Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Would this be a good time to narrow Woodward? Previous Next
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Huggybear
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Username: Huggybear

Post Number: 137
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 192.217.12.254
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 9:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking at the devastation on the west side of Woodward running from 75 to Mack, and thinking about what may be there in the future, would this be a good time to take lanes out of Woodward?

I'm talking about narrowing the street, not adding a median. This would make the west side lots bigger but would change the massive scale to something more like south of 75. My idea would be that the buildings would be to normal setbacks (i.e., building, sidewalk, street).

Looking at the aerial map, it looks like you could do it (working around a couple of existing buildings, effectively giving them bigger setbacks with small open squares or something).
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Hamtramck_steve
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Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2653
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.209.188.186
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 10:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Woodward was widened with all of the buildings in place, so the street absolutely could be made narrower.

Now, will it happen? In car-crazy southeast Michigan? I can hear the outcry now...What about the traffic? It'll cause congestion! and other such kvetching.
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Dag
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Username: Dag

Post Number: 162
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.241.254.67
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You have to look at not only the current needs but also the long ter implications of narrowing Woodward. Since Woodward will always serve as the primary artery within Detroit it will have one of the highest traffic flows on it.

If Woodward were to be narrowed then I believe it is imperative that there be an adequate setback on Woodward which would not preclude a costly rewidening at a later date. Since the goal is to fill every vacant lot downtown, you have to understand that with the increased fill there will be increased traffic flow. By allowing for a minimal setback on Woodward, there would be a large amount of traffic wit a minimal amount of room. Keep in mind that the central business district was nicknamed the central traffic district in the twenties.

Basically, yeah I think it would be a good idea as long as we do not paint ourselves into a corner by preventing a rewidening at a later date.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3087
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It also depends on how far we are talking. Maybe take it down starting in New Center to Downtown and leave the rest well enough alone. How busy was Woodward on the average day in the 40's and 50's? I just don't see why it needs (or would ever need again) to be as wide as it is in Midtown in particular. I guess it all depends on what your personal vision of Woodward is at any particular spot. Seeing as how it probably can never be a true grand boulevard (huge tree-lined median down the middle) maybe it would be best if it was narrowed through Midtown and New Center.
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Huggybear
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Username: Huggybear

Post Number: 138
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 69.212.126.218
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the problem is largely aesthetic - at present it's 8 lanes wide plus a gutter lane. You could put a 20 story building on each side of the street and it would never seem very dense.

I don't think that narrowing that stretch would be much of a choke point for commuting traffic. People coming from midtown cut onto 75 from Mack or Warran. People coming from downtown get on 75 from the Lodge or 375. People coming from the Fox area get onto 75 from either service drive.

If you are driving all the way downtown (or uptown) on Woodward, you get choked at Foxtown, then Grand Circus Park and then Campus Martius anyway. Congestion is created by terminal traffic handling, not the size of the pipe upstream.

And I-75 makes the 1920s width obsolete - unless we are planning for a CBD of 200,000 people living in a square mile (not in any of our lifetimes).
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2299
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.131
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just place a median on Woodward until you reach the New Center Area. That will give the place a more "urban" pedestrian feel.
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Huggybear
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Username: Huggybear

Post Number: 139
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 69.212.126.218
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Medians don't give an urban feel... there is a median from the north part of Detroit all the way up to Pontiac - and it sure as hell doesn't make things any more urban-looking. Just makes it look like a bunch of dilapidated strip malls and motels separated by a weed field. Also, the medians would prove to be a huge maintenance nightmare, given what the City does with every other median.
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Wilus1mj
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Username: Wilus1mj

Post Number: 19
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 67.149.62.53
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, a median with more crosswalks across woodward would be great.
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2218
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.167.58.137
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the plans to 'save' downtown, back when Hudson's was open but fading, was to make Woodward into a pedestrian mall from GCP to Campus Martius and cover it with a high half pipe glass roof. Anyone remember that plan or have any pics of the proposal?
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Mcpd1300
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Username: Mcpd1300

Post Number: 29
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 68.42.174.123
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 12:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a matter of emergency operations and what not, Woodward Avenue serves as a MAJOR evacuation route... It also serves as a major route for entry into the city by emergency vehicles responding to any and all emergencies throughout the CBD and outlying areas... narrowing a street, especially in these "uncertain times" would probably not serve the best interest of the city.
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Futurecity
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Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 211
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 69.212.40.225
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Narrowing Woodward makes perfect sense. That's exactly why it won't be done.

