$59.6 million to help calm Detroit-area traffic, improve access and safety

January 24, 2024

The Michigan cities of Detroit, Dearborn and a regional planning partnership will use $59.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve roadway safety.

The city of Dearborn, located 10 miles west of Detroit, will use $24.9 million to reconfigure five-lanes of traffic on Warren Avenue. Warren Avenue is a high-use corridor that connects Detroit, Detroit Metro Airport and the Canadian border. The city will reduce the number of lanes along the 2-mile stretch to calm traffic.

Other improvements call for a demarcated bike lane, a plant buffer to mitigate flood waters and LED lighting to boost safety and visibility for pedestrians and motorists. The project has a $31.9 million budget.

The city of Detroit will use $24.8 million to improve safety and bus stop accessibility at 56 high-crash intersections served by the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus service. The project has a $31 million budget. Safety infrastructure improvements include building transit islands, widening sidewalks and updating ADA curb ramp updates. The city will also create high-visibility crosswalks, install intersection lighting and improve signal timing.

In addition, the city will use the funds to conduct a Level of Traffic Stress analysis to address gaps in bicyclist/pedestrian networks. City officials will also update the city’s safety plan and pilot training for DDOT bus operators to ensure safe operations around pedestrian and bicyclists.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments will receive $10 to test a suite of road safety measures that will protect pedestrians and bicyclists. These measures include installing bike lanes, curb extensions, speed bumps and enhanced crosswalk pavement markings. The project will cost $12.5 million.

Detroit, Dearborn and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments are three of 385 communities receiving grants from USDOT’s five-year Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. The federal agency announced SS4A grants worth a combined $817 million in December.

The agency awarded over $1.7 billion from the planned $5 billion allocated for the program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) in 2023. The application window for the next round of SS4A grants will open in February 2024. 

Between 2017 and 2021, 108 people were killed and 495 were injured annually in traffic crashes on Detroit streets, according to the Detroit Comprehensive Safety Action Plan (CSAP). The Detroit-area snapshot is part of a broader safety crisis on the nation’s roads. A 2023 report by USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates motor vehicle crashes killed 42,939 people and injured an estimated 2.5 million in 2021.


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Photo by WMrapids

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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