Woodward Moves is a road construction project designed to increase Ferndale’s safety, promote inclusivity, and foster prosperity to welcome people to enjoy and explore the Woodward Corridor for years to come.
June Construction Update:
Summer is in full swing and so is construction in Ferndale as we get closer to a new and improved Woodward Avenue. We're determined not to let a little dust slow us down from enjoying a fabulous Ferndale summer!
As construction has shifted to the right travel lanes, repair work has begun to have a more significant impact on driveways, sidewalk ramps, and side streets. Here are the specifics on what's coming up on Woodward Avenue this month:
Woodward Avenue Parking is not permitted until construction is completed this fall. Vehicles parked in the construction zone will be subject to ticketing and risk damages as work progresses. We understand this may cause inconvenience as you navigate the city. We are confident that the end result of a safer and more accessible Woodward will be worth this short period of disruption. We appreciate your partnership and understanding as we work to make Ferndale a place that can be enjoyed and celebrated by all. As parking along Woodward is unavailable, remember Downtown Ferndale still offers a wide variety of public parking options. View them here!
Lane Closures will be reduced to single-lane closures in each direction within the next week. Previously, the right two lanes of Southbound and Northbound Woodward Avenue have been closed to vehicle traffic. This update means only the outermost right lane in each direction will be closed.
ADA Ramp Construction is officially underway. This work will be critical to making Ferndale safe and accessible to all people. Each ramp will take approximately one week to repair, weather permitting. While ramps are under construction, pedestrian flows and travel may be disrupted.
Driveway Area Repairs started last week and will continue through the summer. The work consists of repairs to driveway openings or the lane in front of driveways that require full or partial closure. MDOT is planning to begin driveway apron repair work in the southbound lane, working from the north city limit to 8 Mile Road. When that work is complete, construction will shift to the northbound lane, working from 8 Mile Road to the north city limit.
For those who may need extra help getting around during construction, the city of Ferndale offers a variety of support options:
The Ride SMART Community Transportation Program offers community transportation for seniors, people with disabilities or individuals with limited transportation access within a 5-mile radius of Ferndale. Learn more here.
SMART Bus ADA Service is an advanced reservation, curb-to-curb service that is provided for people who are unable to use SMART’s Fixed Route bus service because of a disability. Learn more here.
SMART Bus Connector is an advance reservation, curb-to-curb, service operated by SMART. When using Connector, you may travel anywhere within a 10-mile radius of a designated service area. Learn more here.
Representatives for business and commercial property owners can sign up for email and text alerts from the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority online.
Residents interested in staying up-to-date on the project should subscribe to the Mayor's Message e-newsletter to receive monthly updates.
Before you dive into the rest of the project scope below, we wanted to remind you how thankful we are and that projects like this can’t get done without the support of Ferndale’s residents, businesses, and patrons. So please give yourselves a pat on the back for dealing with this process so far, and just know we appreciate you tremendously.
PROJECT WORK WILL INCLUDE
Resurfacing of Woodward from 8 Mile to the northern Ferndale city limit
The reduction of a travel lane on each side of Woodward
Targeted improvements to curbs
Shortening of pedestrian crossings
Parking-protected bike lanes
Improved visibility at intersections
Accessible curb ramps
Work in early April will focus on pavement and curb repairs in the left two lanes in both directions of Woodward, as well as repairs to the turnarounds. Work will also begin on the rain gardens located in the median of Woodward just south of Marshall Street. Bike racks will be removed by the City of Ferndale to allow time to clean the streets prior to the repair work.
In late April, the focus shifted to the right lanes of Woodward for road and curb repairs, as well as upgrading sidewalk ramps to make them more accessible. Temporary bus stops have been constructed to ensure those relying on bus transportation can travel safely during construction. For more information on this, check out the press release.
Until the completion of the project in the fall, on-street parking will not be available along Woodward Ave from 8-Mile to south of I-696. We understand this may cause inconvenience for you, your staff, and your customers. We are confident that the end result of a more safe and more accessible Woodward will be worth this short period of disruption. We appreciate your partnership and understanding as we work to make Ferndale a place that can be enjoyed and celebrated by all.
As parking along Woodward is unavailable, remember Downtown Ferndale still offers a wide variety of public parking options. View them here!
Although Woodward is a main thoroughfare in Ferndale, people are intentionally choosing not to walk along Woodward due to difficult and unsafe conditions. This means people are missing the opportunity to explore and enjoy all Ferndale has to offer, including our diverse mix of Woodward-facing businesses.
Woodward Moves will not only provide the much-needed re-pavement of the street itself, but the project also provides the chance to improve our city’s safety, foster economic prosperity for the entire community, and provide diverse and accessible opportunities for people to explore Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge.
Woodward Moves will help Woodward Avenue evolve to meet the current and future needs of residents, business owners, and visitors. The project will allow Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge to enhance the experience along Woodward while maintaining it as a desirable gathering place for the community for generations to come.
Woodward Moves is a partnership of the City of Ferndale, the City of Pleasant Ridge, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT.)
HOW IS WOODWARD MOVES BEING FUNDED?
Funding for Woodward Moves is provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), City of Ferndale, City of Pleasant Ridge and a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant MDOT and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).
