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Public comment sought on plan to transform Pontiac's Woodward Loop into two-way street

Posted at 5:46 AM, Sep 19, 2022

Officials in Pontiac are looking to turn the one-way Woodward Loop into a two-way street.

The goal would be to turn it into a pedestrian-friendly series of two-way boulevards with slower traffic speeds, aimed at reconnecting neighborhoods to the downtown area while inviting people to stop, shop and eat.

It's a development we've been following for over a year, and the public will have the chance to chime in on Monday.

It would look like something that happened in Birmingham, which helped slow speeds and create two streets instead of one loop.

The loop was created in 1962 with the original version to have the street curve around a mall or string of development stores. The one direction aimed to promote quick and efficient shopping.

Fifty years later though, the big box stores aren't staples, and small shops and restaurants are keeping Downtown Pontiac alive, and some people want the road to reflect the town's reality.

Last year, the talks began about converting the loop into a two-way street with pedestrian refuge islands, crosswalks and paths specifically designed for walking and biking.

Reconfiguring the Woodard Loop could cost the city millions, making many wonder if the change is necessary. Right now, the project is slated to start in 2025.