Woodward Moves (2022)

Projects Overview

Project Summary:

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is expected to repave Woodward Avenue between I-696 and 8 Mile in 2022. The cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge are working with MDOT officials to prepare for the resurfacing project and implement short term modifications to improve safety and accessibility on the corridor. Please send comments to ferndalemoves@ferndalemi.gov, join us at next community meeting, or review information from previous meetings at the links below.

CURRENT PHASE (UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2021):

Staff and MDOT's local staff worked together on minor revisions to the concept design for the project after further review by MDOT's Metro region staff. The revised concept design keeps the overall goals of safety, traffic calming, and more mobility options with 87% of Woodward (between 10 Mile and 8 Mile) to have a road diet (view the map HERE). The concept design from February 2021 can be reviewed HERE.

The Ferndale City Council will consider a revised resolution of support for the project at the September 13, 2021 meeting at 7pm (agenda HERE). Below is a list of potential next steps for the project: 

1. City staff will seek approval of the final project design from City Council, including a resolution of support, at their September 13 meeting. This will be an opportunity for the community to revisit the project, hear about goals and desired outcomes, and review the final design that MDOT would create construction documents from and bid if the project is approved by MDOT officials in Lansing.  

2. MDOT’s local staff will provide the road diet resolution and final plan to MDOT Metro and State offices for approval.

3. City Council will be asked to approve the TAP award pending MDOT’s final decision (anticipated: late October).

4. MDOT’s design team will work with City staff to finalize construction documents and bid (anticipated December 2021/January 2022).

5. MDOT's construction and resurfacing project is slated to begin March 2022.

PREVIOUS PHASE (UPDATED MARCH 2021):

The City Council approved the conceptual design, MDOT's Road Diet Checklist, and the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant application for the proposed Woodward Avenue Complete Streets Plan at the regular meeting on Monday, February 22, 2021. Review the agenda item, including meeting video, presentation and letters of support HERE. Next steps are for the City to work with MDOT on construction designs and await a funding decisions from the TAP committee.

Community members and leaders have participated in a number of local and regional studies over the years with a focus on making Woodward Avenue a more "people-friendly" corridor. In 2019, the cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge completed the Woodward Avenue Bicycling and Walking Safety Audit, which made a preliminary recommendation for short term and long term modifications to improve safety on the corridor. Most recently, the cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge completed a Road Diet Feasibility Study and shared the findings with MDOT to meet the State agency's requirements for consideration of narrowing a State trunkline.

The cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge are working with MDOT to determine how to incorporate short term safety and accessibility design solutions from both recent studies into the State's planned repaving of Woodward in 2022. Community feedback is being solicited through meetings and online webmaps and surveys. All indications from MDOT have been that Woodward Avenue will be repaved in 2022, so the communities are trying to leverage the MDOT project to incorporate short term modifications, such as removing a travel lane (on each side of Woodward) and repurposing the lane for increased safety, comfort, and other modes of transportation.

PROJECT TIMELINE

Project timeline with revisions since February 2021.

The previous project time has been updated to reflect current steps in the project. The cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge collaborated on a "road diet feasibility study" in 2019/2020, which led to meetings in December 2020 and January 2021 to gather community feedback about possible modifications to Woodward Avenue and inform the community about the upcoming MDOT repaving project. At the February 22, 2021 City Council meeting, City Council approved two resolutions of support: (1) to support the road diet project; (2) to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant in late February 2021 to help fund any community supported modifications to Woodward in 2022.

City staff had anticipated a July 2021 decision about whether we would receive TAP grant funding and MDOT approval for the proposed project; however, State transportation authorities required some additional research and plan modifications, resulting in a short delay. Final information is now expected in October.  

As part of the project and TAP grant application process, MDOT requested an additional traffic study to compare to the previous study completed in 2019 by the Cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge. Results from this study necessitated minor revisions to the design, primarily at the “transition points” of Oakland Park Boulevard/Sylvan and Woodward Heights in Pleasant Ridge, and 8 Mile in Ferndale.  

The City has worked closely with local MDOT staff to find a compromise that meets MDOT’s traffic standards and the community's safety and mobility goals. Revised plans are being finalized now; the primary change to the project involves diverting a portion of Pleasant Ridge’s Woodward frontage through their shared-use paths and alleys, and starting the southbound road diet at W. Drayton or W. Maplehurst in Ferndale rather than at I-696.

