The Woodward Avenue Action Association’s (WA3) Complete Streets master planning effort, heralded as the single largest Complete Streets planning effort ever undertaken in North America, has put together a draft of its master plan encompassing all 27 miles of Woodward Avenue. This master plan will address mobility needs for all users of the avenue – vehicles, bicyclists, those less able, mass transit users and pedestrians – and how all of these users can safely use the road and best integrate.
WA3 has put together preliminary recommendations and is now seeking input from the public on the draft through its website, mobile app (free download for iPhone and Android users), Facebook and Twitter pages.
Jason Fowler, WA3 and Complete Streets program manager, said “Putting together this draft plan has been a lengthy process, and what we’re doing now is making sure people have the chance to know about the project, what we’re planning on doing, and be aware that we want to know how they feel about it.”
WA3 is collecting public feedback through its website and social media pages and is also using these platforms to give users a chance to voice their opinions and questions. As Fowler said, “This drafting process was meant to be a planning exercise – we want to hear from everybody so we have an accurate idea of the people who use Woodward daily and what they want from this plan.”
So far, WA3 has facilitated a steering group comprised of representatives of each community and interests on Woodward and has conducted public engagement programming, which has included the digital collection of input and three-day interactive events that took place in the spring and summer. At these events, people interacted with the project consultants by giving comments, asking questions regarding the Complete Streets planning effort, participated in presentations, went on “walking audits,” commented on visual surveys and filled out written surveys.
The information collected from these events, input from the steering committee, comments from the digital platforms, individual stakeholder meetings and information from all previous planning efforts along the corridor – such as community master plans, traffic studies and regional plans – has all been synthesized into the draft of the master plan, on which WA3 is now asking for input.
WA3 Executive Director Debbie Schutt said, “This is the last opportunity for the public to have a say on this plan before it’s finalized, and we want to make sure we consider everybody’s point of view and make sure we have a plan that embraces everybody’s needs, desires, and that everybody can have a say.”
WA3 has been digitally collecting input since October and will continue to do so through mid-December.
After WA3 receives the input and concludes the comment phase, it will revise the plan, taking into consideration all the comments that have been made – while also taking into consideration SEMCOG and the input from its public engagement process. While WA3 has been collecting input, SEMCOG has been conducting an analysis of the bus rapid transit system, of which WA3 acts as a consultant. Since the WA3 project and the SEMCOG project are closely intertwined, a Complete Streets consultant will be at the SEMCOG meetings, available to take questions and receive input on the plan. These meetings are taking place on Dec. 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11. Please see SEMCOG’s website for specific times and locations.
“We want to create a street that truly works for everyone. Imagine a corridor that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, seniors, mobility-challenged individuals, transit riders and motorists,” said Fowler. “By engaging the residents and businesses along the corridor, as well as industry experts in this visioning process, we can develop a wide variety of innovative solutions and create a successful master plan.”
Source: Woodward Avenue Action Association