Belle Isle open house July 8 on park mobility

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DNR News

June 21, 2023
Contact: Amanda Treadwell, 313-269-7430

Belle Isle to host July 8 open house to help ease travel to and around the park

bird's eye view of island, water and bridge

Steeped in history and well known as a destination for family reunions, kayaking, biking, swimming, garden strolls and sunsets over the Detroit River, Belle Isle Park is a busy, welcoming place.

And that's just the short list of the things you can see and do there! The Detroit island park welcomed roughly 5 million visitors in 2022. As more people discover and enjoy Belle Isle’s many social, health and wellness benefits, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources – which has managed Belle Isle as a state park since 2014 – wants to ensure that everyone can safely and easily move onto and around the island.

An upcoming open house, set for Saturday, July 8, on Belle Isle, offers an opportunity for people to learn about an ongoing mobility study that is seeking to better understand and improve the park’s circulation, wayfinding and parking.

The study

Belle Isle Multimodal Mobility Study logo with decorative design

The DNR, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Belle Isle Conservancy are working together on a Belle Isle multimodal mobility study. Wade Trim, a Detroit-based engineering consultant firm, is expected to complete the study by the end of 2023.

As part of the study, a team of engineers, planners and landscape architects has been looking at sustainable options to improve traffic flow, parking and movement around the island. They have developed several major recommendations for improving park mobility, including:

  • Converting the road around the island to a two-way street.
  • Installing protected bike lanes on the MacArthur Bridge, which provides the main access between the city of Detroit’s mainland and Belle Isle.
  • Creating a promenade for walkers and bikers down the center of Central Avenue.
  • Improving signage around the island to help visitors know where to go and how to get there.
  • Offering alternative mobility options, such as a ferry or improved public transportation, to and from the park.

July 8 open house

Anyone interested in reviewing all of the proposed solutions and providing feedback is encouraged to attend the public open house 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, 100 The Strand, on Belle Isle, Detroit. 

"We think these 'big ideas' could help address the park’s mobility challenges, but it’s critical for us to first find out whether the public – especially those who use the park – thinks they will be effective," said Amanda Treadwell, urban field planner for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. "We’re hoping for a strong turnout at the July open house, and we are eager to listen and learn from people who value and want the best for Belle Isle."

Project website

For more information about the multimodal mobility study, including data collection to date, a timeline and more, explore the project webpage, which is available at

Questions? Contact Amanda Treadwell at or 313-269-7430.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.


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