The East Warren streetscape designs, voted on in late 2021, aim to make the area more walkable and safer for pedestrians. (Courville renderings are OHM Advisors, and East Warren streetscape renderings by SmithGroup)

A streetscape project in East English Village got underway Monday as the latest area targeted for attention under the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund

The $8.2 million project on East Warren between Three Mile Drive and Cadieux includes crosswalks and pedestrian islands to increase walkability in the corridor, along with resurfaced sidewalks and streets. It also features protected bike lanes, improved street lighting and more on-street parking. 

Allen Penniman, the City of Detroit’s East Region design director, started designing the East Warren streetscape with the input of local businesses and residents of the area in late 2019. 

“What folks are gonna see is a much safer environment to walk and drive,” Penniman said. “We’re building more crosswalks so it’ll be easier to cross East Warren and the crossing distance will actually be shorter.”

Making the area more walkable was the top priority among residents and business owners, said Penniman, who said much of the engagement to get feedback on the design was between 2020 and 2021. 

Penniman said his team also made it a priority to “minimize the headache” associated with construction by working on one side of the streetscape at a time, beginning with the north side. It will then continue, block to block starting from Cadieux and working west, toward Three Mile.

The design also includes the $1.5 million Courville Parking Plaza on Courville street, which will add 22 parking spots. Penniman said the “unique feature” will balance the need for parking with the desire for a public space where people can host events.

“This is the Motor City and a lot of people do drive cars, so we’re trying to find a way to provide parking to support the businesses without eroding the pedestrian environment,” he said. 

Penniman said the bulk of construction will be finished in 2022 and the project will likely be completed by spring 2023.

The city has streetscape projects planned for Rosa Parks Boulevard and West Warren, construction for both is expected to begin later this month. 

To date, the Strategic Neighborhood Fund has completed six streetscapes across the city which include the West McNichols, Livernois, Bagley, Kercheval, Conant and Grand River projects. 

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Bryce Huffman is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. He was formerly a reporter for Michigan Radio, and host of the podcast, Same Same Different.

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