Downtown Detroit Transportation Study

Downtown Detroit Transportation Study Detroit, Michigan

Services Provided

Multimodal Planning
Streetscape Design

People Involved

Brad Strader
Haley Wolfe

Prioritizing multimodal mobility and safety for Downtown Detroit.

The City of Detroit teamed with Michigan’s local Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and the Michigan Department of Transportation to develop a strategy to improve multi-modal mobility and safety throughout downtown Detroit. MKSK led a multidisciplinary team of transit, parking, transportation, communications and branding specialists to engage various departments, transit agencies, and key employers.

Key to the planning process was a robust stakeholder engagement process, which included a series of workshops and meetings with local and state agencies, City departments, and a wide range of downtown stakeholders to discuss current conditions in the downtown and potential opportunities for transportation improvements. The recommendations were drawn from data, review of previous and ongoing planning efforts in and around downtown, observations and assessments, and best practices and case studies from peer cities.

Through the process, a Multimodal Plan emerged with distinct streets designated and designed for priority users such as Transit, Bike, and Vehicle priority. Recommendations include improvements to walking, traffic, parking, transit, bicycling, and management of the public curbside throughout downtown. Pedestrians are emphasized on most streets including design changes to increase the distance people are comfortable walking from parking structures. A variety of strategies were also developed for parking and better management of increased demands for curbside use. Specific design projects, programs, and regulations were outlined in a detailed implementation plan.

Given the rapid changes to downtown, with frequent announcements of new development, and emerging mobility options and information technology, the Downtown Detroit Transportation Study is intended to be flexible to adjust to new data and opportunities in the future.


Michigan Avenue is a key corridor linking downtown to major destinations. With recent announcements for planned development, the corridor will become an even more significant connection in the future.