For the third time since April, officials are teasing us with the idea of converting I-375 into a walkable surface street. The sunken freeway creates a mile-long trench along downtown's eastern edge, cutting connections to Lafayette Park and Rivertown.
Bringing this proposal back into the news is the formation of an official committee, made up of "downtown stakeholders," developers, MDOT, and the city of Detroit—the exact people you'd trust to make progressive, unbiased decisions in urban planning. This noble group hopes to have a proposal ready by mid-2014, "at the earliest."
As always, Dan Gilbert is an interesting part of this equation. His Greektown Casino benefits from easy access provided by I-375, and the entertainment district he wants to create with the Fail Jail property bundle also has extensive frontage on the freeway.
· MDOT Ponders Transforming I-375 Into a Walkable Boulevard [Curbed]
· Detroit to study removing freeway in favor of walkable surface street [Freep]