Oct 31, 2022 - News

Woodward makeover north of 8 Mile to include bike lanes

Construction at Woodward and 9 Mile

Construction at Woodward and 9 Mile. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

A two-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue will have fewer driving lanes to make it more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists as early as next year.

Driving the news: Construction began this month on the $9 million project between I-696 and 8 Mile to add bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly features, such as shorter crosswalks across Woodward.

What they're saying: The "road diet" could be a model for other communities to retrofit or design major thoroughfares with more emphasis on public transit and non-vehicular modes of transportation.

  • "The brutal fact is that we can't continue the lifestyle that we have, we simply can't — the planet can't sustain it," Lena Stevens, Ferndale Downtown Development Authority's executive director, tells Axios. "Change has to come … and I think when people start to see it happening in the Motor City, they'll realize that these kinds of changes are possible everywhere."

State of play: Repaving work will continue until the cold sets in. Drivers will see more traffic disruptions — with Woodward driving lanes reduced from four in each direction — when construction resumes in the spring.

  • The project could be finished by the end of 2023.

Zoom out: The construction comes as Detroit prepares to transform the mile-long I-375 near downtown into a lower-speed boulevard.

  • That project also aims to reverse some of the damage done by the freeway's construction, which leveled the Black Bottom neighborhood, the Free Press reports.

💭 Joe's thought bubble: Woodward bike lanes are desperately needed. I'm a fairly adventurous biker but I won't ride in the street there.

Image showing the project's changes to Woodward
What Woodward will look like. Image: Courtesy of Ferndale DDA
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