Updates on parks, pathways and safer streets
Posted on 06/09/2023
New Parks & Recreation Director Derek Smith looks at plans with Matthew Clark. In a first of its kind meeting, the city administration turned Council Chambers into an interactive meeting space to showcase three major projects happening in the city – improving street safety, adding new pathways, and re-envisioning Ford Field.

The June 8 open house at City Hall offered a hands-on way for people to provide input. With the simple use of red and green sticky circles, attendees could indicate alongside large-scale renderings and photo posters what they liked and didn’t like about park amenities, traffic-calming measures and new pathways for non-motorized travel by foot and by bike.

Consultants and department directors working on the Ford Field Master Plan, the Non-motorized Plan and the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program were delighted to talk with visitors and explain their projects. DPW Director Mike Domine planned the event and was pleased with the turnout and interaction. New Strategic Planning Director Wendy Wilmers Longpre greeted guests at the door. Debra Bilbrey-Honsowetz, Parks and Recreation interim director, and incoming Director Derek Smith were on hand to meet with visitors. City Manager George Lahanas and city council members talked with many of the residents about the city’s plans.

The Ford Field Master Plan is being developed by Wade Trim, an engineering consulting firm working on behalf of the Northville Parks & Recreation Dept. Consultants Matthew Clark and Scot Lautzenheiser showed two concept plans that added new features to the park on large maps laid out on a table for side-by-side comparison. There were also posters of photos with special features, such as arched entryways, fountains and splash pads. Mid-way through the meeting, there were plenty of green circles next to the use of native plans and built-in activities, such as outdoor tables for chess and ping-pong. The consultants said feedback from visitors will enable them to take features from each plan and incorporate them into one new plan for the park. And, yes, there will be a public restroom and new play structure.

Greenway Collaborative is updating the city’s Non-Motorized Plan this year to connect bike paths and walkways in the city with regional trails and paths. The previous plan was updated in 2013. The goal is to make these routes safe and convenient for those who walk, bike, run, or use a wheelchair or stroller along the pathways. The consultant Carolyn Prudhomme will ensure that new or improved connections for pedestrians, bicyclists, and those with special needs align with ordinances and policies, such as ADA requirements. Input is still being accepted – take the survey here.

Fleis & Vandenbrink Engineer Julie Kroll is working on ways to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in the city. She and her colleagues are studying traffic patterns and pedestrian safety in and around Downtown Northville and are also looking at the non-arterial roads between 7 Mile and 8 Mile and between Rogers and S. Main/Northville Road. The ensuing Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program will help achieve the goals of a Safe System, focusing on safer people, safer roads and safer speeds. A new survey is now available – view it here.

Photo: DPW Director Mike Domine and consultant Carolyn Prudhomme listen to a guest’s input on the pathways project. Photo by Liz Cezat.
Three people look at a map on the table.