This is Michigan after all, and Michigander's only view the world through their crack pipe, er... tail pipe.
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Mcpd1300
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Username: Mcpd1300

Post Number: 30
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 68.42.174.123
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, let's narrow streets through out the city, so if something DOES happen downtown, we can all bitch and moan when we all can't get out of the city. This city has a perfect design for evacuation as it currently stands... all of the major roads run out and away from the city... Future, perhaps you view the world through your crack pipe, but some of us are actually viewing the world objectively and intelligently...
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3089
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are you sure? Are emergency vehicles currently crampped for space on the Avenue? And will they be if even two lanes are taken out?

Maybe, if the city didn't have the wide avenues of Grand River and Gratiot, and Michigan, and Fort...I may be able to see why Woodward would need all of the lanes it currently has New Center to GCP, but there are so many other huge avenues that serve nearly the same purpose.
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Mcpd1300
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Username: Mcpd1300

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 68.42.174.123
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They're not cramped now at all.... but my point is from an emergency services standpoint... as a licensed EMT and from the perspective of a former police employee, Woodward Avenue is the prime route of entry into the downtown area in case of some sort of emergency... not to mention a fantastic staging area for emergency vehicles... what if there was a biological attack and the winds were blowing toward the east or the west, you can attack from the north, and vice versa, etc.
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Futurecity
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Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 212
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 69.212.40.225
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's see, hmmm...a world-class city like say, oh Toronto. Their main street - Yonge Street is about 1/3 as wide as Woodward. You'll find vibrant store-fronts/activity/pedestrians for about a 9 or ten mile stretch.

You won't ever find that here. Because our main street is as wide as an EXPRESSWAY.

And we won't ever change it because we are a state of backwards-ass car-heads, destined to live in the car and SUV shit-pile that starts somewhere outside of downtown and extends 30 miles out.

Just how Mcpd1300 and his peeps want to keep it.

Live large Michigan, the 2007 Escalade is here.

(Message edited by Futurecity on January 24, 2006)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3091
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 1:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mcpd, there are plenty of other big cities that don't operate with a road as wide as Woodward. Why does Detroit NEED Woodward as wide as it is south of New Center? The emergency services excuse is weak at the very best. How'd Woodward operate with all of the streetcars that once crossed it and the increased traffic. Just fine, that's how. I'm seriously baffled about the emergency services excuse.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1161
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 70.236.144.171
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 2:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One way to take 2 lanes out of Woodward and visually as well as actually narrow it would be to add curb bumpouts to the current parking lanes. The city and/or non-profit groups could relatively easily put together the funding for this.

The problem comes in with funding the maintenance of those two lanes. Woodward is a state trunkline so the state currently foots the bill for everything curb to curb. If curb bumpouts were added it would make the two parking/travel lanes permenant parking lanes. It would then be the city's responsibility to plow, patch, resurface, etc. those parking lanes.

Any of the above senarios would run into the same maintenance funding problem: any travel lanes taken away from Woodward become the city's responsibility to pay for. Obviously this isn't high on the city's list of things to add to their budget.
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 93
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 148.61.248.29
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 2:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There aren't a ton of people downtown to escape it in the first place, they could use all of the wheel spokes and the highway, and since when is Detroit getting attacked? The only targets are the bridge, tunnel, and GM, and to me, only GM would require an immediate downtown evacuation.

I think we should close woodward and turn it into a parking lot! "The Augustus B. Woodward/Kwame Kilpatric Landscaped Automobile Parking Center"

Woodward is big, but why spend the money to make it smaller when it's going to need to be widened again in the future, and if there are far better ways to spend the money?

But I wonder how it would work to build two or three levels of parking deck underneath woodward. are there utility pipes down there? It would solve alot of parking problems for the future.
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Alexei289
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Username: Alexei289

Post Number: 1008
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.61.183.223
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 2:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Look at this from an intelligent standpoint...


THE CITY just blew a shitload of money it doesnt really have on the sidewalks and streetscape downtown... Repaving one road is a burden to the city's budget.. your talking about completely changing the traffic flow on a major throughfare???

