City of Detroit announces strategic plan to address Detroiters’ transportation challenges

The plan presents strategies to address transportation challenges facing Detroiters today including updates to bus system, neighborhood traffic calming projects and more

The goal is to help Detroiters connect to all of the opportunities in the City such as jobs, affordable housing, recreation and more.

Some strategies already underway, more to be unveiled over four-year timeline

The City of Detroit today unveiled its strategic plan for transportation to address some of the most pressing challenges facing Detroiters by making it easier, safer and more affordable to get around the city. The plan comes out of the concerns voiced by the community as the city works to connect residents to the growing number of opportunities available throughout Detroit.

Detroit Strategic Plan for Transportation

The plan, developed in partnership with Bloomberg Associates, outlines a number of strategies over the next four years to improve transit in Detroit, with some key initiatives, like updates to the DDOT system and neighborhood traffic calming projects, already underway. The city is also committing to better outreach and community engagement for every project outlined in the strategic plan, to ensure residents have the opportunity to participate in planning and actively engage in the process.

“Transportation means access for every Detroiter in one way or another, whether to employment, affordable housing, retail opportunities, recreation or education,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Transportation is the thread that ties of all these things together, and we will work to provide more and better choices so Detroiters can access every available opportunity across the City.”

The plan features five main goals: economic opportunity, safety, vibrancy, community outreach, and city functionality. Each goal features improvements requested by residents that will directly impact neighborhoods and are important to the future of mobility in Detroit. The five goals in the strategic plan will improve transportation in Detroit by:

Increasing Economic Opportunity and Reducing Poverty by delivering a high quality transit service that has been lacking in Detroit; reducing car insurance rates; keeping our city at the heart of the future of mobility; and managing congestion before it cripples our resurgent economy.

Improving Public Safety by using a data-driven approach to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities on our streets; making walking and biking as safe as they are affordable; installing speed cushions on streets near schools, parks and senior centers; and making it safer to walk to and wait for transit.

Building a More Vibrant and Beautiful City by building streets that work better for everyone whether they’re walking, biking or driving; bringing our neighborhood Main Streets back to life; beautifying our streets with greening and public art; and knitting our city together with a world-class greenway system.

Improving our Communications and Outreach by bringing residents into the planning process early and often; ensuring every resident has a chance to participate in transportation projects big and small; and rebooting the look and feel of our transit system so that everyone can get on board.

Strengthening City Functionality by bringing our infrastructure into a state of good repair; creating a clear point of transportation leadership; revamping our bus fleet; running the transit system with precision; and setting clear goals, targets and metrics to get Detroiters where they need to go.

Each of the five goals feature one- and four-year benchmarks to measure progress. One-year benchmarks will be achieved with existing funding and some benchmarks are well-on their way to being met. The city will identify funding and solutions for four-year benchmarks as one-year benchmarks are completed, with the goal of full implementation of the strategic plan by 2022. To view the full plan and find more information, visit

“The goal of this plan isn’t just to deliver better projects, but to build a better city, one where Detroiters’ opportunities are not limited by their choices for getting around,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Principal with Bloomberg Associates and former New York City transportation commissioner. “With more frequent bus service, a new Eastside bike network, safer streets and new investments in state-of-good-repair road projects, Detroit has already come so far so fast.”

Departments working together to move Detroit forward
The strategic plan is the result of a collaborative effort within the City of Detroit. Leadership and staff from the departments of Public Works, Planning, DDOT, Police, Parking, Neighborhoods and Mobility Innovation, worked together to develop and determine the goals, strategies and benchmarks in this plan.

Under the plan, all aspects of transportation will now be considered when making project decisions. For example, when a new streetscape is being planned, a project manager will work with traffic engineers, planners, municipal parking managers, DDOT operations, and the department of neighborhoods to make sure constituents voices are heard in the project.

“A new level of collaboration between City departments is necessary to achieve the goals of this plan,” said Chief Operating Officer Dave Massaron. “We are going to break down traditional silos that exist in government and work together across departments to move our city forward and build the world-class transportation system that our city deserves.”

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