(WXYZ) — The plan for Woodward Ave. to get a road diet between I-696 and 8 Mile is moving forward.
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) awarded $1.17 million in funding for the project in Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge.
Just like a real diet, road diets are all about slimming things down. Woodward Ave. would go from four lanes to three lanes in both directions between 8 Mile and I-696, allowing for bike lanes to be installed.
Other things the "Woodward Moves" project would cover include improvements to alleys and sidewalks, shorter pedestrian crossing, parking-protected bike lines, new ADA ramps and more.
“Woodward Avenue is one our region’s most significant, historic, and connective Active Transportation Corridors, connecting 10 communities and two counties from downtown Detroit to downtown Pontiac,” SEMCOG Executive Director Amy O’Leary said in a release. “Through Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge, Woodward will now be a place for people of all ages and abilities to safely walk, bike, drive, ride, or catch a bus to their destinations,” said O’Leary.
“This is three years and multiple partner agencies in the making, and I’m so excited that we’re finally able to make this announcement,” said Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana. “We’ve had a community-supported vision for years of a safer Woodward, a road that supports all users and unites our downtown rather than dividing it. We’re now one step closer to achieving this goal."
"It’s clear that the way we work, shop, learn, play, relax and consume energy are all changing, and our modes of transportation will adjust to accommodate this sea change,” said Pleasant Ridge Mayor Bret Scott. “We’re very happy to take part in the process and collaborate with our neighbors and partners to respond to the evolving needs of our community.”
MDOT is also contributing $1.17 million, along with Ferndale adding $1.23 million and Plesant Ridge adding $140,000.