Woodward communities form task force to discuss transportation vision

When it comes to public transportation on
Woodward north of Eight Mile, the communities are coming together to
make sure everyone is on board.

The Woodward Avenue Action Association
has formed a task force of officials from Berkley, Birmingham,
Ferndale, Huntington Woods, and Royal Oak, to work together on transit
vision. At this point, their goal is to get the communities around the
table to discuss what they and the others would like to see, says
Heather Carmona, WA3’s executive director.

The task force, she explains,
is the WA3’s response to the community members who were concerned about
the lack of consensus about what transit should be north of Eight Mile
Road. With the latest news about the Woodward Light Rail receiving
funding, there had never really been much discussion about what was
needed or wanted north of Detroit, in Oakland County, specifically in
the communities along Woodward.

“Our goal was, how can we bring these elected officials to the
table?” Carmona poses. “What shape should transit take on Woodward in
south Oakland County?”

Melanie Piana, a Ferndale city
councilmember and the associate director of Michigan Suburbs Alliance,
which is also represented on the task force, says that among her goals
after she joined the council in January was building relationships with
the other Woodward communities. “I think it’s a good thing any time our
cities can collaborate on achieving something together,” she says.
“Since we all share the same corridor, it makes sense for us to
strengthen our relationships and share ideas for goals and visions, and
how we would like to see our communities grow.”

The members are
looking at what the communities share along Woodward, what the cities
are planning, and how to better connect them. They’re trying to stay
away from discussing type of transportation and where the stops would
be, taking more of a macro view.

They do agree, though, that
whatever transit option is put in place won’t just end at Eight Mile. “I
think it is a natural progression of the hard work our Detroit
counterparts have been doing over the last couple of years, and now we
can do our hard work to make sure we can connect together,” Piana says.

The
task force hopes to have a resolution for all the communities to
support before the holidays, and then work on a list of goals and
objectives.

Sources: Heather Carmona, executive director of
the Woodward Avenue Action Association; Melanie Piana, Ferndale city
council member

Writer: Kristin Lukowski