March 23, 2023: The first public meeting of the Planning and Environmental (PEL) Study provided the Local Agency Group much insight on the community priorities and wants for the Washtenaw corridor.
More information about the next meetings is underway. In the meantime, stay up to date with the project by following our Twitter & Facebook pages and check out the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) M-17 PEL Study Presentation, shown at Public Meeting 1.
February 17, 2023: The Michigan Dept of Transportation (MDOT) is planning for the future of Washtenaw Avenue between US-23 and Summit Street, in partnership with ReImagine Washtenaw, and needs your input! Join us on March 2nd, 2023, for a community input open house style meeting to learn more about the project and participate in the process.
Two identical sessions will be held, 12 to 2pm and 6 to 8pm, at the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center at 4135 Washtenaw Avenue, located just east of Carpenter Road.
These first sessions will focus on describing the purpose of the Study, and process, and telling the study team your vision for the corridor. Future public meetings (to be announced) will allow the public to provide input on alternatives. For more info, check out the latest updates below and the MDOT M-17 (Washtenaw Avenue) Project page.
January 11, 2023: On a segment of WEMU's On the Ground Ypsi, Nathan Voght, OCED Economic Specialist and Reimagine Washtenaw Project Manager, talks about the importance of accessibility, background of Reimagine Washtenaw, and new updates on the Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) Study.
The planning initiative seeks to bring a complete multi-modal street to the Washtenaw Avenue corridor to efficiently serve more community residents. Ypsilanti bikers, transit riders, and walkers deserve more access to the corridor and, over the past 10 years, Reimagine Washtenaw has been a leader in this effort.
Public hearings for the PEL study is set to be announced in the coming months. The hearings, devised into four, gives MDOT and the project's consultant team to revisit the multi-modal vision and consider alternatives based on the public's comments.
December 8, 2022: The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) and The Ride are partnering to develop construction plans for a Mid-Block Crossing and eastbound and westbound Super Stops along Washtenaw Avenue, east of Carpenter Road, at the County Service Center. The ReImagine Washtenaw project manager, within OCED, will manage the design process, in collaboration with The Ride. The Ride has grant funding available to proceed with design of these facilities. Construction of the mid-block crossing and Super Stops would be at a future date.
This location along the corridor is heavily used for commuters utilizing public transit. The Park N Ride at the County Service Center parking lot allows commuters to park and utilize transit to Ann Arbor. The existing conditions do not provide for eastbound return commuters to safely cross the street to return to their vehicles. Two separate surveys were conducted in 2016 and 2018, showing at least 15 pedestrians per hour crossing at this location to access transit, without a marked crosswalk available to facilitate the crossing more safely.
As ridership recovers from the pandemic, The Ride will be launching an express service along Washtenaw, boosted by $2.1M in federal funding from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). The Super Stops will be enhanced bus stops, with additional amenities, to facilitate increasing ridership and future enhanced service along the corridor, which may include Bus Rapid Transit. This may include larger shelters, covered bike parking, landscaping, lighting, public art, pre-pay at kiosks, and level boarding (like boarding a subway car), among others.
November 23, 2022: The Michigan Department of Transportation has begun a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study of Washtenaw Avenue, from the US-23 interchange, in Pittsfield Township, to Summit Street in the City of Ypsilanti. The purpose of this year-long PEL Study is to conduct a comprehensive environmental analysis of potential corridor improvements, and re-evaluating various potential redevelopment alternatives, such as addition of bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscaped median. The PEL study will rely heavily on the community’s vision from the 2014 Corridor Improvement Study, and will include a fresh review, based on updated data collection and current conditions. For example, enhanced public transit is envisioned, such as Bus Rapid Transit, but how should it be implemented? Is a dedicated BRT lane provided? Or, while bike lanes are part of the vision, should they be in a buffered bike lane in the street, or above the curb, outside of the street? Should landscaped medians be part of the future vision for corridor reconstruction?
The PEL study will include various meetings for the public and stakeholders to guide the direction of the study, and provide meaningful input. Follow the ReImagine Washtenaw Facebook Page or our Twitter account: @washtenawavenue to get notifications of upcoming meetings.
July 14, 2020: A significant goal of ReImagine Washtenaw is increasing access and mobility along Washtenaw Avenue. Long-term plans include buffered (protected?) bike lanes, while maintaining traffic flow, and dense, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods supported by efficient mass transit. However, in the short term there are projects we are undertaking to improve safety and access along the corridor.
