Woodward rapid transit pushes forward with RTA, community meetings

The options for traveling up and down Woodward Avenue are about to grow significantly.

The Michigan State Senate recently passed a series of bills that would establish a regional transit authority that would oversee the construction and operation of a light rail line on Woodward between Jefferson Avenue and Grand Boulevard. It would also oversee the construction and operation of a bus rapid transit systems along the rest of Woodward and across the region. The State House of Representatives is reportedly expected to take up the bills within the coming days.

Working in parallel in those efforts are series of community meetings envisioning what rapid transit along Woodward Avenue could look like and what local residents want to see happen. The meetings are being hosted by the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, Woodward Avenue Action Association and SEMCOG, which is creating a Woodward rapid transit alternatives analysis that will work in parallel with the proposed regional transit authority.

"This is an attempt to create a rapid transit system on Woodward Avenue," says Richard Murphy, programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. "We're looking at the entire length from Jefferson Avenue to Pontiac."

Among the issues that will be discussed are which mode of transit works best for the Woodward corridor (light rail or bus rapid transit), how such a system should be funded and whether it should have dedicated lanes or mixed in with traffic.

The meetings will be be held along the Woodward corridor. The Detroit meetings will be held today (Tuesday, Dec. 4) at SEMCOG offices in downtown Detroit (535 Griswold St, Suite 300) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Detroit Police Dept's Central District (7310 Woodward) from 4-6 p.m. Another one will be held on Dec. 11 at the Detroit Police Dept's Palmer Park Station (12th Precinct, 1441 W. 7 Mile Road).

Source: Richard Murphy, programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance
Writer: Jon Zemke

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