Despite being located in a region known more for being a world leader in creating cars, the City of Ferndale has made investments and policies to ensure the City's future is in mobility. The term mobility has been used more often lately as planners have put more of an emphasis on designing streets for more than just automobiles. You'll note according to this dictionary, mobility is defined as "the movement of people in a population." Ferndale is arguably one of the best places to live and/or work in Metro Detroit if you want to have multi-modal transportation options and get out of your car. Not only does multi-modal living offer more transportation options, converting driving trips to walking or bike can lower transportation costs, offer health benefits, and lower your carbon footprint. Below are some tips to take advantage and live a more multi-modal life in 2018:
Did you know you could bike to nearly anywhere within Ferndale in 20 minutes or less? There are bike lanes on nearly every major street in Ferndale, as well as a neighborhood bike route that offers low-stress connections to adjacent communities (Royal Oak, Oak Park, Hazel Park, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods). Pinecrest (N. of W. Nine Mile) had the most recent road improvements and new bike lanes are coming to W. Nine Mile and Livernois with safer connections to Oak Park and Detroit. Aside from bike lanes, green paint, and signage, the City now offers 3 bike repair stations across the City (plus 1 at Axle Brewing's Livernois Tap) and over 30 bike parking locations in Downtown Ferndale alone. Plan your next bicycle trip with the City's online bike map.
Ferndale has one of the most walkable downtowns in the region and I'd argue it is better seen on foot. It is much easier to stop by Found Sound to pick up new vinyl or stumble into a shop you've never visited before when walking on Nine Mile rather than driving by at 25 mph. The recent Parks and Recreation plan even found that 73% of Ferndale residents are within a 5 minute walk (1/4 mile) from a City park. The health benefits of walking have been well documented and step counters seem to be accessible in numerous phone apps. Start by turning one quick trip per week to the pharmacy or library to a walking trip and leave your car in the driveway. Or why not pay a visit to the newly paved multi-use paths in Martin Road and Harding Parks and count your steps in the process?
Since Ferndale is located along major transit routes, such as Woodward Avenue, Eight Mile Road, and Nine Mile Road, there are more transit routes available than you may be aware of. Planning trips to/from Ferndale is easier than ever with the "transit" option in Google Maps, which has SMART, DDOT and RTA schedules built into the app. Getting to and from is speedier than ever with SMART's new FAST limited stop bus service with buses stopping at Woodward and Nine Mile every 15-20 minutes. If, you're biking to transit be sure to check out SMART's "How to Use the Bike Rack" page.
Car-Sharing & Ride-Sharing
Ferndale partnered with Zipcar to locate 2 Zipcars in Downtown Ferndale beginning in 2016. The service offers memberships that allow you to rent vehicles by the hour, so you only use wheels when you need them. If Zipcar isn't right for you, why not ask a neighbor to borrow their car from time to time? I often borrow my friends' vehicles when I need to run a quick-errand that isn't easily accessible by transit and repay them with gas or a car wash. Lyft and Uber can also be a good alternative if transit isn't served where you are going.
Consider making a multi-modal life a priority in 2018!