Another that began in August is the resurfacing of Bagley Street between 24th Street and the West Fisher Service Drive. The $5.4 million project will turn the heart of Mexicantown into a shared street, the first in Detroit.
Construction is expected to be finished by November this year.
Popular in Europe, shared streets reduce or eliminate all forms of traffic lights, signs, and barriers so that everyone can use the road simultaneously. Counterintuitively, these designs end up being much safer than normal streets.
At the moment, however, the street is torn up and blocked off to cars. Crain’s Detroit Business spoke with several owners in the area who are generally excited about the finished project, but worried about the present impact on business. The co-owner of Evie’s Tamales said, “The customers are already complaining.” And the owner of Xochi’s Gift Shop told Crain’s,
Of course I’m worried. Anytime someone sees an orange sign or orange cone, they’d rather just not go that way. This weekend was slower than other weekends. It will affect our pockets.
The city of Detroit, looking to avoid a similar crisis for businesses caused by streetscaping on Livernois Avenue, is erecting informational signs and entered an agreement with El Zocalo for the use of its parking lot to the general public.
It’s unclear how organizers of Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week (October 4 to 13) and Day of the Dead celebrations (October 31 to November 2) will work around the construction. The project being is implemented in Mexicantown precisely for festivals like these, where the street could temporarily become pedestrian-only.