With cities from Hazel Park to Farmington Hills, Ferndale is working on a study to review the regional Nine Mile Road corridor and create recreational and placemaking opportunities along it.

With cities from Hazel Park to Farmington Hills, Ferndale is working on a study to review the regional Nine Mile Road corridor and create recreational and placemaking opportunities along it.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Ferndale, 5 other cities working to produce a Nine Mile corridor study

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 21, 2022

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FERNDALE — The city of Ferndale is helping lead a study that will review the regional Nine Mile Road corridor.

At its Sept. 12 meeting, the City Council approved a resolution that signals Ferndale’s support for a Nine Mile corridor study. According to the city, other municipalities involved include Hazel Park, Oak Park, Southfield, Farmington and Farmington Hills.

The study, focused on recreational and placemaking feasibility, will be in collaboration with the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission. City documents state that the Corridor Recreational and Placemaking Feasibility Study will be funded from a regional planning grant awarded by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and that the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission has requested that each participating community adopt a resolution to formalize its participation. The grant is for $45,000.

“The study seeks to bolster recreational and placemaking opportunities along the corridor by creating or improving safe and equitable transportation options along the corridor, establishing and promoting connections to different city assets along the corridor, coordinating green infrastructure standards, and establishing cohesive corridor branding and wayfinding systems that facilitate mobility and recreation,” city documents state.

City Manager Joe Gacioch said the Nine Mile corridor study could connect all of the communities to create common wayfinding branding and to seek out opportunities.

“This should result in a report that is built on public feedback and engineering principles to draft a plan to create a common corridor along Nine Mile,” he said. “It would make it a more cohesive corridor and encourage accessibility, common green infrastructure approaches. So there actually could be some scale purchasing benefits if we all have kind of a common approach to infrastructure. That’s at least one of my hopes that comes out of this.”

When asked if there will be public engagement as part of the process, Gacioch said there will be and it will be led by a task force of participating city managers.

Each of the participating cities will need to approve a resolution to move forward with the study, which already is underway, Gacioch told the Woodward Talk. He also elaborated that all cities have written letters of support on the project and that there soon will be a project kickoff meeting this month that will lay the course for the study over its 12-month process.

“Every time the cities come together and apply jointly on something, we always seem to do well and get money, whether it’s Eight Mile, Nine Mile, Woodward or elsewhere,” Mayor Melanie Piana said. “So multijurisdictional grants really do support what we try to do in Ferndale, and I think actually hits one of our strategic goals of regional cooperation.”