Shit this could be in the multi millions that the city simply doesnt have. There are much more important things to do than to just NARROW a street.

Now what would make very good astethic sense as well as cost effective sense... since Detroit is a VERY spread out city with ALOT of greenspace... Why not just do a simple median, taking 2 lanes out in the process, and plant a shitload of trees in the middle.. THere are some pretty neat flowering trees that they could put in with very Low maintaince that would totally spruce up the area, give a parky open space in the urban setting, and keep traffic flow in the area. Also add more crosswalks, and make it enjoyable to actually walk through the median to get to another crosswalk.. almost like a park.

This can be done without a maintaince headache.

Why does every other community in the metro area have them with no real issue??

I think Detroit can do a 1 up on them with less maintaince and have a neat tree lined blvd with some sweet street lighting.
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 915
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.246.13.131
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 2:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Alexei289, I posted almost the same thing on another thread. I do think a median would make the most sense. Of course I would like to see an light rail line down the middle of the median, either at grade or elevated.
BTW congrats on 1000+ posts.
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2301
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.131
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 3:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Alexei, I don't agree with trees. I was thinking either a simple gate design (you know WSU?) or colorful bushes will suffice for the median. lol

(Message edited by ltorivia485 on January 25, 2006)
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Steelworker
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Username: Steelworker

Post Number: 540
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 68.79.94.64
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 5:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ferndale has been trying to narrow woodward for a while but they keep failing. they have tried to narrow one lane on both side to allow more space for pedestrians and outdoor cafes
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Fishtoes2000
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Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 70
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.14.26.135
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 6:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We've also been trying to narrow Woodward in Ferndale with bike lanes. MDOT will not act unilaterally. It'll have to be part of the major Woodward Heritage Route planning.
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Detroitduo
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Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 459
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 194.138.39.52
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 8:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Screw a median, put in a mass transit line (rail or bus-trains, you choose) to run down the center of woodward from GCP to Ferndale. There's plenty of room and it is the best use of the space, IMHO.
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2303
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 199.74.87.131
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We do not need transit lines in the middle of these highways or streets. God, it's the most ridiculous idea in the world. There is a reason why places such as NYC and Chicago have subways or elevated rail. Light rail is too costly for Detroit.
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Detroitduo
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Username: Detroitduo

Post Number: 461
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 194.138.39.52
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 11:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

But I'm sure Monorail is a better idea.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3097
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 6:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lol at Detroitduo
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Skulker
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Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3445
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.103.104.93
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 6:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Narrowing Woodward makes perfect sense.




If we are talking avbout the stretch from I-75 to say Grand Boulevard, it makes no sense at all to me. What is accomplished by having Woodward narrowed? Underutilized buildings with little to no pedestrian traffic will now seem even further back away from the street, making them appear even more forelorn. We will have even larger sidewalks where people will feel even more alone. Building wider sidewalks is not going to encourage a flood of redevelopment along that stretch. Nobody is saying: "Wow, I'd open up a little european style cafe with lofts above it on Woodward if only I had wider sidewalks".....From a design and economic development perspective I see a narrowing doing more harm than good. The street wall effect people are looking for can be accomplished through new construction of appropriate scale (see the feel at Mack and Woodward now that the Ellington has reached scale and mass). Making wider sidewalks negates that effect. Making wider sidewalks in front of existing buildings with lower heights only makes them seem even MORE disconnected. This only encourages drivers to keep on driving past instead of being drawn to the buildings and their occupants.

Others note the volume of traffic and the need to keep Woodward available as an emergency route north out of and into the City. This is a very legitimate argument and one that should not be taken lightly

Well designed and executed treed or landscaped medians would make Woodward feel narrower without compromising traffic flow.
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2308
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.104.203
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitduo, yes I am in favor of monorail or elevated rail or subway (although this is the costliest). I do not recommend light rail on the street level. Imagine the costs it will have on roads that have already been repaved.
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Hamtramck_steve
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Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2655
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.209.188.186
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think what we're all giggling about, Lt, is you seem to be thinking that elevated rail or a monorail would somehow be cheaper than light rail at grade level.
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Atl_runner
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Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1792
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.209.118.72
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just to add this to the mix. Peachtree street is THE major street through Atlanta. From Buckhead through Midtown through Downtown, there is never more than 4 lanes, and the occasional drop into a left turn lane at some lights only. It is congested for sure, but it will never be widened. It totally adds to the feel of the area.

