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Communities across southeast Michigan implementing ‘road diets’

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Posted at 5:27 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 11:18:51-04

FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — When you think about a diet you usually think about cutting back, that concept is being taken to roads throughout southeast Michigan.

A "road diet” is meant to get rid of lanes of traffic and re-purpose them. For example, getting rid of a lane of traffic to create a bike lane or a turn lane.

“I think it is a great idea, we need more bike lanes,” said John Sordyl of Ferndale.

Ferndale underwent it’s own road diet along 9 Mile Road to create bike lanes, wider side walks and more on street parking, the bike lanes connecting people to Oak Park.

“I think it is a great idea idea, it is great for people’s health, it gets people out in the community more and I am really happy with the idea,” said Bridget Fitzgerald of Ferndale.

Road diets have also been implemented in other cities, including Perry street in Pontiac, Grand River in Farmington, and in Warren on Van Dyke Road connecting to Center Line.

“Every street is different every community is different,” said Ferndale Planning Manager Justin Lyons.

Lyons says other communities have reached out to them to explore the idea of a road diet. According to Lyons, the road diet on 9 Mile Road has been successful.

A study has been completed to see if Woodward would benefit from a road diet from 8 Mile to Pleasant Ridge at I-696, connecting the two communities with a bike lane.

Lyons says the results from the study has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are looking forward to when that does happen planning it in a way that works for the community, and businesses and trying to think about it holistically on everyone who uses Woodward Avenue,” said Lyons.

According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, 25 communities within the region have conducted, constructed or piloted road diets.