Downtown Transportation Study


In the urban core of our City, managing the transportation needs of residents, commuters, businesses, and tourism events is key to regional success. With rapid development occurring in Downtown Detroit, effective coordination and collaboration of planning among various public and private agencies are essential to maximizing efficiency of the right of way.

The City of Detroit is working with SEMCOG and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on a study of all aspects of transportation in Downtown Detroit including traffic, parking, transit, biking, and walking. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the existing transportation conditions and develop a holistic strategy to manage future transportation demands. The study area for the project is bounded by the Detroit River, M-10, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Mack Avenue, and I-375.


Downtown Transportation Study Map


There are three phases to the project: Existing Conditions, Engagement, and Recommendations.


A multidisciplinary team of local and national transportation and parking experts is working with the City of Detroit, SEMCOG, and MDOT to assess and enhance access to downtown for employees, visitors, and residents. The team will engage stakeholders such as key employers, institutions, and major attractions. A number of engagement opportunities, including online input and in-person events, will be utilized to gather input from employees, residents, and visitors.


The Downtown Study is an important and timely step for planning for the future of Detroit, with recent and ongoing investment in Downtown adding pressure to an already stressed and complex transportation system. As Downtown Detroit continues to develop, revitalize, and attract visitors and residents alike, planning and implementing an accessible, efficient, and equitable system is essential.


The project will focus on the area bounded by the Detroit River, M-10, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd/Mack Avenue, and I-375. Critical connections into Midtown and Downtown Detroit, as well as adjacent neighborhoods, will be reviewed as part of the effort to integrate this study with the Citywide Transportation Plan.


The Downtown Detroit Transportation Study will serve as the guiding vision for transportation and mobility improvements in the defined study area. Key components of this plan include:

  • Support the continued growth of Downtown Detroit.
  • Make it convenient and safe for everyone to get in and around the downtown area using all modes of transportation.
  • Make all individual pieces of downtown transportation work as a system.
  • Incorporate "best practices" from model downtowns.
  • Identify a vision and supporting policies for a street network that encourages walkability and balances the needs of all modes.
  • Create a comprehensive strategy for managing parking demand and supply.
  • Encourage a diverse group of voices to participate in the process.

This project will span nine months and is projected to be completed by summer 2018.

See Also

SEMCOG on this topic