Accessibility is a critical component in the success of Kalamazoo’s central business district. Given its past impact on downtown, transportation, in all its forms, must be carefully considered when planning for the future to ensure that it supports the future vision for downtown Kalamazoo. The design, orientation and character of streets, alleys, sidewalks, rail and trailways will have a profound impact on downtown accessibility, circulation and development patterns.
Our downtown streets including the sidewalks are, therefore, among the most important
public infrastructure and place-making elements of the city because they can define how a visitor, resident, or worker perceives a neighborhood, downtown or the city as a whole. While it is important that streets foster safe travel for all modes of transportation and are easy to navigate, they must also look good, be inviting, and create the right impression. The elements that most influence how people react to the character and design of streets include right-of-way and street widths, pavement conditions, driveway placement, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, traffic speeds, on-street parking, setbacks (the way buildings frame the street) and the presence (or lack thereof) of street trees. These factors, in combination, define the character of a given corridor and influence the perception of an entire district, such as downtown.
The strategies for downtown related to transportation include:
- Pedestrian friendly sidewalks to connect and link downtown and the greater community.
- Conversion of key one-way streets to two-way to improve accessibility and safety.
For more information on downtown transportation, explore the following links: