Transit-oriented plan for west Dearborn wins $10K PlacePlan grant

A transit-oriented development in west downtown Dearborn is getting a $10,000 show of support from the Michigan Municipal League, which selected five projects statewide for their promise of completing developments that create a sense of place and, in turn, economic vitality.

The project, known as TOD, has been in the planning and design stages since 2012. It would serve as a focal point for the community, be a multi-modal connector for local and regional commuter needs, and also a link between local attractions and points of interest. The design calls for a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use, livable district adjacent to several key sites in Dearborn, chief among them the John D. Dingell Transit Center, which opened in December 2014.

In addition to being a transportation facilitator, the development will support a complementary downtown redevelopment project.

The site boundaries include Michigan Avenue to the north; the Rouge River, Norfolk Southern Railroad, and The Henry Ford to the east; Ford Motor Company to the south; and Oakwood Avenue to the west.

The $10,000 PlacePlan grant will give the city funding to help design an extension of West Village Drive into the TOD area as a “living street,” which uniquely accommodates pedestrian movement and vehicle circulation.

The project also carries out a much larger vision locally, regionally, and beyond.

"Upon its creation, the TOD site will be used by Dearborn as a space for both planned and spontaneous year-round activities. It will connect multiple assets and make them accessible by foot, bicycle, or transit, therein reducing transportation expenses and making the region more affordable and sustainable," says a statement from the Michigan Municipal League. "The creation of a transit-oriented development in this significantly auto-centric community could be a best-practice model for future development of livable, sustainable neighborhoods elsewhere around the state and nation."

Source: Michigan Municipal League
Writer: Kim North Shine
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