A lot of cars travel up and down the Mound Road corridor every day, but sometimes it’s traveled by foot.
Not all the workers in the business along the roadway drive their car to work each day, many use mass transit for part of their journey and walk the rest of the way, which is why part of the Innovate Mound project includes improvements for pedestrians.
“We will now have a new sidewalk the entire length of Mound Road from 696 to M59, said Regine Beauboeuf, project manager and senior vice president of HNTB. “We’ve also improved the crosswalks for pedestrians to make them safer to go across from the west side to the east side.”
She added the improvements will increase safety for those walking to and from bus stops near the corridor.
Some of the non-motorized traveler improvement plans include:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance with ramps, markings, and treatments
- New lighting
- High visibility coating on the surface of the road so crosswalks will be easier to see
Planning for the future
According to John Abraham, director of traffic and operations with the Macomb County Department of Roads, there are not currently mass transit routes on Mound Road, but that’s something that may change in the future.
“A lot of the pedestrians that choose to get to the manufacturing plants use Van Dyke, so as a part of this project we are trying to look at these last mile innovations,” Abraham said.
He said an example of a future innovation could be an autonomous vehicle that carries commuters from their bus stop on Van Dyke to Mound Road.
“Then a shuttle could kind of run just back and forth back and forth between the bus stop and these manufacturing plants or major businesses along Mound Road,” Abraham said.
While this is not part of the project plans at this time, the technology will be in place to support autonomous vehicles should public transit officials pursue this method of transportation for workers along the corridor.
Have your smart phone ready
Another innovation that could be considered in the future is connecting pedestrian’s smartphones with the traffic signals along the corridor.
“So instead of going to the signal and then pushing the push button, you could invoke the signal as you’re coming up,” Abraham said. “You take your smartphone out and then you press the button. By the time you get to the intersection you already have the walk signal.”
According to Abraham, this is just a small example of some of the possibilities from the technology being placed into the roadway as part of the Innovate Mound project. When it is complete, the roadway will be ready to embrace any new advances in driver and pedestrian safety measures.