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.