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Woodward Avenue construction in Metro Detroit nearly concluded with bike lanes

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(CBS DETROIT) – If you’ve driven along Woodward Avenue between Eight Mile Road and Interstate 696, you may have noticed the construction and the nearly finished bike lanes, which bikers are calling a much safer alternative to bike travel on a busy stretch of road.

“I think it will encourage people who live within five miles of their work to consider cycling to work. During at least the best weather month,” says Pam Murray, an avid bicyclist in the area.

According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts.org, there have been 75 bike and pedestrian crashes in the city of Ferndale, an average of 15 per year, with many happening along Woodward.

Murray, who is from Detroit, also lived in Pleasant Ridge, where some of the construction is being done. She says cycling isn’t a hobby, it’s become a lifestyle for her that she’s spent most of her life doing.

While optimistic about the new lanes, she wants to make sure they are well-equipped for everyone on the road. She’s hoping for proper signage for both bikers’ and drivers’ safety.

In a statement, the Michigan Department of Transportation outlined what is left to be done to aid all on the road, and a timeline for remaining construction:

“The Michigan Department of Transportation expects the M-1 (Woodward Avenue) project between M-102 (8 Mile Road) and I-696 to wrap up by mid-December and return in the spring for some minor punch-list items. MDOT has invested in the city of Ferndale with the resurfacing of M-1 (Woodward Avenue) and the improvements to the sidewalks, drainage, and signals, plus the installation of the bike lanes which will allow for safer cycling through the community.”

“As we try to make more cities, especially smaller older cities of the inner ring suburbs of south Oakland County like Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Pleasant Ridge, trying to make it more walkable. Maybe you can’t ride your bike to work because you work too far away, but maybe you can do your grocery shopping or run errands, or get to your yoga class,” Murray added.

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