Of course, I am all for the narrowing of woodward. From 6 mile to Jefferson. Redo the entire streetscape and build off of that.
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2310
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.104.203
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hamtramck, elevated light rail or monorail is cheaper and better system for businesses who have to witness construction at the grade-level everyday.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1363
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I haven't read most of the thread, so I hope I'm not repeating somebody, but I think that at very least this should be done:

1. Curb bump outs at crosswalks, cutting off the parking lane (which is unfortunately not always treated as such). This will shorten the crossing time/distance by about 20%.

2. The addition of a number of traffic signals at intersections that currently are without them. There is no vehicle traffic warrant for them, but they are needed for pedestrian crossing. They should be set strongly in phase with the other signals to not impact vehicle travel. One example of where this is needed is at Willis where Beans and Bytes is. There are many, many others.

3. Eliminating the left turn lane where it is not needed (ever try to turn left into the Magic Stick? Ever try to go West on Forest?), giving extra sidewalk width.

Skulker makes some good points, but I wonder if he is wrong in placing the chicken before the egg. In other words, if you build it they will come. The demand he writes of doesn't exist as much as it could because right now Woodward is treated as a highway, not a city street.

Also, he says that widening the sidewalks will make the buildings feel farther away. I disagree. From a design standpoint, what matters is the ROW width compared to the streetwall height, not the width of individual parts of that ROW.

I ask:

Would Agave, Beans n Bytes, Union Street, and others have outdoor seating if they had the sidewalk width to make if comfortable and have healthy trees?

I bet so.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 1196
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.100.158.10
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't buy the argument that 9 lanes of Woodward are necessary--even for emergency evacuation. That's Cold War scare tactic logic, if you could call it logic at all, and we see the kind of crap communities it gives us--places where you can't even safely cross the street.

I think wider sidewalks are a good idea. Will they in themselves promote more pedestrian usage and development? No, probably not, but I do know that nine lanes of traffic discourages pedestrians more than seven lanes do.... The design and detailing of streets has to concern itself more than just the flow of automobile traffic. When traffic flow is the primary concern of road design, you get the present state of things--at best, horrific congestion; at worst, flight and disinvestment. Go to Boston and tell me that wider roads are always better.

Skulker notes that the buildings fronting the street need to be built to scale. Do you know how high the buildings would need to be to bring nine lanes of traffic into scale? Every single building would need to be at least 150 feet high, on both sides of the street, for the entire stretch, to even begin to put Woodward into scale with the buildings. Is that really a feasible amount of development along this corridor (especially without a transit line along which to focus TOD)?
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Hamtramck_steve
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Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2657
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.209.188.186
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lt,

"elevated light rail or monorail is cheaper and better system for businesses who have to witness construction at the grade-level everyday"

where, pray tell, would the construction of the elevated rail or monorail take place that it would not affect the grade level? Would the entire length be assembled somewhere and lowered into place by helicopters?
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2311
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.104.203
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 8:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MONORAIL:
Simply put...dig a hole, drop in a pre-built support pylon, truck in the track which was manufactured offsite, lift into place! Monorail beamway can be installed far faster than the alternatives. This is a Las Vegas Monorail beam being put into place. From truck bed to pylons was a matter of a few minutes. The entire system took only seven months to construct. No other fixed rail can be installed as quickly and as disruption-free.

Light Rail
While light rail proponents say it's easy to put in rail on the surface, the reality is that businesses always fail along the route. Customers can't access their establishments during the long period of construction. Entire streets and underground utilities must be rebuilt to put in light rail. During light rail construction, there are always businesses that go under because customers can't get to them.

http://www.monorails.org/tMspa ges/MonoVs.html

------------------------------ --------------

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

-The primary advantage of monorails over conventional rail systems is that they require minimal space, both horizontally and vertically. The width required is determined by the monorail vehicle, not the track, and monorail systems are commonly elevated, requiring only a minimal footprint for support pillars.
-Due to a smaller footprint they are seen as more attractive than conventional elevated rail lines and visually block only a minimal amount of sky.
-Monorails, like subway trains, cannot be caught in traffic.
-They are quieter, as modern monorails use rubber wheels on a concrete track (though some non-monorail subway systems, like certain lines of the Paris metro and all of the Montreal metro, use the same technique and are equally quiet)
-Monorails are capable of climbing, descending and turning faster than most conventional rail systems.
-Monorails are safer than many forms of at-grade transportation, since the monorail wraps around its track and thus cannot derail and unlike a light rail system, there is no chance of colliding with automobile traffic or pedestrians
-They cost less to construct and maintain than underground metro systems.

WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M onorail#Advantages_and_disadva ntages

Disadvantages:

-A monorail switch by its very design will leave one track hanging in mid-air at any given time. Unlike in the case of regular rail switches, coming from this track may well cause derailing, with the additional risk of falling several meters to the ground.
-In an emergency, passengers cannot immediately exit because the monorail vehicle is high above ground and not all systems have emergency walkways. The passengers must sometimes wait until a fire engine or a cherry picker comes to the rescue. Newer monorail systems resolve this by building emergency walkways alongside the entire track (though this reduces the advantage of visually blocking only a minimal amount of sky).
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Atl_runner
Member
Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1793
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.209.118.72
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 8:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

had to do it

What I say? .. Monorail.

Had to be done.
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Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2658
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.209.188.186
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My aplogies for not checking to see if monorails had a support group.

How silly of me.
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Rrl
Member
Username: Rrl

Post Number: 443
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 71.213.227.199
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 8:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lt-
hate to break it to you, but no monorail is but up in minutes, hours or even days. Even if the columns and track were prefabbed off-site, the FOUNDATIONS generally require excavation, forming, reinforcing, concrete, backfill, yada, yada. Even an augered caisson type foundation would require a substantial amount of disruption.

Quoting an industry's promotional web page isn't the most convincing way to back up an argument. It's almost like saying Phillip-Morris' web page says smoking won't kill you.
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Ltorivia485
Member
Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2313
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 129.105.104.203
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 9:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

-The primary advantage of monorails over conventional rail systems is that they require minimal space, both horizontally and vertically. The width required is determined by the monorail vehicle, not the track, and monorail systems are commonly elevated, requiring only a minimal footprint for support pillars.
-Due to a smaller footprint they are seen as more attractive than conventional elevated rail lines and visually block only a minimal amount of sky.
-Monorails, like subway trains, cannot be caught in traffic.
-They are quieter, as modern monorails use rubber wheels on a concrete track (though some non-monorail subway systems, like certain lines of the Paris metro and all of the Montreal metro, use the same technique and are equally quiet)
-Monorails are capable of climbing, descending and turning faster than most conventional rail systems.
-Monorails are safer than many forms of at-grade transportation, since the monorail wraps around its track and thus cannot derail and unlike a light rail system, there is no chance of colliding with automobile traffic or pedestrians
-They cost less to construct and maintain than underground metro systems.

WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M onorail#Advantages_and_disadva ntages

Disadvantages:

-A monorail switch by its very design will leave one track hanging in mid-air at any given time. Unlike in the case of regular rail switches, coming from this track may well cause derailing, with the additional risk of falling several meters to the ground.
-In an emergency, passengers cannot immediately exit because the monorail vehicle is high above ground and not all systems have emergency walkways. The passengers must sometimes wait until a fire engine or a cherry picker comes to the rescue. Newer monorail systems resolve this by building emergency walkways alongside the entire track (though this reduces the advantage of visually blocking only a minimal amount of sky).
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1366
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is this a case of repeating something until everybody thinks it is fact?
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Skulker
Member
Username: Skulker

Post Number: 3446
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.42.168.34
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 9:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Skulker notes that the buildings fronting the street need to be built to scale. Do you know how high the buildings would need to be to bring nine lanes of traffic into scale? Every single building would need to be at least 150 feet high, on both sides of the street, for the entire stretch, to even begin to put Woodward into scale with the buildings.




Scale works both ways. To justify the ultrawide sidewalks created by meaningfully narrowing Woodward, you need even taller buildings than the 150 ft needed to justify the current width of Woodward. Again I refer to the corner of Mack and Woodward on what is being done on scale that makes sense.

Making very wide sidewalks in front of building not more than 40-50 feet high makes (like currently exists on many blocks of Woodward in this stretch)the building visually akin to a tricycle in a three car garage. You wind up with them very far back from the road, isolated and not interesting to passersby. The over all effect is a strip mall without the parking.

