(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 12, 2013)
Do you think Vester should be turned into a one-way? Do you think the crosswalk at Fielding across Woodward is too narrow? Would you like to see the intersection at Woodward and West Troy changed? Are there places around town where you think changes could be made to make travel safer and more desirable?
That’s what the new website created by the Community and Economic Development Department is all about. FerndaleMoves.com is the City’s on-line transportation dialogue and resource center. With a focus on transportation options, safety, and placemaking, the interactive site gives the public an opportunity to share suggestions and engage in conversations about transit.
Visitors to the site can put a pin on a map and comment about what is there that they love, hate, or feel is missing or needs work at that specific location. They can also read other people’s suggestions and leave comments.
“A core economic development strategy for our city is to focus on improving quality of life in our community by making it safer, easier, and more enjoyable to get around for everyday trips,” said Councilperson Melanie Piana, who works closely with the CED on Complete Streets initiatives like Ferndale Moves! “Our future physical infrastructure improvements take in consideration the needs of people–not just cars. A community designed with the needs of people instead of primarily cars results in higher housing values, attracts new businesses and families and is a more sustainable community.
“The Ferndalemoves.com planning site is just one example of applying low cost online tools to engage residents in new meaningful ways, like residents crowdsourcing their hopes and wants on how and where to improve our streets. Smart cities use technology to enhance livability; Ferndale seeks to be a leader with these trends.”
The preliminary network plan is available on the website for people to add their comments to. The map details all of the proposed road changes, including areas with the potential for bike lanes or marked shared lanes for bikes and cars. The plan also calls for the addition of islands and round-abouts in several streets.
“I love the Mini-Roundabout proposed for Fielding and Allen,” said resident Everett Keyser in his online comments. “I want to see one at all the streets that intersect Fielding that have an allowable turn off of 8 Mile (that is Edgewood, Saint Louis, LaPrairie, Flowerdale, and also Farmdale). So many drivers come off 8 Mile into our neighborhood and they are still driving 40-50 mph.”
A proposed crosswalk across Woodward at Drayton Avenue has also garnered a couple of comments. “I have a vested interest in this one as I live nearby but we /really/ need a crossing in this stretch of Woodward. The plan is a great one,” said resident Kevin Deegan-Krause. Though his comment has received three thumbs down votes, it’s gotten seven thumbs up as of Thursday evening.
“Ferndalemoves.com is our compass for city council and staff to prioritize projects, fund the projects–or find funding to help offset the cost–and get these improvements implemented over the next 1-5 years. Some bigger projects will take longer, but let’s focus on low hanging fruit first,” Piana said.
As part of the Ferndale Moves project, a group of parents and residents will meet on Monday, Dec. 16 at Ferndale High School at 3:30pm for a walking tour of the area. Their focus will be on the paths that students take when they come and go from the middle and high schools.
For more information and to weigh in on this project, visit www.ferndalemoves.com.