Categories
Complete Streets Greenways Newsletter

News from the Trail – April 2017

 

Volunteer Cleanup Event

The bike lanes and sidewalks along St. Aubin Street near Eastern Market need some TLC. This route, also known as the Hamtramck Connector, is part of the planned Inner Circle Greenway, too.

On Saturday, April 8th from 9am to noon, we’re going to give St. Aubin a makeover in partnership with the City of Detroit and with help from GFL (Green for Life)Meijer, and the Polish American Historic Site Association.

We need volunteers to help us remove debris and vegetation from the bike lanes and sidewalks. Please register if you can attend.

Volunteer sign in is at the St. Albertus parking lot on the northwest corner of Canfield and St. Aubin.

Greater Downtown Area Bicycle Network Plan

The City of Detroit is hosting a couple meetings this month regarding updates its non-motorized plan from 2005. The goal is to bring a world-class bicycle network for Detroit’s greater downtown area. These public meetings are a chance for you to preview their work, ask questions, and provide feedback.

  • April 12th, 5:30 am to 7:30 pm
  • April 13th, 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Both meetings are at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201

The official flyer for the event is on our shared drive.

Quick Survey on Biking in Detroit

People for Bikes is conducting a national survey that only takes less than 10 minutes. The feedback will help determine city rankings in a new PlacesForBikes rating system. They expect to “identify the best places for bicycling today and recognize those that are improving the fastest.”

Take the survey

Typically, national organizations do a poor job evaluating cities like Detroit for bicycle friendliness due to the data they use. This may be an opportunity to get a more accurate review. We’ll find out when the city ratings are released in fall 2017.

Upcoming Events
Volunteer Cleanup
April 8th, 9am to noon
Let’s give St Aubin a makeover — part of the Inner Circle Greenway
Registration

Greater Downtown Bicycle Plan
April 12th & 13th
See and hear updates on trails and biking in Detroit
Event Flyer

MDOT Training Wheels
May 10th in Warren
Educational course on the planning and design of on-road bicycle facilities
Event Flyer

Bike to Work Day
May 19th
Mark your calendars. Details to come!

 

Categories
Complete Streets Greenways Newsletter

News from the Trail – March 2017

 

We’re on the Bridge

We can now share the official news: bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new trail between the two countries. It took years of being a persistent voice, working with various US and Canadian officials, organizing bike tourism support from Montreal to Montana, and even creating an international greenway map. We’re looking forward to riding and hiking the bridge when it opens in 2022.

Riverfront East

If you were unable to attend the recent Detroit Riverfront East Planning meeting, you missed quite a bit. The City of Detroit, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation made some major announcements, including new RiverWalk segments (UniRoyal too!), the Beltline Greenway, the new Campau Greenway, and bike lanes along E. Jefferson. We believe there is an opportunity to incorporate designs from our 50-year vision into these announced projects. The exciting details are on yourdetroiteastriverfront.org.

Detroit Bike Share

Detroit Bike Share is hiring Neighborhood Ambassadors. Job submissions are due March 17th. Additional details on Ambassador position, expections, pay, and more on are available in this document. The bike share operator, Shift Transit is also hiring Launch Associates and Bicycle Mechanics.

Upcoming Events
Annual Garage Sale
March 11th 3-6p
Back Alley Bikes used bike sale helps fund their youth bicycle programing.
Additional DetailsDetroit Bike Share Mtg
March 14th 6pm
A free community meeting to discuss equitable access and bike share.
Registration

Greater Islandview & Villages Planning Mtgs
March 14, 21 & 23 6-8p

Discuss biking, walking, the Beltline Greenway & more.
Additional Details

DGC Volunteer Cleanup
April 8th 8am to noon
We’re partnering with the city to cleanup St. Aubin. More details to follow.

Bike to Work Day
May 19th
Mark your calendars. Details to come!

 

Categories
Complete Streets

Making the case for Detroit pedestrian investments

We spent time with city staff taking photos in Detroit neighborhoods that demonstrate the need for greater investment in better walking infrastructure.

From non-existent sidewalks to impassable ones, we didn’t document anything that was uncommon to Detroiters. In fact, during our journey we were stopped by neighbors asking that we visit their area in hopes of getting their sidewalks improved.

We thought it might be best to simply share our photos. Clearly, these need to be improved if Detroit is to become serious about building 20-minute neighborhoods.

[metaslider id=1055]

Do you have any poor walking conditions in the city of Detroit that you wish to highlight?

Categories
Complete Streets Greenways Newsletter Safety & Education

Coalition Updates – January 2017

We hope your 2017 is starting well. Ours is and we wanted to share some updates.

Our 50-Year Vision

We’re rolling out our 50-year vision for future where Bicycle Thruways offer non-stop, safe, and pleasant bicycle travel across Detroit. Thanks to the many supporters and participants that have gotten this vision to this point, but we’re not done. We are continuing this community discussions, refining the vision, and working to incorporate it into current and forthcoming plans.

More information on this project and how you can help are on our web site.

Safety and Education

Everyone recognizes the need to better educate motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on how to safely operate around the new bike lanes, but especially the protected bike lanes. This is critically important as Detroit is becoming a national leader in implementation this new design. We’re part of a safety education workgroup that’s tackling this issue.

We’ve also worked with MDOT to update their brochure, What Every Michigan Driver should know about Bicycle Lanes. We expect to have printed brochures available in the coming months.

