In 2012 a Visions of Greenways plan was released for the Greater Riverfront East District — an area bounded by the Dequindre Cut, Detroit River, Alter Road, and Mack Avenue. This planning effort was funded by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, facilitated by the Villages CDC and conducted by the Greater Riverfront East Environmental Network (GREEN) Task Force. The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been a member of GREEN from the start.
The greenway plan considered many different non-motorized path options throughout this area, including off-road trails, rails-to-trails, bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways. After much community feedback and analysis, some priority routes were identified. Conceptual designs and routings were also created.
- Beltline Greenway — From Mt. Elliott Park on the RiverWalk to the Gleaner’s Community Food Bank
- Conner Creek Greenway — A missing segment along E. Jefferson between St. Jean and Conner Avenue
- East Jefferson — From Alter to I-375
- Elmwood Connector — Between the Beltline Greenway and Dequindre Cut
- Kercheval — Between the Beltline to the Conner Creek Greenway
- Riverfront — from Gabriel Richard Park to Alter Road
Much has changed since the plan was released in 2012!
- Governor Rick Snyder announced the Iron Belle Trail from Belle Isle to Wisconsin. This bike portion of this trail will use the Beltline Greenway, Kercheval, and Conner Creek Greenway. With Iron Belle Trail funding, the DNR is looking to acquire the necessary properties for the Beltline Greenway. This greenway is not under construction! The road work on E. Jefferson at Beaufait is a city-project to replace a bridge. The former rail property north of E. Jefferson is privately owned.
- The Beltine Greenway was awarded a Kresge Innovation Project grant in 2015.
- The City of Detroit added bike lanes on Kercheval from E. Grand Boulevard to St. Jean.
- East Jefferson now has protected bike lanes from Alter to Lakewood. The City expects to extend them to the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.
Also included in this greenways plan was an outline for developing a bike ambassador program in Detroit similar to Chicago’s program. We have sought grant funding to launch such a program but have been unsuccessful to date.
The Community Engagement Report is also available.