Making Kalamazoo streets safe for ALL, Part Two

Critique of MDOT’s proposed “improvements” to the Stadium Drive intersection at Howard Street

Jim-avatar.jpgby Jim Ferner

Part One offered my critique of the Stadium Drive & Michigan Avenue charrette. Below are my thoughts on another MDOT proposal.

The Stadium Drive intersection at Howard Street

Many people want a transportation infrastructure that makes downtown Kalamazoo a destination and its streets safe for all users. It has been brought to our attention that MDOT is planning to spend $8 million, down from an original $13 million, for “intersection improvements” at Stadium and Howard. This includes double left turns on all four legs of the streets in the intersection.

“Why?” you ask.Read more

Complete Streets – Safe Streets for ALL, Part One

Critique of MDOT’s Stadium Drive & Michigan Avenue Charrette

Jim-avatar.jpgby Jim Ferner

I offer this critique of the Stadium Drive & Michigan Avenue charrette. I put this together from conversations with Dan Burden, Michigan transportation officials, and national transportation planners, engineers, and designers.

Downtown traffic

In order to…

  • Promote an active lifestyle, reduce health care costs, and improve the public’s health
  • Improve social equity, safety, accessibility, and convenience for all users
  • Enhance the environment and counter the effects of climate change
  • Make Kalamazoo a “cool city” – one that is attractive to knowledge-based businesses, good talent, and retains our graduates

What is a charrette?

A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development.

…the final charrette design held last fall was a start. For the first time in 60 years, our downtown streets have a chance to be reconfigured. However, all downtown streets need to be considered in a comprehensive plan to make them safe for all users. There needs to be a broad-based community forum that builds on the current plan and takes into consideration all downtown streets so that Kalamazoo can truly become a livable, sustainable city.

It will probably be another 60 years before we have the chance to do it again. Let’s use this opportunity to take our time and do it right.Read more