Dearborn approves new multi-modal transportation plan

Dearborn may be the home of Ford Motor Company, but the city is embracing a bevy of transportation options as it moves forward with its Multi-Modal Transportation Plan, setting a framework of transportation planning for the next 30 years.

Under the recommendation of Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Dearborn City Council passed the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan on Tuesday, Oct. 6, clearing the way for a safer, more effective, and more accessible transportation network throughout the city.

Whether one walks, bikes, drives, or rides a bus or train, the plan is intended to benefit all. Indeed, in embracing multi-modality, the plan seeks to make it easier to transfer from one mode of transportation to the next, offering a more complete and inclusive network of transportation.

“This multi-modal transportation plan will guide us as we make decisions now and into the future about the best ways for people to navigate through our city, take advantage of economic opportunities, and connect to the region,’’ says Mayor O’Reilly.

“And we also want to make sure we are offering options beyond just efficient transportation – we want people to enjoy the experience of traveling in and around Dearborn.”

The plan is split into three sections: A strategic implementation plan, a near-term plan, and a long-term vision.

The strategic implementation plan identifies projects that should be completed within the next decade. The plan identifies projects that are relatively easy to implement and are relatively affordable, according to the city, which includes completing gaps in the city sidewalk infrastructure, opportunities for bike lanes, improving and expanding the off-road trail and greenway network, improving the safety of pedestrian-crossings, identifying alternative truck routes, and more detailed corridor studies.

Near-term plans are those that can be implemented without changing curb lines and are within public right-of-ways. These include expanding transit connection points between key destinations in the city, utilizing alleyways as safe options for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improved shared pathways and signed bike routes.

The long-term vision identifies where the city would like to be 20 to 30 years from now. This includes multi-modal boulevards where physical barriers separate cars from bicyclists on the roadways, local transit routes that are complemented with infrastructure that supports pedestrians and bicyclists, improved connections between different parts of town, and green express routes.

The Multi-Modal Transportation Plan is available to view online.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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