Connecting Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Washtenaw Avenue is the busiest street in the county. An effort to give this corridor a more pedestrian friendly make-over is now five years old. Most of the progress made so far is only on paper, but is expected to produce long term results.
A new non-motorized pathway under US-23, and the Arbor Hills Crossing are the most obvious recent changes to Washtenaw Avenue. But a $3 million federal grant helped Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Pittsfield and Ypsilanti Townships make master plan and design guideline changes that create a cohesive vision going forward.
ReImagine Washtenaw Project Manager Nathan Voght says it will take time for these changes to bear fruit. "Right now it is serving important functions, we recognize that, but it could do so much more. It could be more of a place. A place where investors look to for new housing, new mixed use development, and there's a bright future for corridors like this all around Michigan and the country," he says.
Voght says a consultant is currently studying what type of development demand can be expected in the Golfside Road area.
A three day design charette next month will take these market projections, new master plans, and public input to create a realistic vision of what's possible for walkable forms of development on Washtenaw near Golfside.