Renovated Streetscape Blends Service to Local Businesses with Focus on Pedestrian Enjoyment and Safety
OHM Advisors was part of a team engaged to redesign three blocks of Riopelle Street as part of the City of Detroit’s commitment to improve and transform several of its prominent roadways. Tucked within the heart of the city’s Eastern Market, the stretch of Riopelle between Fisher Service Drive and Division Street historically served to support traffic for the market’s industrial needs with little focus on pedestrian use and safety. Over the past decade as the surrounding area began to develop commercial and residential spaces with an aesthetically pleasing look and feel, the city decided to enhance the Riopelle streetscape to embrace this trend.
Our multidisciplinary team contributed to multiple public engagement meetings with the community and project stakeholders and designed a transformed streetscape that entailed newly marked on-street parking and reconstruction of all sidewalks with decorative paved walkways, new ADA-compliant ramps and bumpouts at the intersections between blocks, as well as an improved parking lot on the northern block of the project with enhanced landscape architecture. The two southernmost blocks were designed as a one-way “flex” street with flush curbs and sidewalk to allow the street to transform into a pedestrian plaza during social events held by the Eastern Market and local businesses. The flex street includes new decorative streetlights and overhead festoon lighting, new site furnishings, integral colored pedestrian sidewalks and refreshing splashes of greenery, creating a safe and welcoming community gathering space.