Detroit’s 2016 Bike to Work Day is May 20th

For Immediate Release

Contact: Todd Scott, Detroit Greenways Coalition, 313 649-7249

Detroit’s 2016 Bike to Work Day is May 20th

Henry Ford LiveWell11th annual event is expected to be the largest yet

Detroit, MI … Hundreds of Detroit-area employees and students are expected to participate in this year’s National Bike to Work Day event that promotes cycling to work and school. This year’s title sponsor is Henry Ford LiveWell, Henry Ford Health System’s virtual Wellness Center of Excellence, designed to promote and optimize the well-being of Henry Ford patients, employees, and community members.

The event begins with morning group rides starting in the suburbs and converging Downtown at the Spirit of Detroit statue. There are also two pit/end stops in Midtown. All three locations are open from 7am to 10am:

  • Spirit of Detroit on Woodward at Jefferson. Free bike parking will be provided by Wheelhouse Detroit from 7am to 6pm.
  • Old Main at Cass and Warren hosted by Wayne State University
  • New Center Park at Second and W. Grand Boulevard hosted by Henry Ford LiveWell

Through the generosity of our sponsors, there will be free snacks, coffee, vendors, local discounts and giveaways at these locations for those participating.

The event is free, but we ask that everyone register in advance to guarantee their complementary T-shirt and participant gift.  http://detroitgreenways.org/bike-to-work-day/

Detroit Bike to Work Day with Council Member Scott Benson“As a strong supporter of non-motorized transportation, I see Detroit Bike to Work Day as a way to put policy into action,” added Detroit City Council member Scott Benson. Benson helped arrange this year’s new Downtown gathering location at the Spirit of Detroit statue.

“We are so pleased to sponsor such a wonderful event like this,” says Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity and Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer at Henry Ford Health System. “We believe wellness is an essential and lifelong commitment. Encouraging people to trade their car keys in for bike helmets, even for one day, is a great step toward achieving that overall wellness goal.”

Just last fall, Henry Ford and HAP announced their joint title sponsorship of Detroit’s new public bike share program, expected to debut later this year. Employees from as far away as Northville and Sterling Heights are expected to participate in Detroit’s Bike to Work Day.

Detroit Bike to Work Day event sponsors include Henry Ford LiveWell, American Cycle and Fitness, Blue Cross Blue Shield Active Blue, Café con Leche, Handlebar Detroit, KIND Bars, Miller-Canfield, Wayne State University and Wheelhouse Detroit.

The Route Map is available at http://detroitgreenways.org/bike-to-work-day/

 

A printable route sheet will be available on the web site by mid-week.

 

Photos credited to Detroit Greenways Coalition.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwQ-G4AXAw1mbGNlTm5mLTRiOGs/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwQ-G4AXAw1mSGt3dVRlVGRqNU0/view?usp=sharing

 

 

Real reason Detroit’s Walkscore increased? A bug fix

Walk Score recently ranked the most walkable U.S. cities of 2015. Detroit’s score has risen 2.2 points since 2011.

The Redfin Blog largely credited the revitalized Downtown — which Model D echoed.

“Downtown Detroit has become noticeably more walkable over the past few years thanks to Dan Gilbert’s initiative to move his company, Quicken Loans, and others from the suburbs back to the heart of the city,” said Lauren Buttazzoni, Redfin market manager in Detroit.

Downtown’s Walk Score has increased dramatically. In fact it scored an 18 in 2011, which is half the score Auburn Hills got. Now it scores a remarkable 93.

However, Redfin and Model D are both wrong. This increase was largely due to a bug fix in the Walk Score algorithms that was well-documented in 2012 by m-bike.org.

The old algorithms got confused on international borders. They chose the closest grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. as the crow flies. In Detroit, that often includes businesses in Windsor. When they calculated the walk distances across the Detroit River (hint: you can’t) the border areas got incorrect wrong scores.

That’s apparently fixed as seen in the Walk Score heatmap comparison graphic. You can see how the bug created a stairstep region of poor walkability along the river in 2011. That’s gone in 2015.

While we’re certainly grateful for Mr. Gilbert’s investments in Detroit, unless he made the algorithm fix himself, the credit for Detroit’s dramatically improved Walk Score belongs elsewhere.

How MDOT’s I-94 project affects biking and walking

MDOT has plans to modernize I-94 between Trumbull and Conner, including portions of M-10 and I-75. That modernization includes:

  • Widening, primarily by adding six lanes of service drives in some places
  • Removing 14 bridges, including a few pedestrian bridges
  • Removing some roads
  • Elevating some pedestrian bridges that are currently at grade

Many of these design decisions can have a negative impact on biking and walking within this corridor. We’ve documented the proposed changes on this map.

The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been working others, including Wayne State University, Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, SEMCOG, the Henry Ford Health System, the city of Detroit and others to better understand and propose alternative designs that can lessen the impacts.

The good news is MDOT is listening.

It’s too early to say what changes might be possible. Analysis is underway on how the John R bridge could remain. We’ve also highlighted the need for the Ferry Street bridge since the alternative at Warren is a congested and unsafe crossing for bikes and pedestrians.

No one seems to know why the Canfield pedestrian bridge is being removed.

We’ve also aren’t fond of the odd 8-foot bike/bus lanes proposed for the service drive. Does anyone really want to ride on service drives? They’re typically filled with speeding motorists and little else. Their one-way designs also limit their usefulness.

The elevated bridges are not preferred. Having them at-grade makes them more convenient, even if that meanshaving to cross the service drive. We heard from the disabled community that this was important to them , too.

We’ll continue to work with MDOT on this and tweak their design.

New web site

We are working to replace the bare-bones starter web site that we’ve had over the past year. This new site will allow the Coalition to not only communicate better, but to allow visitors to become a member of the organization.

During the next few weeks we will be adding exciting content, especially with graphics, maps and updates on the many different bike, walk, and water trail projects we’re involved in.

The Coalition gains 501c3 status from IRS

The Detroit Greenways Coalition has received word from the IRS that we are now a tax-exempt public charity. This status is back-dated to January 22, 2013 when the Coalition was incorporated as a Michigan non-profit.

Contributions made to the Coalition are now tax-deductible, which allows us to expand our funding options. We also now eligible for other grant funding sources.

This truly is a milestone for an organization that began operating informally 8 years ago and is now ready to greatly expand its ability to realize its vision for a more walkable and more bikeable city of Detroit.