REVISED PROJECT MAP (UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2021)

A map of the project area that demonstrates the continued connection between Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge. (View the digital version of the map HERE)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a repaving project and reconstruction? In a typical MDOT repaving project, the State would mill and resurface Woodward Avenue with a new layer of asphalt in between existing curbs and make minor ADA improvements at curb ramps. An MDOT reconstruction project would include more extensive work, such as new curbs, sidewalks, deeper milling and repaving.
  • What is the timeline of the 2022 repaving project? Tentatively April 2022-November 2022.
  • When would a hypothetical reconstruction of Woodward take place? MDOT doesn't have a specific timeframe or funding for a reconstruction of Woodward Avenue, but generally expects a reconstruction in 10-15 years.
  • Who is the primary project manager at MDOT that I can contact? David Harrison, Senior Project Manager, can be reached via email at Harrisond7@michigan.gov.
  • Where can I review the Woodward Bicycling and Pedestrian Safety Audit? Review the 2019 report HERE.
  • Where can I review the Woodward Avenue Road Diet Feasibility Traffic Study? Review the traffic study HERE and appendices HERE.
  • Where can I review MDOT's traffic analyses studies? Review the June 2021 study HERE and the August 2021 addendum HERE.
  • What is the expected increase in travel time for vehicles if the road diet is implemented? According to MDOT's most recent study, the August 2021 concept design would meet MDOT's standards for vehicle delay. According to MDOT, the increase for southbound traffic is 86.7 and 22.8 seconds during the AM and PM peak hours, respectively. The increase for northbound traffic is essentially 0 and 35.4 seconds during the AM and PM peak hours, respectively.
  • What is the City's budget for any short term design changes to improve safety on Woodward during the MDOT project? Staff is evaluating potential costs and hopes to share with City Council and the community in February 2021.
  • Does the proposed short term design propose to remove on-street parking on Woodward Avenue? The short term design generally maintains on-street parking throughout the corridor. However, some on-street parking space are under consideration to be removed to provide safety benefits resulting in wider sidewalks, better transit stops, and visibility improvements for people walking, bicycling, and driving vehicles.
  • How does the proposed short term design align with adjacent communities' plans for Woodward Avenue? The proposed short term design between I-696 and 8 Mile includes Pleasant Ridge and builds upon past plans proposed by the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3)'s 2014 Complete Streets Plan (HERE), SE MI Region Transit Authority/SEMCOG Locally Preferred Alternative Plan (HERE), and recent projects safety modifications to better connect Pleasant Ridge to Royal Oak (HERE).
  • Why aren't other communities along Woodward Avenue participating in the grant application? MDOT's resurfacing project focuses specifically on the cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge. Communities such as the cities of Detroit and Royal Oak, organizations such as SMART, the SE MI Regional Transit Authority, SEMCOG, and MoGo Bike Share were consulted in the making of this plan and generally supportive. It should also be noted that Woodward Avenue in the cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge bisects the downtown districts in both communities and traffic counts are lower than communities north of I-696.
  • How will maintenance, including sweeping debris and snow removal, happen in the bicycle lanes? The City of Ferndale's Department of Public Works (DPW) currently maintains Woodward Avenue through a contract with MDOT and would continue to do so. DPW has equipment used on sidewalks, park paths, and bike lanes across the City, which would be used to maintain the bike lanes on Woodward.
  • How does Woodward Moves relate to Ferndale Moves? Woodward Moves is a continuation of short term and long term mobility planning for the Woodward corridor, which is part of the overall Ferndale Moves mobility plan. Since Ferndale Moves is the City's long-term transportation plan, Woodward is a piece of the overall plan. Take a look at the preliminary Ferndale Moves plan recommendations HERE.
  • What is a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant? TAP grant funds are federal funds made available to local communities through SEMCOG and MDOT. The City of Ferndale has previously been awarded TAP funds to help pay for construction on projects like Woodward Heights, Livernois, and W. Nine Mile (Pinecrest to Republic). Visit SEMCOG's website HERE for more details about the program and past projects.

Previous Meeting Information

  1. December 9th, 2020 Community Meeting #1: Meeting video; Meeting slides; Frequently Asked Questions link.
  2. January 19th, 2021 Business Meetings #1 & 2Meeting video; Meeting slides.
  3. January 27th, 2021 Community Meeting #2: Meeting video; Meeting slides.
  4. February 22, 2021 City Council Meeting: Meeting video; Meeting agenda items.

Other projects:

MoGo Bike Share (2019)
View Project

The City of Ferndale was awarded a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant award in 2018 to fund a regional bike share program in summer 2019. The bike share program will be in partnership with MoGo Bike Share and include cities of Berkley, Detroit, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, and Royal Oak.

View Project →
Woodward Bicycling and Walking Safety Audit (2019)
View Project

The Cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge were awarded a $40,000 SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments) Planning Assistance grant for a bicycling and walking safety audit on Woodward Avenue.

View Project →
W. Marshall Resurfacing (2021)
View Project

W. Marshall, between Woodward Avenue and Allen, is scheduled for resurfacing during the 2021 construction season.

View Project →