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Open Thread: Which Detroit streets should be closed to traffic?

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, and more. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: Making Detroit more pedestrian-friendly.

The Spirit of Detroit Plaza was built in a weekend and cut off traffic from Larned to Jefferson on Woodward. It’s generally a busy intersection, but there are plenty of side streets for drivers to take instead. It’s open for a 90-day trial period and has us thinking of other opportunities for pedestrian-friendly streets in the city.

We’re at a time in Detroit’s history where we can rethink our wide roads and create ways for people to easily get around without a car. So let’s get creative.

We posed the question earlier this week in our post about the new pedestrian plaza and readers came up with a few good ideas. Some ideas stretched out beyond the core, and possibly could solve some current problems. Here are some ideas/solutions:

  • Monroe Street: both in Greektown and near Campus Martius. It’s narrow anyway, and there are plenty of side streets for getting around.
  • Cadillac Square (which is often closed).
  • The District Detroit should prioritize pedestrians around the new arena.
  • Michigan Avenue should at least narrow the roadways in Corktown to make it safer for pedestrians.
  • Atwater Street: Closing it from Riopelle to the Outdoor Adventure Center parking lot past the Dequindre Cut crossing could alleviate some of the drag racing problems Orleans Landing residents are facing.

These plans seem to be moving quickly in Detroit so let’s get greedy and creative. Where would you like to see traffic cut off in favor of more pedestrian-friendly streets? Let us know in the comments.