This latest sidewalk infill project may seem small, but includes important improvements, including new ADA compliant sidewalk, accessible bus stop and shelter, and pedestrian crossings at the Fountain Plaza traffic signal. This project was funded using Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Ypsilanti Charter Township, through the Urban County, managed by the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.
We are thankful for Ypsilanti Charter Township for dedicating funds to improve walkability along the corridor, The Ride for coordinating the bus stop improvement, MDOT for their support of ReImagine Washtenaw and this project, and all the property owners that granted public sidewalk easements to allow the new sidewalk.
June 30, 2020: ReImagine Washtenaw continues to be active with two sidewalk infill projects to be completed this summer in the City of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Township. The Ypsilanti Township project is east of Golfside Road and includes a bus stop with shelter improvements and new pedestrian crossings to more safely connect neighborhoods with Washtenaw Avenue shopping.
May 1, 2019: The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority held public feedback sessions for the bus rapid transit system that is proposed to run between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The session were held last week on April 23 from 4-6pm at the Ypsilanti Transit Center and April 24 from 7-10am at the Blake Transit Center.
April 2, 2019: The ReImagine Washtenaw Joint Technical Committee has developed a 2019-2020 Work Plan that will guide the next several years' tasks. The Joint Technical Committee includes representatives from all four local units, MDOT, County Road Commission, TheRide, and Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, and is charged with developing policies, plans, and projects to implement the ReImagine Washtenaw Corridor Plan.
August 16, 2018: The 2017 ReImagine Washtenaw Annual Report has been released. Highlights include new sidewalk infill completed on the south side of Washtenaw Avenue between Carpenter and Golfside, new traffic signal with pedestrian crossings at Glencoe Hills Drive, and a new Bus Rapid Transit planning study underway with TheRide.
August 15, 2018: ReImagine Washtenaw recently completed an updated mid-block near the County Service Center on Washtenaw, east of Carpenter. The purpose was to determine the change to pedestrian patterns in this area after the installation of the new traffic signal with pedestrian crossings at Glencoe Hills Drive. A full report will be available soon, but initial data suggests the vast majority of the people crossing mid-block near Glencoe Hills Drive now use the new signal to cross. Conversely, the number of mid-block crossings closer to Carpenter remain unchanged, which continues to demonstrate the need for a mid-block crosswalk in the area of the County Service Center
The project partners continue to work to coordinate the installation of a new mid-block crossing here with The Ride, Michigan Department of Transportation, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, and Pittsfield Charter Township.
October 19, 2016: ReImagine Washtenaw Progress Report Released: Download the 2015-2016 ReImagine Washtenaw progress report to find out the latest information on implementation efforts.
September 12, 2016: Construction Complete on Mid-Block Crossing with HAWK Signal east of Oakwood: The mast arms and signal heads were recently constructed, and the signal is now fully functional.
July 8, 2016: Construction on Mid-Block Crossing with HAWK Signal Underway: Construction is slated for completion within a few weeks on the first Mid-Block Crossing at the eastern end of the ReImagine Washtenaw corridor. The crossing is east of Oakwood, adjacent to the Eastern Michigan University Campus. The improvement is by MDOT, with financial support from EMU, AAATA, and the City of Ypsilanti.
Construction Pic from July 7, 2016:
Concept Drawing of Future Mid-Block Crossing
from 2014 Corridor Improvement Study
May 6, 2016: ReImagine Washtenaw and Pittsfield Charter Township Pursue Safe Pedestrian Crossings. County and Pittsfield Township representatives recently completed a pedestrian and bicyclist count over two days in April in order to explore the feasibility of one or two mid-block crossings in the vicinity of the County Service Center and Glencoe Hills apartments, located east of the Carpenter Road intersection. This area is challenging, with numerous transit users and walkers accessing the area but with inadequate safe crossing locations. The 2014 Washtenaw Avenue Corridor Study already calls for multiple crossings in the area. The report of the pedestrian count study results has been submitted to MDOT for its review and analysis, with the intention to have the area approved for one or more mid-block crossings. The report observed 705 individuals, mostly transit users, accessing the area, and 37% (260) of those individuals crossing the area mid-block (not at a marked pedestrian crossing). This is not surprising, given the excessive distance of the Carpenter Road intersection to the next marked crossing at Glencoe Crossing shopping center traffic signal (3,400 ft. distance). Several articles recently were posted by Mlive.com about this stretch of the corridor, as well: April 26th, 2016 Article. April 28th, 2016 Article.
