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Eastpointe approves road diet for Nine Mile, shrinking from 5 to 3 lanes

EASTPOINTE, Mich. (FOX 2)Plans to shrink Nine Mile in Eastpointe stirred intense debate from residents concerned about how reshaping the mile-long stretch of road through the city could impact travel and traffic.

Those who attended the meeting were part of a public comment period that lasted well over three hours Tuesday night before city councilmembers eventually passed the plan by a 3-2 vote.

The proposed road diet wouldn’t be the first in metro Detroit – it’s not even the first for Nine Mile. The idea, which would condense the road from five lanes to three, would make Eastpointe more walkable and safer for those that live and work near the road, advocates say.

But others complained it would divert more traffic into neighborhoods, “where it’s already horrible,” one woman said. Another man called the idea “stupid.”

“The shores: five lanes. In Warren: five lanes and then cut down by two here in Eastpointe,” he said.

But others cautioned the benefits hadn’t been fully studied and many were basing their decisions before all was known.

“I’m disappointed that many residents are opposed to the idea of redeveloping Nine Mile, even before a plan or study had been presented,” said Shelly Chapas, who supported the road diet plan.

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The stretch of Nine Mile in question spans between Gratiot and Tuscany Avenue.

Beyond traffic concerns, many residents argued it would make it harder for first responders to reach emergency scenes.

City planners around metro Detroit have implemented their own road diets, including Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge on Woodward Avenue and Oak Park on Nine Mile. Protected bike lanes and walking paths were installed in the driving

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