The 1970s subways around Kirkgate roundabout would be filled in as part of the scheme, which follows the £5.6m refurbishment of Kirkgate Railway Station.
Wakefield Council has submitted a funding bid to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to enable the project to get underway.
Plans include landscaping the roundabout and installing new signals to control traffic and help pedestrians and cyclist cross safely.
The proposals also include replacing the subways with storm water storage and opening up the Park Street junction to provide better access for vehicles to and from Kirkgate Station and the surrounding residential area.
The council hopes to improve conditions for people walking and cycling between the station and the city centre by paving Monk Street and closing the junction with Brunswick Street to traffic.
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “Kirkgate is already undergoing significant regeneration with the major improvements to the train station and the new West Yorkshire Archive building.
“If the funding bid is approved the road scheme will fundamentally transform the way people, in particular pedestrians, can access Kirkgate and we will be taking another major step forward.
“Easier and better access could attract new development and investment, and be a real boost for the community.”
The road scheme forms part of phase one of the Kirkgate Masterplan to regenerate the area.