Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods, university campuses, and downtown are currently divided by several wide, high-traffic streets. These streets create barriers for many Kalamazoo residents and visitors – pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists alike. The highway-like design not only makes transportation challenging, it has made adjacent areas less inviting. In the heart of downtown, the one-way streets can make it difficult for visitors to find their way to our retail, restaurants, and services, adversely impacting Kalamazoo’s economic health, according to a recent study.
The need for changes to the street network is not a new idea. For decades and through many separate planning and outreach efforts including the City of Kalamazoo’s comprehensive plans, Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, the 2017-18 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study initiated by MDOT, the Urban Growth Initiative for Greater Downtown Kalamazoo, and a retail market analysis conducted by Gibbs Planning Group in 2017, the community has been voicing a desire for calmer streets, active and inviting public spaces, and safer travel for all users.
Until recently many of these roadways were under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation, however, in January of 2019, the City of Kalamazoo was transferred control of these streets. Local control of these streets creates the opportunity to realize many aspects of the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 (IK2025) plan that relate to connectivity, transportation, and safety.
James Baker, Director of Public Services
Rebekah Kik, Director of Community Planning & Economic Development
Create a connected city with inviting public places and comfortable travel opportunities for all users
Work with the community, traffic engineers and planning consultants to plan and design potential future changes for these roads
Apply the Complete Streets Policy, traffic data analysis, and extensive community input to inform plans and designs
2019 - 2020
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS)
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Community Planning & Economic Development, Public Services
MKSK, CDM Smith
CONSISTENT WITH PLANS
To have Downtown streets that meet the needs of the community, promote safe transportation for all modes, and foster a more vibrant Downtown.
STRATEGIC VISION GOALS
Connected City, Safe Community, Inviting Public Places, Complete Neighborhoods
Slower rate of vehicular speed
Increase in travelers by bus, bike, and foot.
Impact to Downtown Businesses (number of visitors, dollars spent)
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