Lastly, our Public Allies of Metro Detroit safety proposal was accepted. This means we’ll have a team available this spring/summer to help with education programming.

Greenways and Stormwater

We have received grant funding from the Erb Family Foundation to continue our work on integrating stormwater management into Detroit greenways. There is a great opportunity to combine both efforts in a mutually beneficial manner, especially with the upcoming changes to Detroit Water and Sewage’s drainage fees. We’re involved in the discussion of how greenways could be part of the offsite stormwater management and credit program.

Model D recently interviewed us on this growing discussion.

We look forward to giving you more exciting updates as the year progresses. Thanks for helping making this happen in Detroit!

Upcoming Events
Bike the Blizzard
January 15th
Fundraiser for Back Alley Bikes

MLK JR. Ride
January 16th
Free ride from Tour de Troit

Complete Streets Public Meeting
January 17th
Meyers Ave
Details
Complete Streets Public Meeting
January 18th
Warren Ave
Details

Bike to Work Day
May 19th
Hold the date!

 

Categories
Complete Streets Greenways Newsletter

News from the Trail – December 2016

Downtown Detroit Public Meeting

We’ve encouraged the Downtown Detroit Partnership for some time about making Downtown Detroit more bike-friendly — and now they are and in a major way. This is so critical now since the area’s rebirth is bringing more traffic and their public bike share program will launch in April.

They’ve been working on designs for an initial phase of a protected bike lane network through the Downtown and even along Woodward. These are advanced designs unlike anything seen before in Michigan. Everyone wants to make sure they will work safely. They want your feedback on this (as well as future bike share station locations and more.)

They are hosting a public meeting on Monday, December 12th from 4pm until 6pm at the Boll Family YMCA. If you can attend, please register. If you can’t, please share your thoughts with contact James Fidler at james.fidler@downtowndetroit.org.

Protected Bike Lanes Expanding

In addition to the downtown, protected bike lanes are being installed on Michigan Avenue and Livernois this year. Cass Avenue’s will happen next year with E. Jefferson not far behind.

A national media source asked us why Detroit is building so many protected bike lanes. We said we have to because Detroit is going to be America’s number one city for bicycling.

With this rapid change, there’s a major learning curve for everyone. We’re working with city and other stakeholders on safety education efforts. We also worked with MDOT to update their “What every motorist must know about bike lanes” brochure, which now includes protected bike lanes.

We’re asking everyone to be careful, considerate and patient while everyone learns how to operate around these new designs. Just like roundabouts, it’s going to take a bit of time.

Neighborhood & Greenway Planning Approved

Four neighborhood planning contracts were approved by City Council last week. All four include planning for these areas to become 20-minute neighborhoods, where every non-work errand can be made with a 20 minute bike ride or walk.

The Greater Islandview contract also includes the Beltline Greenway which we’ve been working on for a number of years. We helped make it part of the Iron Belle Trail, which brought in million dollars in funding to acquire the private property. Our Rouge River Greenway concept is the Grandmont-Rosedale project.

Look for community meetings on all projects during the next few months.

In the meantime, enjoy this great video from ClickonDetroit that discusses 20-minute neighborhoods as well as the Beltline Greenway.

Gordie Howe International Bridge

While there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to bike or walk over the new bridge, it will be designed for it. That’s a requirement of the design proposal released by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) and a priority for us over the past few years.

We met with the three teams bidding on the project last week. One engineer noted it was critical having the bike and pedestrian requirement at the start because it greatly affects the bridge design and how much the road surface is allowed to deflect. In other words, in a car you might not notice a bridge moving up and down, but it would be unnerving on a bike or on foot.

We’re on the WDBA U.S. Environmental Advisory team and will stay on top of this project as it moves forward.

Our Fundaising Campaign

We need your help so that we can continue our work. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our Coalition. Thanks to those who have already given generously.

Also, by shopping through Amazon Smile program, a percentage of your purchase goes towards the Coalition. It’s an easy way to give and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Categories
Complete Streets Greenways In the Media Newsletter

Coalition Updates – December 2015

Welcome to December!

#GivingTuesday is nearly over, but there’s still an opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Coalition. By donating through the PayPal fund, service fees are waived and they’ll add an additional 1%.

We were recently featured in an NBC News article and video, Motor City to Bike City: Inside Detroit’s Bicycle Renaissance. It was a great opportunity to highlight all the work being done in Detroit and the impact it’s having in making the city more bike-friendly.

Digging Detroit also published a video, Rails-to-Tales: Detroit’s Inner CIrcle Greenway. It includes footage from the abandoned rail corridor as well as historic photos.

While much progress has been made on the Inner Circle Greenway recently, there has been some unfortunate news. Detroit’s $10.4 million federal TIGER grant was not selected. The TIGER program is hyper-competitive, so that’s not too much of a surprise. The Coalition is working with the city on alternative funding plans which may include another shot at TIGER.

We recently biked with Detroit’s Planning Director Maurice Cox and MDOT’s projects managers for the I-94 widening project. We rode along the I-94 corridor and discussed mostly negative impacts MDOT’s project will have on biking and walking. We’ve been highlighting these concerns for years now so having Maurice involved and being equally concerned is very welcomed. We can’t afford to lose pedestrian bridges and other key community connections across the freeways.

 

2016 Events
We are making plans for next year and expanding upon our successful Bike Trails & Cocktails event. Initial plans are to host these events quarterly. Some will include bike tours, guest speakers, and more.

Stay tuned as we expect to announce more details in the coming months.