A New Leaf For Oak Park As A Bikeable, Urbanist Suburb

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Oak Park is a diverse inner-ring suburb of more than 29,000 people nestled between Ferndale, Detroit, Berkley and Southfield.

It’s in a great location, minutes from a variety of job centers.

It’s seeing a lot more action as nearby cities like Ferndale grow (yes, there are lofts going for $5,000 a month in downtown Ferndale now and housing prices are racing up). And the added cost of living in nearby Detroit is burdensome for many families.

Recent changes — including allowing restaurants to serve alcohol — are making the city more of a draw. Sure, MoGo bike sharing is coming to the community this summer. But the last few years there has been a greater focus on walkable spaces and a city manager that clearly believes that a well-designed and thoughtful built environment, mixed with solid city services, can make for a better life for residents.

In short, Oak Park could be the next urbanist suburb you need to watch.

To talk about it, we had City Manager Erik Tungate in the studio. The conversation with Sven Gustafson hit a variety of topics, including:

  • A status update on the restaurant project in the old WWJ transmitter building on 8 Mile
  • MoGo bike sharing coming to Oak Park with five stations
  • How something as simple as sunflowers can make a big difference
  • New developments, including a Gastropub and an autonomous mobility company
  • How to be a family-friendly bedroom community that offers amenities and access people want
  • A new welcome bridge over I-696
  • And the role fixed-route mass transit could play in catapulting the region to world-class status

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