May 13, 2013 – Last week, SEMCOG staff member Kevin Vettraino attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the City of Ferndale’s “How the West was One” Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Improvement project. Earlier this year, this project was awarded funding as part of SEMCOG’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Specifically, this project will:
- reduce the traffic lanes from 5 to 3 on Nine Mile Road between Livernois Street and Pinecrest Drive,
- add a parking lane with porous pavers,
- widen the sidewalk,
- update crosswalks to ADA standards,
- replace streetlights, and
- add benches, trash receptacles, trees, and landscaping to match the current streetscape on Nine Mile Road on the east to Woodward.
In addition to the merits of this project – a great driver of economic development, walkability/bikeablity, and increased safety along a major corridor – it was also the first Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) project in the State of Michigan to be obligated. Earlier this year SEMCOG awarded over $6 million in TAP funding to 16 projects throughout the region, including Ferndale’s West Nine Mile road reconstruction and streetscape. These awarded projects ranged from local trail projects that filled regional gaps, to complete streets enhancements that provided for bike lanes, buffer lanes, bus pull-out bays, and stormwater mitigation techniques. All of the awarded projects met multiple outcomes, such as improved access to transit, environmental improvements, increased access to downtown areas, and enhanced safety.
The excitement of the groundbreaking was evident from all who attended. "It is a dream for us to actually see this coming to fruition," DDA Executive Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius said when she addressed onlookers gathered on the grass near Livernois and Nine Mile. Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter echoed her sentiment: "I'm really proud to be the mayor of the city today," he said before inviting the group to dig into a ceremonial mound of dirt.
Congratulations to the City of Ferndale. We echo the city’s excitement for this project and a great example of a TAP program in the region!
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