Revitalizing Downtown Detroit: Alta's pedestrian and bicycle facility enhancements for the Central Business District Transportation Initiative

Alta provided planning and design services for two miles of pedestrian and bicycle facility improvements in the downtown core of Detroit for the Downtown Detroit Partnership. An expansive project scoping design charrette was held at the beginning of the project to define the cross-sectional alternatives within the downtown core, and how they would connect and interact at intersections. This week of activities involved public meetings, stakeholder interviews and support from the development community and interactions with various City and State departments who would play a role in implementation.

Once the concept design was finalized, Alta led the engineering construction documentation to construct a variety of items including reconstructed sidewalks, raised two-way separated bike lanes, grading and drainage improvements, ADA upgrades, and landscaping. Intersections were designed to include protected intersections and dedicated signal phasing. The separated bike lanes were designed to be two-way initially, however they were done in a way that could be converted to one-way operation if use became high. This would necessitate additional links to the network to function properly. These improvements are a key component of the Central Business District Transportation Initiative and were refined during consultation with NACTO and Bloomberg Associates. The project design conforms to Michigan Department of Transportation standards in compliance with the requirements of the project funding.

In 2020, a small portion of the network was constructed. The City held off on full implementation while there was an extreme push for building redevelopment, to make new construction less complicated. The City is again focused on Complete Streets, which will build off this and other efforts to continue to grow the downtown bicycle and pedestrian network.