Opportunity isn’t just knocking; it’s beating down the door! There is a lot in the works for Detroit’s historic Main Street – the Woodward Avenue (M-1) corridor, including the M-1 streetcar from downtown to midtown slated to begin construction any day now and a complete streets plan for the entire 27-mile Woodward corridor underway. On top of that, there is a significant proposal to create a new Arena District in Detroit that will look to redevelop the area west of Woodward Avenue between Downtown and Midtown. Put aside the debates that will undoubtedly continue for decades about the evolution of the “Arena District” and its value to the city. There is an opportunity to REALLY connect these areas of the City and re-establish it as a cohesive neighborhood! Currently, the I-75 Freeway is a considerable concrete barrier to connectivity, particularly to pedestrians and bicyclists – a forbidding moat of noise, fumes and desolation. The Detroit LID! proposes to build overtop the section of I-75 from Cass to Brush (for a distance of 0.4 miles), creating valuable real estate in the heart of the City and opening the door to some exciting possibilities that will benefit everyone – those on foot, in cars, in buses, in streetcars, on bikes – residents, visitors, tourists, business owners, developers, the city, and sports team owners alike.
The Detroit LID! proposal focuses on the following key objectives:
• Connections for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit and vehicles
• Land for economic development and mixed use infill projects in the heart of the city
• Short blocks and continuous street fronts that are walkable, inviting and ALIVE!
• Public green space appropriately sized and programmed to meet the needs of the neighborhood
On many levels, an Arena/Entertainment District will be great – but, without the Detroit LID! project, the area will continue to be fragmented and disjointed by the I-75 Freeway. Let’s take this opportunity to begin to reconnect neighborhoods. The Detroit LID! project seeks community input to further refine the ideas proposed here and continue the tradition of innovation in this GREAT CITY.