A new "Complete Streets" plan for Woodward Avenue include the M-1 Rail, bus rapid transit, and what planners call "a Parisian Boulevard" in a grand re-design to extend from Six Mile all the way to Pontiac. The Woodward Avenue Action Association Board of Directors chose the new scheme, a Complete Streets master plan, late last month. Complete Streets are a global initiative aimed at beautification and development for larger road systems.
The plan will make the Pontiac Loop a two-way street, offer protected two-way bike tracks from Grand Boulevard north, along with protected mid-block bike crossings along the M-1's loop. Plans were settled during over 30 community meetings presenting draft recommendations. The board has developed the plan over the course of two years, seeking input from a steering committee comprised of representatives of the metro Detroit communities impacted by the changes, and by interest groups representing transit activists, people with disabilities, cyclists and seniors.
The planners are still seeking approval from the the communities along Woodward, and there are a number of pilot projects for the plan actively in development. Assuming no hitches, when complete, the Woodward Ave "Great American Road" will encompass 27 miles of the iconic Detroit thoroughfare, making it the world's longest Complete Streets project. The National Complete Streets Coalition works at developing road plans that bring greenspace, traffic management and accessibility to the roads we all rely on. Since the group's start in 2004, over 700 state, local and regional agencies, including Boston and Reno, have adopted Complete Streets plans.