June 8, 2015: Press Release: ReImagine Partners Adopt Complete Street Plan for Washtenaw Avenue. On Monday, June 1st, the City of Ann Arbor became the fifth and final jurisdiction to adopt the ReImagine Washtenaw Corridor Improvement Study, giving the regional planning, land use, and transportation partnership new momentum for continued implementation of the long-term vision for the corridor. Download the press release issued by the Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development here.
April 27, 2015: The City of Ann Arbor City Council postponed adoption of the Corridor Improvement Study during the April 20, 2015 meeting, and scheduled a public hearing for June 1st, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Follow this link to download relevant supporting documents provided to City Council in consideration of ReImagine Washtenaw's request that the City of Ann Arbor adopt the Study.
The Corridor Improvement Study has been adopted by the City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Pittsfield Township, and Washtenaw County. As an important ReImagine Washtenaw partner, the City of Ann Arbor is also asked to adopt the study. With all stakeholders adopting the Study, the coalition can begin moving forward in unison to implement the future cross-sections that are illustrated in the Study. This includes ensuring proper building setbacks, dedicating additional public access, or right-of-way, as properties are proposed for redevelopment, filling in sidewalk gaps, improving bus stops, optimizing the traffic signals, and other improvements. Please consider coming to the June 1st public hearing before the Ann Arbor City Council to share your thoughts about ReImagine Washtenaw with local elected officials.
March 30, 2015: The City of Ann Arbor is hosting a business and property owner meeting at the United Way Building, 2305 Platt Road, Ann Arbor, 48104, at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31st to discuss the Corridor Improvement Study. Here is the presentation that will be discussed. The City of Ann Arbor City Council is considering adoption of the Study, and postponed action until April 20, 2015, to allow additional feedback from the Washtenaw Avenue business community. A new Frequently Asked Questions has also been released regarding the Study, to better inform the public about the purpose of the proposed improvements.
March 5, 2015: The Golfside/Washtenaw Design Charrette was held in October 2014. The FINAL REPORT was completed in January and has been presented to the Pittsfield Township Planning Commission and Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees. The report documents the three-day charrette, target market data and other new development regulations and design guidelines that informed the design process, and conceptual near-term and long-term build-out scenarios for the 70+ acres at the corner of Golfside and Washtenaw. The value in the charrette is to better understand some of the limitations and challenges that will be faced in redeveloping the urbanized corridor. These include adequate parking while designing mixed-use neighborhoods to be less auto-dependent, stormwater management, and complications from multiple parcel ownership, among others. ReImagine Washtenaw will be working with all of its governmental partners to use the designs to attract development interest and inform future redevelopment proposals along the corridor.
February 27, 2015: The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development has released the Housing Affordability and Economic Equity Analysis. This study is the first affordable housing study since 2007, and provides a current picture of the increasingly challenging affordable housing picture in the Washtenaw County urbanized area. A regional working group is being formed to take on the affordable housing issues our region faces, and to explore all of the implementation recommendations in the report. The ReImagine Washtenaw Joint Technical Committee will participate in the process and looks forward to finding ways that corridor redevelopment can also address the regional affordable housing strategies.
October 17, 2014: Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's Golfside/Washtenaw design charrette. The three-day community design workshop explored redevelopment options for 75 acres of land at Golfside Road using current market data, form-based zoning code and design
guidelines. The resulting scenarios will inform planners and decision makers in reviewing future redevelopment proposals, and will also serve as a marketing tool to attract future investment. In addition, the participants provided feedback on the “look and feel” of future development amenities such as plazas, sidewalk cafes, public art and architectural styles. The charrette materials, presentations and designs will be posted as soon as they are available.
August 13, 2014: What should a 21st century Washtenaw Avenue look like? Nathan Voght, ReImagine Washtenaw project manager, explains in this Concentrate Magazine feature article.
July 16, 2014: An online survey by the Arts Alliance seeks feedback on public artwork and design. The survey will be used to create a public arts plan for Washtenaw Avenue.
Vision for the Washtenaw Avenue Corridor
A corridor that supports a high quality of life with walkable shopping options, housing choices, efficient transit service, great public spaces, bike paths, and access to educational, cultural and employment centers.
Implementation of ReImagine Washtenaw is currently underway. The Arbor Hills Crossing shopping center and the US-23 interchange pathway show the vision taking shape.
Now Potential Future
City of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti Township, City of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce, Arts Alliance, and Michigan Department of Transportation.
Washtenaw County received the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Sustainable Communities Planning Grant.
For more information, contact Nathan Voght, ReImagine Washtenaw Project Manager
T: 734-544-3055 E: email@example.com.