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Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway Greenways Newsletter

Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway – November 2019

Framework Plan Public Meetings

The City of Detroit is hosting two sessions titled “Joe Louis Greenway – Cocoa and Conversation”:

  • Wednesday, December 4th from 6-8pm at the Lexus Velodrome, 601 Mack Avenue (near I-75). Doors open at 5:30pm. The indoor walking track will be open and you can watch bicyclists riding on the track, too.
  • Tuesday, December 10th from 6-8pm at the Unity Baptist Church, 7500 Tireman Street. Doors open at 5:30pm.

It is expected that a updated draft of the Joe Louis Greenway Framework Plan will be presented.

This will be the third and final set of community input sessions the City of Detroit and its design team are organizing.  During the first and second set of community input sessions participants discussed and voted on greenway design elements such as surface, buffers, landscaping, fencing and special features.  The Framework Planning will be completed by February 2020.

The planned Joe Louis Greenway is 32 miles and will be constructed in phases. Here is the City of Detroit’s most recent routing plan.

What’s Under Construction

The Joe Louis Greenway includes other trail and streetscape projects. Three of those are currently under construction.

  • Livernois Streetscape — There is a offshoot of the Greenway that heads north along Livernois and connects to Ferndale. Livernois between Margareta and Eight Mile is being completely reconstucted. Wider sidewalks and sidewalk-level bike lanes are included. Most of the construction will be completed this year. The Livernois businesses have suffered a bit during construction, so we’re encouraging everyone to patronize them whenever possible.
  • Bagley Streetscape — This is a short segment of the proposed Greenway route between I-75 and 24th Street in Mexicantown. The reconstruction is making this street look and feel more like a pedestrian plaza (that happens to be lined with great Mexican food!) Depending on the weather, this project should be completed this year.
  • Riverfront Extension — This is a portion of the RiverWalk that connects the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park (formerly West Riverfront Park) with the RiverWalk near the former Joe Louis Arena site. Concrete has been poured on portions of this segment. We expect this to be open sometime next year.
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Complete Streets Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway Greenways Newsletter

Joe Louis Greenway Updates – August 2019

More Public Meetings in September

The City of Detroit has announced four new public meetings for the Greenway Framework Plan next month. Each meeting has a specific topic and have a unique format. Per the city:

“Please note that to give each of the subjects we are covering adequate time, each of our 4 sessions during this round will be focused on one main topic. Come to one that interests you, or come to all four sessions! Bring your friends, family and neighbors! Your attendance at even one session can make a huge impact on the project!”

The meeting poster is on the city’s website and you’re encouraged to share it.

  • Walk & Talk — The Places, Spaces, & Connections Along the Greenway
    Tuesday, September 10th from 6-8pm
    Ford Resource & Engagement Center (2826 Bagley St., Detroit, MI 48216)
  • Public Picnic — Arts, Culture & Community Identity
    Wednesday, September 11th from 6‑8 pm
    Forest Park (4226 Riopelle St., Detroit, MI 48207)
  • Panel Discussion — Housing & Economic Opportunities
    Thursday, September 12th from 6‑8 pm
    Focus:HOPE (1400 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48238)
  • Community Dinner —
    What’s It Look Like? Deciding Greenway Design, Feel & Amenities

    Thursday, September 19th from 6‑8 pm
    Second Ebenezer Church (14601 Dequindre St., Detroit, MI 48212)

More details are available on the city’s Joe Louis Greenway webpage.

The City of Detroit has also just created a Facebook page for the Joe Louis Greenway. Please consider giving it a “Like”.

Wheelhouse Detroit Tour

We have partnered with Wheelhouse Detroit to lead a tour of the southern portion of the Greenway. The tour discusses the project’s beginnings, route planning, connections to Canada, and much more. We had a great tour last week. There is one more planned for this season on September 28th at 10am. Registration is through Wheelhouse Detroit. A portion of the tour proceeds benefit the Coalition, too.