That inhibits the reuse of the (old / historic) buildings we already have.

JS Myers raises some interesting points in terms of traffic calming on Woodward that could conceiveably open up a little more room for pedestrians. A narrowing could be accomplished by slowing speeds on Woodward through more lights, median lanscaping & narrower lanes leaving enough room to poach half of the parking lanes while maintaining volume needs to sufficient lanes. Still and all, I am not sure that a highway is the appropriate place to be trying to retrofit sidewalk dining.

At the end of the day, MDOT, which owns the road, still considers Woodward a highway due to traffic counts and other factors.

It seems to me there are better, more effective, more cost efficient and more logical areas to be focusing efforts to create urban pedestrain villages than along a highway. Like lets ditch the headin parking in front of Avalon Bakery.
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Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2660
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.209.188.186
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 10:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you're going to add more lights to Woodward, please, for Pete's sake, make sure their all timed correctly. Meaning, I don't want to stop at one more fricking red light when there's NO TRAFFIC on the cross street. Time the damn lights so that you cruise down at whatever speed limit without hitting a light. I know it's possible, because stretches of 8 Mile are timed that way, so is Gratiot from about Harrington down to at least Macomb Mall.

Rant over.
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Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3099
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 11:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

After conversing shortly with someone on another board, they helped to articulate what I'd been thinking. I'm not sure if this was already said, but south of 94, no one should be using Woodward as the primary entrance or exit for downtown. That is what the Lodge and Chrysler are for, and exactly why they paralell Woodward. Any exacuation concerns below this point are secondary to keeping Woodward the "Main Street" of this particular stetch of the road taking into consideration (once again) the Lodge and Chrysler. This is Detroit, a city built historical dense in the old city. Woodward would make sense in its current configuration if we were talking about it being downtown Phoenix or Houston. There is very little reason why it should be so wide south of 94. If the city really wants Woodward to be a legitimate freeway, they should just bury in the Lodge and Chrysler, take Woodward underground, and but up some access points and call it a day.
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Tomoh
Member
Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 66
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.40.205.183
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think traffic calming with widened sidewalks on the two blocks on either side of Willis (Canfield to Alexandrine) would be a good project/experiment. The existing concentration of restaurants and coffee shop might be wanting to have outdoor seating and choose to do so if the speed dropped slightly through there and if there was adequate room to take over part of the sidewalk. If this worked out well they could extend the zone to Mack. I think the idea of a traffic light at Willis should be considered at the least -- not because of the cross traffic but for pedestrians to be encouraged to cross.
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1368
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.40.42.197
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Still and all, I am not sure that a highway is the appropriate place to be trying to retrofit sidewalk dining.




Therein lies the problem.

I am not sure that a central city is the appropriate place to be trying to retrofit a highway.

These are both big PDFs:

http://www.michigan.gov/docume nts/MDOT_ContextSensitiveSolut ions_v4_94490_7.pdf
http://www.michigan.gov/docume nts/MDOT_STC_9-30-04new2_10460 5_7.pdf

It is true that MDOT has traditionally been a roadblock in getting better city streets. This is changing with the changes that have happened in the department in the last few years.

There is no reason Woodward has to handle all of the traffic that it currenlty does, especially with so many underused parallel routes (2nd, 3rd, John R, Randolf)

Also, 3/4 or more of the people that aren't as familiar with central Detroit as us consider anything south of grand blvd "downtown." We should treat it as such.

I for one refuse to allow the city's main street be treated as a through highway.
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1369
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.40.42.197
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

The existing concentration of restaurants and coffee shop might be wanting to have outdoor seating and choose to do so if the speed dropped slightly through there and if there was adequate room to take over part of the sidewalk.




I agree, but it should be noted that at least one of those places does have outdoor seating. The Magic Stick/Garden Bowl has a narrow strip of tiny tables out when the weather is nicer. This is all they have room for, and the sidewalks get congested out front.
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 921
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 69.246.13.131
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On the other side of the coin, Woodward south of GCP was narrowed. Now they are widening it back to the original.
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Futurecity
Member
Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 213
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 69.212.45.103
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MDOT: City-killing, sprawl-enabling, traffic-engineer car-heads.

The root of all evil.
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1371
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 10:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

On the other side of the coin, Woodward south of GCP was narrowed. Now they are widening it back to the original.




??

Can you explain?

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