Detroit's main roads, or spokes, were built very wide for the many cars driving through the city. These roads are especially hard to cross for pedestrians, who sometimes have to traverse 8 or 9 lanes. Now, the road that's home to one of the biggest car events in the region is getting a road diet.

Woodward Avenue, home of the Woodward Dream Cruise, will reduce a lane on each side from 8 Mile to 696, through Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge, starting later this year. The Woodward Moves project will create shorter pedestrian crossings, add bike lanes, improve visibility, improve alleys and sidewalks, and create new ADA ramps. This will especially help at 9 Mile, where many people cross into the walkable downtown Ferndale.

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“This is three years and multiple partner agencies in the making, and I’m so excited that we’re finally able to make this announcement,” said Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana. “We’ve had a community-supported vision for years of a safer Woodward, a road that supports all users and unites our downtown rather than dividing it. We’re now one step closer to achieving this goal.”

The grant is funded by $2.34 million in federal dollars administered jointly by the Michigan Department of Transportation and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments through the Transportation Alternatives Program.

Designs and specifications still need to be finalized, and work will start after the Woodward Dream Cruise in late August. It's expected to be completed in 2023.