Head east out of Downtown Ann Arbor along Washtenaw Avenue, and you’re sure to notice some construction activity. Across from Whole Foods Market, ground-breaking has begun on Arbor Hills Crossing, a 90,000 square feet retail and professional office development in the City of Ann Arbor. The project includes new and wider sidewalks, a traffic signal and pedestrian crossing at Platt Road, and a new AATA Transit Super Stop. Continue further east, and you’ll notice the Michigan Department of Transportation has begun a major traffic operations and non-motorized project at US-23. The non-motorized component of this project includes the construction of new non-motorized paths on both sides of Washtenaw Avenue, which provide a way for pedestrians and bicyclists safe travel under the highway overpass.
“After years of planning and consensus-building, we are excited to see two projects that will significantly enhance walkability and pedestrian access to businesses in this important corridor,” said Ann Arbor City council member Tony Derezinski. “Over time, you’ll see additional improvements that even further increase walkability, provide a sense of place, and also increase property values.”
“The Michigan Department of Transportation is looking forward to continuing its collaboration with the ReImagine Washtenaw initiative, to ensure future improvements address both MDOT’s needs, and also the community’s vision for the corridor,” says Kari Martin, MDOT’s University Region planner.
Multiple projects are being implemented and coordinated between Pittsfield and Ypsilanti Township, including improvement/installation of pedestrian facilities, such as ramps, sidewalks, signals, and mid-block crossings, at Washtenaw and Golfside, zoning changes coordinated between both communities to allow for mixed-use development nodes, and lane reduction and bike lane installation along Golfside Road.
ReImagine Washtenaw is a multi-jurisdictional land use planning and public transit initiative to transform the corridor from auto-focused, to a safe, multi-modal, public transit-enhanced corridor, with new, high-quality mixed-use development, enhanced transit service and amenities, resulting in a corridor with sense of place. Professional staff planners and elected officials from the Cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and Pittsfield and Ypsilanti Townships have been leading this effort. Additional partners, including the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Michigan Department of Transportation, Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, are also collaborating to take the county’s most congested and auto-centric road, and turn it in to a high-functioning, multi-modal corridor.
For more information contact Nathan Voght, in the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-222-3860, or visit www.washtenawavenue.org.