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Michigan State Highway 1

From Academic Kids

Michigan State Highway 1 or M-1, also called Woodward Avenue, is a north-south state highway in Michigan. The southern terminus is in downtown Detroit in Wayne County. The northern terminus is at the junction with Business Loop U.S. Highway 24 and Business Loop Interstate 75 in Bloomfield Township between the city limits of Bloomfield Hills and Pontiac in Oakland County.

The avenue has been the main artery of Detroit's transportation network since the incorporation of the modern plan of the city in 1805 and it therefore holds considerable cultural significance. Woodward was planned to be the most important of the five major avenues (along with Michigan, Grand River, Gratiot, and Jefferson) planned by judge Augustus Woodward that extend from downtown Detroit in differing directions. Woodward extends northwest of the city's downtown area (though to a lesser degree than Grand River Avenue does).

Many historical sites are located along Woodward Avenue, and the road was designated a Michigan Heritage Route by the Michigan Department of Transportation-Design Division in July 1999 and as a National Scenic Byway by the FHWA National Scenic Byways Program on June 13, 2002.

Many of Detroit's most important cultural fixtures are located on Woodward in downtown Detroit, including the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park and Ford Field. Farther north, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Wayne State University, and the College for Creative Studies are located on Woodward Avenue. In Oakland County, the important cities of Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham, Michigan, including the Detroit Zoo, are centered on Woodward Avenue.

The Woodward Dream Cruise takes place on Woodward Avenue between Pontiac and Ferndale in Oakland County. The annual event draws thousands of classic car owners and admirers from all over the United States to the Metro Detroit area to celebrate Detroit's automotive history. The event evokes nostalgia of the 1950s and '60s, when it was common for young drivers to "cruise" with their cars on Woodward Avenue.

The total length of Woodward Avenue/M-1 is 22 miles (35 km), and Woodward Avenue continues into downtown Pontiac after the M-1 designation ceases. In Pontiac, portions of Woodward Avenue are also known as "the Loop" and, in years past, "Wide-Track Drive."

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