A blog by Bryan Pryor. Random thoughts on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also contains good technical bits to help you along the way.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Downtown Farming Petition to fight narrow streets

I found this article in the free press:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080410/NEWS03/804100362/1005/NEWS03

I agree 100% with this petition. Restricting Grand River will only further reduce the number of shoppers downtown. There are many areas I already avoid because of the horrible traffic, and if this goes through I will have to put downtown Farmington on that list.

Had the DDA actually done their homework, they would have found that what is needed to make this actually work for the area is:

1. Increase Grand River to 4 lanes, possibly with bike paths, to ensure maximum traffic can reach all areas of downtown.

2. Create an 'offshoot' of Grand River that has quick & easy access to plentiful parking. This parking should be 1-3 blocks away from the desired shopping district. The amount of added parking needs to be in the 300-500 spaces, not the 10-20 spaces that are currently being offered.

4. Ensure clearly labeled pedestrian crosswalks at multuple places. on Grand River for those who want to cross.

Basically, they need to take the cue from cities that have implemented successful 'downtowns.' Take a look @ Birmingham, Royal Oak, Ferndale, & Novi. All have followed the exact same formula of unrestricted traffic along the major artery (Woodward/Novi Road) with offshoots & ample parking.

If they think for one minute that restricting traffic in the downtown area is the right thing to do for local businesses, all they have to do is look at the sales numbers from last summer. The bridge work successfully slowed down traffic downtown, and in turn nearly bankrupted local businesses.

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