Reclaiming a Detroit Road, One Parking Space at a Time

Michigan Avenue, one of several “spoke” roads emanating from downtown Detroit, is an impressively long thoroughfare that runs westward beyond the city limits for hundreds of miles to Michigan’s west coast.

But for business owners, residents and visitors in the Corktown neighborhood, the road’s width is an issue. Seven lanes wide and nearly 100 feet across, Michigan Avenue feels more like a freeway than a neighborhood Main Street. (Check out this fascinating post from the Corktown History blog about the widening of Michigan Avenue that occurred in the 1930s.)

“It’s not chill,” says Daisuke Hughes, co-owner of Astro Coffee, a shop on Michigan Avenue. “You can come here and relax, but when you go back outside and step into the chaos of Michigan Avenue, you start to feel anxiety.”

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