East Jefferson Avenue is undergoing the process of replacing two lanes with bike lanes, similar to the current design of Michigan Avenue in Corktown. The nine-lane thoroughfare on the East Side connecting downtown with Grosse Pointe will shrink from three driving lanes and a parking lane in each direction divided by a turning lane to two driving lanes, a parking lane, and a bike lane in each direction in order to calm traffic and increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
The three-stage renovation will be completed by the Fourth of July and will be broken up into parts from east to west starting with Lakewood Street to St. Jean Street, then from St. Jean Street to Van Dyke, and then on to Rivard Street. The section of East Jefferson located in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood from Lakewood Street east to Grosse Pointe underwent the transformation a few years ago. The road will also be totally repaved in 2020 along with water and sewer line replacements.
Mayor Mike Duggan is hoping to create more “walkable neighborhoods” by making the busy avenue more manageable for cyclists and pedestrians. Urban planners have long insisted on the economic benefits found in walkable neighborhoods and Detroit cyclists will gain a boost from easy access to riverfront parks and Belle Isle from Downtown Detroit.
By Jared Hoffman
Research Associate, JMJ Phillip Group