Bagley Shared Street

A portion of the Greenway is currently under construction: Bagley Street between I-75 and 24th Street. The street is becoming the city’s first Shared Street. These designs are more pedestrian-focused and similar to a plaza. There will be improved lighting, brick pavers, plantings, and no curbs. It will be ideal for public events, or in the case of the greenway, just riding or walking through. There will also be much needed improvements to better connect the Bagley Pedestrian bridge to the street.

The road is completely torn up but the everything is still accessible on foot. Please consider supporting these local businesses during construction, which should be mostly complete by November.

Riopelle Street in Eastern Market also getting a similar Shared Street design.

Jos Campau in Hamtramck

Hamtramck/Wayne County received grant funding to improve Jos Campau from Hamtramck Drive to Caniff. Where the road is wide enough, protected bike lanes will be installed. The road narrows between Holbrook and Caniff, so the improvements will be limited to sharrow pavement markings. This project should be under construction in the Spring.

Yes, Hamtramck Drive from Jos Campau to E. Grand Boulevard is in terrible condition. It is scheduled to be reconstructed in 2021.

Hamilton Avenue in Highland Park

We’ve been working with Highland Park for some time to get improved biking and walking infrastructure on Hamilton Avenue funded primarily through grant funding. Though it’s not directly part of the Joe Louis Greenway, it would connect much of the city to it — which is why this was a priority. It will also connect to Palmer Park and more. That project recently received final approval from the Highland Park City Council. We expect it to be under construction by Spring.

Of courswe Hamilton Avenue needs more support than just improved crosswalks and bike lanes. We’re working with the city to look at other additional grant funding for street improvements, including tree plantings, green stormwater infrastructure, local business improvements, etc.


Other Updates

  • Support Livernois Businesses – The Livernois Streetscape project construction is causing a major disruption for local businesses. As with the Bagley project, please help support the Avenue of Fashion businesses during this time.
  • Atwater Beach – The newest section of the RiverWalk is getting close to opening. This Free Press article covers that but missed mentioning how the Jos Campau Greenway currently under construction will connect the neighborhood.
  • Road Diets – We were recently on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about road diets and Complete Streets in Detroit. John Gallagher from the Free Press followed us with a conversation on how to make Jefferson more walkable through downtown and to better connect the Woodward parks to the riverfront.
  • MoGo Boost Bikes – Have you tried the new MoGo e-bikes yet? They just added 50 state-of-the-art electric, pedal-assist bikes. They’ve also added a station at the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard that will be available through this Fall.
  • How our Laws Make it so Americans have to Drive – Daily Detroit’s recent podcast features Greg Shill from the University of Iowa Law. He’s published a fascinating, 78-page research paper on how our laws and policies subsidize and favor motor vehicle use over other transportation modes. The podcast is a good summary of that work. It really deflates the “Bikes and pedestrians don’t pay their fare share” argument.
  • Detroit Bike Club Rides – We’ve been on many great club rides this year! They consistently attract a diverse, ethusiastic group of riders from around the city. It’s especially satisfying to see and hear how the bike infrastructure improvements are helping more people feel safe riding in Detroit. Below is the PedalUp Riderz Friday Night Groove ride using the East Jefferson protected bike lanes.

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Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway Greenways

Joe Louis Greenway: Rollin’ towards reality

Ten years ago, Jim Edwards took me on a bike ride along an abandoned Detroit railroad corridor where he shared his vision for a trail then called the Inner Circle Greenway. It took some time as all major rail-trail projects do, but the greenway is now making serious strides towards becoming one of the most significant urban greenway projects in the U.S.

This month is your opportunity to get more involved in this project through the city’s vision sessions or one of three different bike tours.

City of Detroit Community Visioning Sessions

From Christina Peltier, the City of Detroit’s Joe Louis Greenway Project Manager:

The first series of the Joe Louis Greenway Visioning meetings will be taking place in the next few weeks. All four meetings have the same content and activities so no need to attend all four. Translation services will be available at Lasky Recreation Center and Patton Creek Community Center. Refreshments will be provided.

