Detroit residents and visitors will have two chances to engage with these temporary public spaces in a hands-on way to give the public a chance to stop and smell the roses in Detroit’s most iconic neighborhoods. The Open Streets Project works in tandem with the Alliance for Biking and Walking, which seeks to provide occupied cities with an opportunity to enhance civic unity and get people moving and engaging with neighborhoods across the world.
By temporarily claiming a designated route from noon to 5:00PM, Open Streets Detroit will produce a free, safe and inclusive place for individuals, families and friends to enjoy space usually occupied by cars and traffic. According to Open Streets Detroit, “The inaugural Open Streets Detroit route will cover 3.7 miles along Michigan Avenue and West Vernor Highway. The proposed route begins at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit, connect through Roosevelt Park in Corktown, and continues through Southwest Detroit, past Clark Park, ending at Boyer Playfield located at Livernois and Vernor.”
Along this route, Open Streets will free up four miles of roadway making room for walking, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding and much more. Open Streets confirms that over 70 local activity partners will team up to provide free fitness, recreation and community programs in the activated space. Events like yoga, dancing, and basketball will be live in the space, giving Detroiters a chance to get involved and potentially try something new! Open Streets will provide a safe space for walking biking and recreation usually more dangerous with the presence of traffic. On the designated Open Streets Fall ’16 dates, the land is returned to the people who are free to walk, sit, exercise, socialize and bike freely as they historically have before the creation of busy city roads and highways.
In addition to the recreational aspect, Open Streets creates a gathering place for people to connect with local businesses, city officials, historic and meaningful neighborhoods, and finally each other. Open Streets explains:
“Our proposed route will take participants past several iconic parks and green spaces, including Campus Martius Park, Roosevelt Park and Clark Park. Boyer Playfield, one of ten neighborhood parks selected by the City of Detroit to receive investment in 2016, is located on the western side of the route.
Dozens of shops, restaurants and businesses line Michigan Avenue and West Vernor Highway. From banks and coney dogs Downtown, to coffee, bikes and bagels in Corktown, along with tacos, bakeries, barbers and beauty parlors in Southwest Detroit, the route features a diverse range of neighborhood retail.”
Many established community partners have collaborated to bring Open Streets Detroit to the city for the first time. The route and activities have been carefully planned to accommodate visitors of all interests and walks of life. Partners such as: the City of Detroit, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Detroit Greenways Coalition, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Detroit-Wayne County Health Authority, Downtown Detroit Partnership, DTE Energy, Henry Ford Health System, Jefferson East, Inc., and Wayne State University.
FOLLOW Open Streets Detroit on Facebook!
OPEN STREETS DETROIT PARTNERS //
Assembly Design Studio
Auto Club Group
Detroit Bike Polo
Detroit By Design / STEM.org / Additional TBA
Detroit Parks Department
Detroit Planning Department
Michigan Democratic Party
Michigan State University Extension 4-H
Michigan State University: Urban and Regional Planning Student Association
The People First Project
Wayne State University Public Health Student Organization (PHSO)
Words by Hailey Dukes. New kid on the block + sponge for all things Detroit. Student to this earth and the people, places, and things on it. Walking an unceasing journey to observe, feel, analyze, understand. Inspire me! Follow Hailey on IG @wolf___hailey // Twitter @heyygirllhai.