A park is popping up in the middle of an intersection, and residents of the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhoods are hoping that the temporary road closures will lead to permanent improvements to the Grand River corridor and its streetscape.
On Saturday, May 12, a grand opening celebration is being held for the GRANDpark(let), a pop-up park at what used to be the three-way intersection of Grand River, Puritan, and Plainview avenues. Characterized as dangerous by some, the intersection will now be blocked off, and in its place will be landscaping, tables, seating, a community stage, and more.
The pop-up park is a collaborative project between the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, the city of Detroit's planning department, and Project 561, the last of which partners high school students from Oakland County and Detroit for annual service projects.
"This is really important, and a critical point for us," says Larissa Carr, economic development program manager for the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation. "The GRDC is trying to help create a corridor that our neighborhood wants, and one that addresses our needs in the pedestrian and shopping experiences.
"Right now, it's more-so built for cars, but street infrastructure improvements will make for a better experience for pedestrians, and the businesses that are here, too."
Organizers hope that the temporary park will help build their case for an improved pedestrian experience along Grand River Avenue. Not only does the GRDC have to contend with the city planning department, but because Grand River is a state highway, the Michigan Department of Transportation is also a key player in any discussions.
The road closures are in effect from April 27th through June 8th, 2018.
"Residents know that this is a dangerous intersection. We want the changes to be permanent," says Carr. "We are expecting permanent improvements within the next few years, and we're working with city planning and MDOT.
"This is just the beginning."
The grand opening celebration for the GRANDpark(let) is free and open to the public.
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