City of Detroit taking input on how to make streets safer for drivers, people

Posted at 5:42 AM, Jun 30, 2021

(WXYZ) — An initiative to make streets safer for everyone living and traveling through Detroit is making progress. Since this fall, the City of Detroit has been asking people living in the city how they can make the roads safer.

The action plan list is made up of four categories – safety, mobility options, health and environment and then equity and engagement.

Each category has different strategies to improve transportation and infrastructure in Detroit.

"The roads on Fenkel on the east side, just all over, are terrible especially in the city of Detroit," Jason Moore said.

From potholes to a lack of bus routes, for people living and working in Detroit, it's easy to think of ways to improve Detroit's transportation systems. That includes Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.

"A lot of people can't get to work, because of the bus lines. A lot of people work out of the city in the suburbs but busses stop at a certain point, you have to improve it," Jones said.

However, there is one piece of feedback the city has gotten through their streets plan.

"The number one thing we have heard by far, from 85 percent of our respondents, is that speed is the number one concern in the city," Deputy Director of the Detroit Department of Public Workers Caitlin Malloy-Marcon said.

Between 2015 and 2019, 571 people were killed in car crashes in Detroit and another 2,600 were severely injured.

Malloy-Marcon said preliminary numbers for 2020 show the issue has only gotten worse.

She and city leaders hope their draft action plan list, Apartment of the Streets for People Plan, can make streets safer. It focuses on the worst roads and intersections in the city.

"In the city of Detroit, 40% of our crashes happen on only 3% of our roads, so the thought being if we can encourage capital improvement and safety projects on those three percent of roads we would be able to greatly reduce the number of crashes in the city," she said.

She added that 3% of roads are all over the city.

Also a priority, the safety campaign to inform people of issues around metro Detroit, through online tools, bus aides and billboards.

"Reminding drivers, walkers, bikers all of them alike, the rules of the roads and how we should be respecting everybody on the road and looking out for each other," she said. "I think that safety campaign, keep it going with that messaging is going to be really important."

They also want to look out for their most vulnerable transportation user, which usually means people not inside a car.

"Those are people that may be on foot or on bike, and making sure they have equal opportunity to transportation options in the city as everybody else," Malloy-Marcon said.

Right now, the city is in the final rounds of engagement in the Streets for People Plan. They are vetting drafted action items through virtual meetings.