an economic and community development organization based in Royal Oak, plans to develop a "Complete Streets" master plan that will transform the 27-mile corridor – from the Detroit River to Pontiac – into a complete, compatible and integrated roadway.

A Complete Streets Steering Committee is being formed, which will be comprised of the Michigan Department of Transportation, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, M-1 Rail, Wayne and Oakland counties, all 11 Woodward municipalities, cycling advocacy organizations and non-motorized groups.

“This grant comes at a pivotal time and aligns with complete streets efforts already underway in downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, Ferndale and Birmingham," said Heather Carmona, executive director of the WA3.

When Woodward was built, planners only had automobiles in mind, Carmona said. "We envision a corridor providing access for all modes of transportation, including driving, biking, walking, auto, bus and light rail," she said.

The Woodward Complete Streets Steering Committee will officially begin its work on the master plan at the end of June. Carmona expects the process to take up to 18 months. The ultimate goal of the plan is to improve Woodward so that it is easily traversed by all users.

"The idea is to make Woodward safe and conducive to pedestrians, too," Carmona said.

The master plan will include: strategies for improving non-motorized and cycling accessibility along the Woodward corridor; recommendations for potential ‘road diet’, speed limit reduction and a continuous bike lane; conducting community outreach and public input sessions; and increasing walkability of Woodward and safety for all users.

Share your thoughts

What do you think of the plan to transform Woodward into a "complete, compatible and integrated roadway"? What changes would you like to see on Woodward Avenue? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sean Campbell June 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I think that moves to transform Woodward are long overdue. Whether certain political groups and suburban areas like to acknowledge it or not, there is an environmental and urban movement amoung young professionals in this country. In order for metro-Detroit to compete for 20-30 year-old professionals that are looking to move back into large cities with mass transit, we must transition away from a pure 'motor city' with 20+ mile commutes to work dominated by single passenger automotive traffic.
Jessica Ingolia June 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
a green suffer between the street and sidewalk is much needed. a tree line with a green understory would create much needed shade and reduce noise, traffic polution and aid in making a more pleasant, less stressful strolling experience.
pathardy June 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM
This is a long overdue objective, and it will take much more than $30,000. It will especially require the support of businesses and residences along Woodward, along with the overall support of the people who support the concept. There are always naysayers, but this will bring new vitality to all of us who realize just how wonderful Highway #1 is to all of us. Pat Hardy, Resident Bloomfield Hills
rolfsy June 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM
argh... Planning Fatigue.
Kelly T. June 13, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Pedestrain bridges!!!!! It's terrifying to cross Woodward with a small child!!!!!
The Duke of Royal Oak June 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Please re pave Woodward, it is especially torn up between 12 mile and 696!
Mark Itall June 13, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Crossing Woodward is extremely dangerous when the Oakland County Road Commission is doing a pedestrian safety project, like the 12 Mile crossing and the St. Joe's crossover while the overhead walkway is being installed. For some reason, the first thing the OCRC does is remove the white vehicle stop line and it is the last thing they put back in. Made crossing at 12 Mile totally unsafe as cars used the crosswalk as the stop line. At St. Joe, they never have put in a stop line and cars use the crosswalk as the stop line. Really scary and multiple attempts to get both items fixed were met with bureaucratic mumbo jumbo and no action.
The Duke of Royal Oak June 13, 2012 at 09:46 PM
If the police would enforce laws (i.e. stopping into crosswalks and distracted driving, cell phone use) we would not have these problems. There is a reason the stop line is where it is, so that the intersection is visible. There is a reason why the roads are designed and marked, it is not for where the line looks most attractive!!!. This would build up the coffers of the cities. Where are our LEADERS????
fabulii June 14, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I think it's time to say goodbye to the parallel lots up in Berkley and Birmingham. They're too cramped, they're in bad shape and they're a hazard to traffic as someone slows down to enter them or cuts out onto Woodward exiting them. A bike lane in areas like Ferndale is desperately needed. I ride often, and the bikes and pedestrians both using the sidewalk is really getting difficult...there's just no way I'd ride on street there now. Not even with a helmet. I agree with the suggestion for pedestrian bridges in the higher traffic/faster stretches. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jessica's idea for "green buffers." It would most definitely make stretches where there's more pedestrian traffic, like Ferndale, more pleasant and stroll-able. More trees/flowers never a bad thing.
Mark Itall June 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM
More importantly, as I said, where are the white lines at OCRC's safety projects? The roads are NOT marked.
Andy S. June 14, 2012 at 04:58 AM
A modern, clean, elevated light rail or tram system over the median from downtown Pontiac all the way to the Detroit Riverfront... That would be very attactive to me.
heather carmona June 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM
THanks all for your comments and feedback. We will include you all in updates as the plan moves forward. Heather Carmona
Everett Keyser June 14, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Protected bike lanes north through Birmingham would be fantastic! Whenever I ride from Ferndale to Berkley, Royal Oak, or Birmingham, I always have to take some convoluted zig-zag route through the neighborhoods. When I do take Woodward, the lack of a bike crossing at 696/Woodward makes the experience intensely unpleasant and/or dangerous. With my son in his trailer, there isn't room for anyone else on the narrow sidewalks. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for wider sidewalks here (bikes don't belong on sidewalks anyway). Maybe take one lane from the northbound side of the bridge, which I imagine sees far less traffic than the southbound side, and make it a two-way bike lane. Pair that with giving a northbound bike lane the right-of-way over the northbound right turn lane of Woodward south of the intersection, and I think that it becomes much easier and more pleasant to cross the freeway. Though it's probably a pipe dream and far beyond the budget, I would also really like to see raised crosswalks at every residential street that intersects Woodward. Too many people come right off Woodward and can't make the adjustment from driving 50mph to 25mph without a little discouragement.
Ronald Wolf June 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Boy, do I agree with you! People today speed dangerous not only for kids, BICYCLES, SENIORS, I believe this wider Woodward is going to be a community dividing disaster. How do they board and get off the proposed light rail and how do they get to other side of street? DISASTER! More high speed T-bones that how they are going to bring Detroit to the suburbs.
Mark Itall June 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Woodward will likely change, wider is very unlikely due to the businesses parking requirements.
Jessica Ingolia June 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM
the ideas listed above are interesting but keep in mind the grant, for thirty thousand dollars, i don't think you can build bridges and light rails! you can barely buy a foreclosed home that is totally beat for $30,000, i think a green belt providing shade and relief from the traffic is about all you can get....


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