Detroit will reconfigure one of its worst downtown intersections

Plan also includes new 13,000-square foot pedestrian plaza


DETROIT – One of the most notoriously dangerous intersections in Downtown Detroit is being fixed.

Detroit and MDOT made the announcement this week, with full plans on the intersection's reconfiguration. 

The new configuration of the Gratiot Avenue, Randolph/Broadway & Macomb Streets will make it easier for pedestrians to cross, thus helping to link Greektown to other downtown areas to the west, such as Campus Martius and the Theater & Stadium districts. The new pattern will also result in green traffic signal times being increased on both Gratiot and Randolph, which is expected to improve travel times through the intersection.

“Great cities have great public spaces and walkable streets,” said Detroit Planning Director Maurice Cox. “This partnership helps us to accomplish both in a key section of our city’s core.”

The intersection will be reconfigured early next month to reroute northbound Randolph Street traffic and to share what is currently the road’s southbound lanes.

A new 13,000-square foot pedestrian plaza is proposed in place of the northbound lanes to host food trucks, sidewalk seating and other activities. Macomb Street, which also feeds into the intersection from the east, will terminate at the proposed pedestrian plaza, reducing the number of directions from which traffic can enter the intersection.

This intersection brings together Gratiot and Randolph, which are state roads, with city streets Broadway and Macomb, therefore creating the background for the city and state to work together on this project.

“The current alignment of this intersection requires four different traffic signal phases and indirect crosswalks, resulting in longer wait times for pedestrians,” said Detroit DPW Director Ron Brundidge. “This is a great opportunity for us to rethink this intersection and redesign it in a way that simplifies traffic movement and encourages more pedestrian use and outdoor activity.”

This week, crews have begun preliminary work, which will result in lane reductions on both directions of Randolph, but without any detours or changes to turning movements. During this time, the concrete islands in the middle of Gratiot and Randolph will be removed, new signals and pavement markings will be installed in preparation of the traffic shift, which is expected to take place on or around Monday, November 7th. The project will be evaluated throughout the winter to determine if any adjustments are needed before further work is done in the spring.

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