Decision now goes to City Council
Posted on 05/19/2022
Patrons eating outdoors at a downtown restaurant. DDA photoTwo sections of Downtown Northville streets have been closed to vehicles since June 2020 as a way to spark business during the start of the pandemic. Nearly two years later, the DDA voted 5-4 to reopen N. Center St. from E. Main to Dunlap but keep Main St. closed from N. Center to Hutton at a schedule to be determined by City Council. The DDA's recommendation will be presented to City Council on June 6.

The street closures drew mostly favorably support. The bottom line was whether it brought business to downtown, which retailers said it did. However, re-routed traffic at temporary four-way stops was more challenging for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

To take the pulse of public sentiment on downtown street closures, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) conducted an online survey asking whether streets should remain closed to traffic or reopen (totally or partially). The survey, conducted by Carlisle Wortman Associates, drew 4,053 responses. The DDA and City Council then held a joint public forum in May to share survey results and receive additional input from residents, business owners and visitors.

The survey asked whether the downtown street closures should continue (in some form) or reopen to vehicular traffic. Results showed 74% were in favor of street closures (either one or both streets) and the vast majority (80%) wanted to keep the social district with 53% wanting to expand it. Full survey results, including extensive written comments, are posted on the DDA website.