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Walkable Warren reimagines a walkable, bike-friendly thoroughfare in Midtown

September 14, 2016


From Sept. 22 to 24, a two-block stretch of Warren Avenue on the Wayne State University campus will showcase innovative design ideas to transform the busy boulevard into a walkable, bikeable, transit- and retail-friendly corridor.

The Walkable Warren initiative is led by Wayne State’s Office of Economic Development in partnership with numerous other campus departments and the City of Detroit. Through creative yet practical streetscape improvements — such as painted bike lanes, pedestrian bump-outs and shortened crosswalks — Wayne State hopes to re-imagine Warren’s long-term design as a safe, active and vibrant corridor. The project will also feature a food truck rally, a pop-up market, sidewalk seating and entertainment, and other activities.

“Walkable Warren is the most visible of our many placemaking initiatives aimed at making Wayne State a more welcoming, safe and active campus with a strong connection to its neighborhood,” said Jeri Stroupe, senior project administrator in Wayne State’s Office of Economic Development and the organizer of Walkable Warren. “This is an incredible opportunity for our community to influence how one of our city’s major thoroughfares integrates into our neighborhood, accommodating a variety of uses and needs.”

Walkable Warren will involve local designers; Wayne State students, staff, and faculty; and the broader community. Prototypes and ideas generated during the demonstration  will inform Wayne State’s next master plan. The demonstration is also intended to inform future streetscape changes planned as part of the City of Detroit’s federally funded plan for safety improvements along a five-mile stretch of Warren and the Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation’s Walk Woodbridge initiative.

“With several major transportation and housing developments in the works, we anticipate density around the Wayne State campus to continue to increase,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “Projects like Walkable Warren enable us to leverage our resources — our real estate and our talent — to serve the needs of our growing population and positively impact Midtown for generations to come.”

Walkable Warren streetscape designs will be in place Thursday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 24. Additional events include:

Thursday, Sept. 22

Food Truck Rally (Park next to WSU Bookstore)

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23

Sidewalk Seating (Warren and Cass)

All Day

Saturday, Sept. 24

Pop-Up Market (Warren and Woodward)

1-5 p.m.

Volunteers are invited to pick up a paint brush, bring design ideas and help with project setup throughout the weekend. To volunteer or for more information, visit go.wayne.edu/walkable-warren.

Walkable Warren is an official part of the 2016 Detroit Design Festival program, taking place Sept. 21-25. In honor of Detroit’s recent UNESCO City of Design designation, this year’s festival is focused on Designing Detroit’s Future. For a full schedule, visit detroitdesignfestival.com.

The Office of Economic Development leads Wayne State University’s efforts to catalyze business activity and promote a vibrant Midtown Detroit. We are a hub and a convener. We work across the university to leverage Wayne State’s assets — our talent, our research and technology, our facilities and services, and our real estate — to stimulate growth and strengthen Midtown and neighborhoods across the city.