Making Woodward Avenue more bike friendly

Former Red Wing Chris Chelios biking home from work on Woodward in Royal Oak

The Oakland Press has an article on the newer planning efforts to make Woodward more bike friendly.

Heather Carmona, the executive director of the Woodward Avenue Action Association, said the study is a step toward making the Woodward area more attractive to businesses and young residents, who tend to view walkability, rideability and mass transit more favorably than their older counterparts.

“The economy as a whole is forcing us to look at new ways of doing things, but this is more about making living in the Woodward area more pedestrian-friendly and livable,” she said. “We have users of all types — those who would like to walk, others who would like to ride their bikes. We’re looking at ways to make moving around without a car easier.

“Look at cities like Portland, Oregon and other cities have plans in place for non-motorized transportation,” Carmona said. “It’s one of the factors that we believe is attractive to the younger people that we’d like to see stay in the area.”

The initial plan has received much feedback. We’re not convinced the plan is where it needs to be. If you want to be like Portland (or even follow AASHTO bicycle design guidelines), you don’t put in sidepaths where there is a fair amount of cross streets and driveways.

We prefer Planner Dan Burden’s suggestions to treat the outside lane of Woodward as a local lane for turning traffic, buses, and bicycles. That lane could even be painted or marked to indicate it’s not designed for high-speed through traffic. That is an inexpensive solution that doesn’t remove a vehicle lane yet improves bicycling opportunities for intermediate and advanced riders.

UPDATE: Heather Carmona also discussed this on the July 15th Craig Fahle show on WDET. The Woodward discussion begins 38 minutes into the show.

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