Washtenaw Avenue represents the primary transportation corridor linking Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti Township, and the Cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Existing land use practices have resulted in a sprawling, auto-centric development pattern which limits the ability to provide compact, walkable development with mixed land uses.
The cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and Pittsfield and Ypsilanti Townships, working with Washtenaw County, have begun implementation of transformative improvements that will create a transit-oriented corridor, with "nodes" of mixed-use, walkable development. With the completion of the Corridor Improvement Study in 2014, the ReImagine Washtenaw coalition will begin to take incremental steps towards change within the corridor. These include installing missing sidewalks, improving pedestrian safety with mid-block crossings, working with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority to construct "Super Stops," or enhanced bus stops with more amenities for transit users, optimizing traffic signals, attracting walkable, mixed-use development, and improving access management as properties are redeveloped by consolidating driveways.
The improvements planned for the corridor will:
- Promote smart-growth through infill development and utilizing existing assets and infrastructure
- Encourage development of a range of housing types that will meet unmet market demand
- Increase the efficiency and usefulness of transit along the corridor
- Increase safety for all users, including drivers, walkers, and bikers
- Help to mitigate traffic congestion
- Provide attractive, walkable neighborhoods, which will increase property values
- Provide a "Complete Street" where all modes of transportation are provided for, including driving, walking, and bicycling
- Establishing a cohesive link between the major urban and suburban municipalities in Washtenaw County