Kalamazoo Holding ‘Open House’ Meetings For Two-Way Downtown Traffic Plans
It's a divisive topic in Kalamazoo - should downtown Kalamazoo go back to Two-Way traffic? Despite the pushback, the City has pretty well decided "this is happening," and will now present plans and ideas to the public that hopefully will dispel any concerns.
This May, two events will be held to present plans to the community, and the city wants feedback from you.
What Are The Meetings?
The City of Kalamazoo, in addition to Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, will present two open house meetings in May to display and discuss their plans for two-way traffic in downtown Kalamazoo, starting with Kalamazoo Avenue.
During the meetings, representatives from Imagine Kalamazoo, and the City, will outline their current plans for the changes to traffic flow, then open up for questions.
Why is Kalamazoo Avenue going to Two-Way traffic?
Traffic in downtown Kalamazoo used to be two-way traffic. But in 1965, the Department of State Highways purchased the roads - Kalamazoo and Michigan Avenues - and turned them one-way to allow for more traffic flow to US-131.
It allowed traffic to move faster through town, but in the process, economic vitality, and travel downtown - especially foot and bicycle traffic - suffered.
Now that the City has possession of the roads again, they want to revert back to two-way traffic, slow the vehicles down again, and promote more foot and bicycle traffic in downtown, as well as help ease any possibility for accidents.
What is Imagine Kalamazoo?
They are a strategic group put in place to crate a strategic vision and master plan to imagine a better Kalamazoo by 2025. While the pandemic of 2020 may have put a damper on that timeline, they are still committed to things like improving the looks of the city's neighborhoods, making the roads safer, easing, and slowing traffic in dangerous areas, and guiding the city toward a better future.
They also want to improve how the city is connected, and make it more accessible, and create more equity, opportunity, and diversity in the city.
When are these meetings?
The open house meetings for the two-way streets will be at the following times and locations:
- Wednesday, May 24th, 4:30-7 p.m. @ Bell's Brewery, Backroom
- Tuesday, May 30th, 9-11 a.m. @ the Catalyst Center, building lobby. (Coffee and refreshments will be provided. Bike parking is available.)
The City, and Imagine Kalamazoo invite as many people as possible to attend, and to bring any questions or concerns you might have.