New Pedestrian Island Coming to Connect Discovery Center and Discovery Pier
The Discovery Center had discussions for years with the Michigan Department of Transportation to find an effective and affordable way to move pedestrians safely across M-22 to West Bay. Both overpass bridges and underpass tunnels are incredibly expensive, difficult to maintain, and challenging to design to accommodate people with disabilities.
Starting last fall, our conversations with MDOT began to make new inroads on a solution that had been previously proposed by several planners for Elmwood Township. We will install an at-grade crossing that catches the eye of passing motorists and gives pedestrians an island of safe refuge as they cross the two lanes of busy traffic. What’s unique about this island–the first in Michigan–is that is can be removed in the winter to accommodate snow plows.
Over the next couple of weeks we will install the island with bright yellow edges, crosswalk stripes, and appropriate signs to warn drivers of the pedestrian crossing. The crosswalk itself will be equipped with ramps and tactile detectable warning surfaces. This should make it easier and safer for people of all ages, needs, and abilities to safely cross M-22 between the Discovery Center and Discovery Pier.
Please use the new pedestrian crossing once it is installed–even if it means going a few yards out of your way. It will be safer for everyone and get drivers accustomed to being extra alert around the island.
Discovery Center Driveways Closed to Aid Pedestrians
In order to make all of this work, the Discovery Center will be consolidating access into one main driveway. This may be a small inconvenience for those of you in cars and trucks, but a great improvement in safety for those on foot, riding bikes, or being pushed in a stroller.