This $9 million project includes $5.6 million in resurfacing work from MDOT, $1,176,500 from City of Ferndale, $139,500 from the City of Pleasant Ridge, and $2 million in grants. The City of Ferndale local funds for Woodward Moves will come from fuel tax revenue collected from the Public Act 51 of 1951 (Act 51), specifically earmarked to be spent on public transportation projects.
QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS?
If there is a construction-related emergency that needs to be reported to the city, please contact 911 to report any immediate threats to life or property. For all other matters, please contact Police Non-emergency at 248-541-3650.
Businesses and commercial property owners along the corridor can reach out to the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-546-1632.
Residents will be regularly updated via a variety of communication channels including the official quarterly City of Ferndale newsletter, social media channels, and the website.
Representatives for business and commercial property owners can sign up for email and text alerts from the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority online HERE.
Woodward Moves is not changing the heart or spirit of Woodward Avenue, but rather evolving the corridor to make our downtown more modern. Modernizing Woodward Avenue will help foster inclusive mobility to bring new and diverse people downtown, increase safety to encourage people to travel Woodward in new ways, and boost economic prosperity by increasing foot traffic and time spent on Woodward.
Inclusive Mobility: As a small community within a large regional area, Ferndale continues to work towards its identity as welcoming and accessible for the entire region. Currently, Woodward is only inclusive of cars. The project aims to make Ferndale a safer place for people walking or biking, including those traveling: on foot, by bike, with mobility aid devices, with children and pets, via bus, and more.
Safety and Accessibility: Crossing the street as a Ferndale pedestrian is stressful, especially on streets with high traffic volumes, large widths, high speeds, and a lack of signals, crosswalks, or stop signs. Redesigning Woodward so that 6-lanes are dedicated to car traffic and one lane on each side is dedicated to pedestrians and individuals on bikes, will reduce the distance they have to cross through traffic, while also minimizing the risk of high car traffic and speeding.
Economic Prosperity: Streets and communities where walking and biking are safe and accessible are areas where businesses thrive. Increasing safety and accessibility will also work to enhance our community’s experience on Woodward. By making time spent on Woodward more enjoyable, Woodward Moves will increase the amount of time people spend downtown. The more time people spend downtown, the more likely they are to explore Ferndale and its businesses/experiences.
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. Of 387 community members surveyed by the Woodward Avenue Bicycling and Walking Safety Audit in 2019, among the greatest concerns on Woodward Avenue were pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety and crashes (82%, 82%, and 61% respectively). These significantly outranked concerns about traffic congestion (50%).
People also reported that crossing Woodward Avenue is stressful, with only 49% feeling comfortable or somewhat comfortable crossing in the 2019 Woodward Avenue Bicycling and Walking Safety Audit. The Ferndale Moves 2020 plan reports that 25 out of 34 crosswalks along Woodward (from 8 Mile to I-696) have a stress rate of 4 (the highest rating), based on the number of lanes, traffic volumes, and posted speed limits.
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, Ferndale 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. Review the agenda item HERE.
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. The City worked closely with local MDOT staff to find a compromise that met MDOT’s traffic standards and the community's safety and mobility goals. The Ferndale City Council unanimously approved a revised resolution of support for the project at the September 13, 2021, meeting at 7:00 p.m. (Review the agenda item 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 Woodward Moves?What is the timeline of Woodward Moves? Work for Woodward Moves is scheduled to take begin on March 20, 2023, with the majority of the work continuing until late fall of 2023.
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 analysis 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 road design changes to improve safety on Woodward during the MDOT project? The City's portion of the project would be funded through a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant and the City's Major Streets account, which comes from the State of Michigan Act 51 dollars (generated by state taxes on gas, vehicle registrations, etc.).
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.
Will this project remove on-street parking on Woodward Avenue? An estimated 100-125 vehicle parking spaces are expected to be removed from the entire length of Woodward Avenue from 8 Mile Road to the northern city limit. Parking space removal will improve the inclusion and accessibility of Woodward Avenue in the following ways: - Creation of pedestrian-accessible bus stops. - Improved intersection safety for all users by improving site lines at unsignalized intersections. - Enhancing safety for bikes using the new cycle track.
Estimated range of parking space reduction: - Central Business District from Saratoga and Breckenridge: 21-25 Northbound: 11- 14, Southbound: 10-11 - Bennett to Saratoga: 45 – 58 Northbound: 26 – 31, Southbound: 19 - 27 - Breckenridge to North City Limit: 38 – 42 Northbound: 22 – 25, Southbound: 16 – 17
How much public parking is available in Downtown Ferndale? Throughout Downtown Ferndale, there are 825 parking spaces available in publicly managed parking lots, 265 on-street parking spaces in addition to those on Woodward Avenue, and 377 spaces at The dot parking deck located at 221 West Troy Street.
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) and the SE MI Region Transit Authority/SEMCOG Locally Preferred Alternative Plan (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 were 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 in 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 final Ferndale Moves plan recommendations HERE.
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.
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. This study is now complete. Please follow the Woodward Moves project page for updated project details (https://ferndalemoves.com/project/woodward-moves-2022).