By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Residents, community members and business owners received an update and provided feedback on the city’s plans for the Howard-Mason-Monroe streetscape project during an open house July 24 at the John D. Dingell Transit Center, 21201 Michigan Ave.
The project focuses on the three streets north of Michigan Avenue with the goal of enhancing pedestrian environment and addition of bike lanes to connect to Ford Field Park.
Construction on Howard and Mason from Michigan Avenue to Garrison is scheduled to begin Aug. 5 and Monroe from Michigan Avenue to Garrison and Michigan Avenue to Morley Avenue in the spring. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by fall 2020.
According to the streetscape plans, the city is aiming to do five things:
• Improve the vehicular and non-motorized experience through Dearborn including traffic calming and dedicated bike lanes on Monroe Street.
• Create a walkable downtown.
• Promote alternative transportation choices.
• Make downtown safer for the pedestrian and bicycle rider.
• Enhance neighborhood character.
The typical streetscape anatomy includes bumpouts adjacent to street parking, bike racks and bike parking, lighting, street trees and special paving, all in which is planned for the city’s project.
A mid-block crossing for pedestrians also is planned for both Howard and Mason streets along with seating areas on the street bumpouts — which are also on the plans for Monroe street.
The bumpouts will take away some of the street parking currently on the three streets and make way for the seating areas and on-street bike racks.
A bike lane along Monroe south of Michigan Avenue will expand to continue on to Ford Field Park and Brady Street.
“Most attendees at the open house asked about pedestrian safety, wanted additional bike lanes and also the integration of bike awareness with lane designation signs or signals in the rest of the downtown,” SmithGroup Landscape Architect Associate Kelly Burks said.
Trees, flower pots, hanging baskets and plant beds also are part of the screetscape construction plans. Landscape buffers are in the plans for Monroe along the Ford Field parking lot, which usually includes trees and shrubs to separate parking lots or structures from nearby residential areas.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])