The Joe Louis Greenway is an approximately 31 mile pathway that will connect many of Detroit’s neighborhoods, people and parks. More information can be found here: www.joelouisgreenway.com

Please share the attached poster and facebook page with you friends and neighbors.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or if you would like me to present to your neighborhood organization.

Detroit Greenways Coalition Ride on June 23rd

The Detroit Greenways Coalition is organizing a 24-mile Joe Louis Greenway bike ride on Sunday June 23rd. The ride is being sponsored by the SmithGroup and will start near the Clark Park ice rink (1251 Scotten St.) at 8:30am.

This second annual Joe Louis Greenway bike ride will be limited to 100 donating participants. The objective of the ride is to create more awareness of the Joe Louis Greenway and raise money for the Detroit Greenways Coalition.

This year, participants will receive a commemorative pint glass!

For more information and to register

Wheelhouse Detroit greenway bike tours

Can’t make it on the 23rd? We’ve partnered with Wheelhouse Detroit to offer 17-mile guided tours for a portion of the greenway this year. Attendees will get an up close look at this exciting project while helping us make it a reality. Tour Registration

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Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway Greenways

Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway — April 2019

Dequindre Cut Clean Up

On Saturday April 13th from 12 noon to 4pm the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is hosting a community clean up of the Dequindre Cut. Volunteers are asked to register and meet for check-in at the Dequindre Cut entrances at Woodbridge, Gratiot and Wilkins Street for registration and directions. They will provide gloves and trash bags as well as snacks and water.

The Dequindre Cut is part of the planned Joe Louis Greenway. Supporting the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and this effort supports the Joe Louis Greenway.

Register for the cleanup

Design Team Selected for Framework Plan

During the last week of March, the City of Detroit announced that the SmithGroup and its team had been selected to complete the Joe Louis Greenway framework plan. The SmithGroup’s extensive greenway experience which includes designing the Dequindre Cut and Detroit Riverwalk helped them to edge out the Spackman Mossop Michaels team who was also a finalist in the selection process. City of Detroit’s announcement

The SmithGroup’s fellow organizational members also contributed to their selection. Their team includes: Toole Design, a nationally recognized firm for creating greenway networks centered around people; Sidewalk Detroit, for harnessing the art and culture to engage residents in an authentic way; Studio Incognita, for building soulful graphic design and messaging strategies; and HR&A Advisors, an industry-leading economic development and public policy firm highlighting the value of public open space.

The City of Detroit’s Request for Proposal stipulated that the Joe Louis Greenway framework planning process should be completed in one year. It also requires the process to have a minimum of 3 public input/community engagement meetings in at least 4 different segments of the JLG, hence a minimum of 12 community engagement meetings.

City of Detroit planners have been communicating with municipal leaders in Dearborn, Highland Park and Hamtramck to help ensure that residents and businesses in these cities actively participate in the planned community engagement meetings. The SmithGroup’s team and City of Detroit planners are working together to determine when and where the community engagement meetings will take place. The Friends of the Joe Louis Greenway hope to know more next month.

Save the Date: Detroit Greenway Coalition Fundraiser Ride

Sunday morning June 23rd the Detroit Greenway Coalition will hold its second annual Joe Louis Greenway fundraiser ride. The 24-mile ride will raise money for the Detroit Greenway Coalition and raise awareness of the Joe Louis Greenway. Last year it got excellent TV2, WDET and Detroit News coverage.

The route will be the same as last year, either on existing portions of JLG or paralleling planned portions. Again, the ride will include a break at the Oloman Café in Hamtramck. We will share the registration link when it’s online.

Joe Louis Greenway Tours with Wheelhouse Detroit

The Detroit Greenways Coalition is collaborating with Wheelhouse Detroit to lead two rides approximately 16 miles in length. The rides are part of Wheelhouse Detroit’s tour listing and are planned for 10am to 1pm, August 24 and September 28. They will include several stops along the Joe Louis Greenway where ride leaders, Todd Scott or Paul Vial, will talk about development aspects. It will be possible to register for these rides later this month after details are finalized.

Registration for the Wheelhouse Detroit tours