Below are highlighted events and projects involving Detroit biking, trails, and Complete Streets since 2000. Some highlights are looking forward based on estimated completion dates and are subject to change.
- The Detroit City Council Green Task Force forms a Transportation and Mobility committee, which we co-chair.
- Complete Streets projects are completed on Bagley, Jos. Campau, Livernois, Riopelle, Kercheval, W. McNichols, and Conant.
- Highland Park streetscape project on Hamilton is completed.
- Jos Campau Greenway project is completed.
- Jos Campau separated bike lanes through Hamtramck are completed. The City of Detroit is extending them to the Davison as well.
- The Joe Louis Greenway framework plan is completed and construction gets underway.
- MoGo Detroit expands into Northwest Detroit and Southeast Oakland County.
- We design, print, and distribute over 12,000 Detroit bike and trail maps with safety and education materials.
- Robert C. Valade Park on the RiverWalk opens.
- Henry Ford Health System builds new Complete Streets+ in New Center.
- The Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda is released and contains numerous items aligned with our mission.
- City Council makes the Spirit of Detroit Plaza permanent.
- MDOT’s I-94 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is released. It addresses nearly all of our concerns relating to the project’s negative impact on bicycling and walking.
- The FCA Expansion removes part of St. Jean, used by the Conner Creek Greenway and the Iron Belle Trail. We propose new routing for both.
- Our inaugural Joe Louis Greenway Fundraiser ride is a hit!
- E. Jefferson gets protected bike lanes from Downtown to Alter Road — the longest such design in the U.S. It’s part of the Eastside Bike Network, which also includes portions of Conner Avenue and E. Warren.
- Motorized scooters arrive in Detroit.
- Free Bikes 4 Kidz launches in Detroit.
- The City of Detroit creates a Complete Streets department within Public Works overseen by new Deputy Director Caitlin Marcon.
- The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation pledges $50 million towards the West Riverfront Park and another $50 million towards regional trails in Southeast Michigan.
- The Lexus Velodrome opens.
- This marks the 150th anniversary of the first bicycle ridden in Detroit.
- Our 50-Year Vision for Bicycle Thruways is released.
- The Inner Circle Greenway is renamed after Detroit legend Joe Louis.
- The Cass separated bike lanes are installed, as well as Michigan’s first bike boxes.
- MoGo Public bike share with 43 stations and 430 bikes comes to Detroit and is an instant success.
- The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority announces the Gordie Howe International Bridge will include a bicycle and pedestrian pathway.
- Planning Director Maurice Cox declares that Detroit will become the #1 bicycle city in the U.S. on his watch.
- Separated bike lanes are added to Livernois. The Michigan Avenue bike lanes are converted to separated design.
- Link Detroit is officially opened. It extends the Dequindre Cut and Midtown Loop while building bike lanes to Hamtramck.
- Detroit hosts its first Open Streets event.
- The first protected bike lanes in Michigan are build on E. Jefferson while the City makes plans to extend them to E. Grand Boulevard.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy completes two more segments of the RiverWalk on both sides of Chene Park.
- Three automated bike and pedestrian trail counters — the first in Michigan — are installed on the Dequindre Cut extension.
- Restrictive youth bicycling ordinances are removed in the City of Detroit.
- The Grown Men on Bikes (GMOB) and Grown Ladies on Wheels (GLOW) bike clubs host the inaugural Coupe Day at Harmonie Park. The event is an opportunity for riders to bring out their custom bikes that they’d worked on during the winter. Coupe Day has grown into one of the largest events of its kind, attracting bicyclists from across the U.S.
- The State of Michigan awards $3.4 million to complete acquisition of the Conrail property for the Inner Circle Greenway. The Kresge Foundation awards $600,000 to planning the greenway.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy opens West Riverfront Park.
- Over 7,000 cyclists participate in the Tour de Troit. Upwards of 4,500 cyclists participate in the Slow Roll.
- MDOT commits $1 million to make bike improvements along Cass Avenue from New Center to the RiverWalk in response to allowing M1 Rail make Woodward a hazard for bicyclists.
- MDOT releases Phase I of Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan report. It finds over $20 million in annual economic impact within two Detroit neighborhoods. It also recognizes the city’s growth in bicycle manufacturing with companies such as Shinola and Detroit Bikes.
- There are nearly 200 miles of bike lanes, marked bike routes, and off-road pathways in Detroit.
- The Inner Circle Greenway receives a $1.1 million funding commitment from the Transportation Alternatives Program to acquire 8.3 miles of abandoned Conrail property.
- The Woodward Complete Streets, a Woodward Avenue Action Association project begins with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. This 27-mile study is the longest Complete Streets project in the U.S. Roughly one-third of the study is within Detroit and Highland Park.
- The Detroit Greenways Coalition is incorporates and receives 501(c)(3) status the following year.
- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announces plans to develop a cross-state biking and walking Iron Belle Trail from Detroit’s Belle Isle to Wisconsin.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy publishes an economic impact study. To date, the Conservancy has raised $121 million in public and private funding. This has resulted in $639 million in public and private sector investment, $43.7 million in annual consumer spending, and $4.5 million in annual tax revenue generation. There are more than 3 million annual visitors to the riverfront. Riverfront improvements have supported 16,700 construction jobs, and provide on-going annual support for 1,300 jobs.
- The City of Detroit receives $10 million in federal TIGER funding for the Link Detroit project. This $20+ million project focuses on non-motorized improvements, including an extension of the Dequindre Cut with a connection to Eastern Market, bike lanes connecting to the city of Hamtramck, and a pathway connecting to Midtown.
- A non-motorized plan for Detroit’s Greater Riverfront East District is published. This plan includes significant community engagement that indicated residents wanted more trails for both walking and biking.
- Detroit Future City is published. This strategic planning framework calls for more greenways, Complete Streets, and support for multi-modal transportation.
- The Detroit Greenways Coalition supports Adventure Cycling’s creation of an Underground Railroad Bicycle Route from Mobile, Alabama to Owens Sounds, Ontario via Detroit.
- The first Detroit Bike City expo is at Cobo Center. In 2014, the show draws 3,000 people and over 120 vendors.
- The Southwest Detroit Greenlink opens including 20 miles of bike lanes. This is a project of the Southwest Detroit Business Association and built with federal Transportation Enhancements, philanthropic, and other private funding.
- The City of Detroit builds a segment of Complete Streets using Federal Local Safety Program funding administered through MDOT. Each year the city has received $2 million in funding which has allowed it to improve safety for all road users by building many miles of Complete Streets and improved intersections.
- The first Slow Roll bike event begins with about a dozen cyclists.
- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) installs bike lanes on Michigan Avenue using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. These are the MDOT’s first bike lanes on a state trunkline within Detroit.
- Phase I of the Midtown Loop Greenway breaks ground. This is a project Midtown Detroit Inc. and this initial phase is funded with Transportation Enhancement and philanthropic investments. Later phases also use ARRA.
- Greening of Detroit in partnership with the Detroit Greenways Coalition launch a greenway maintenance program funded by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
- The Detroit Greenways Coalition develops a citywide Detroit Greenway Network Vision.
- The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative launches with funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This includes an Active Living committee that establishes two goals: (1) Building more trails and greenways; and (2) Promoting more Complete Streets by engaging the community and getting a city ordinance passed.
- The first mile of the Dequindre Cut Greenway officially opens.
- The Detroit Greenways Coalition brings the city’s non-motorized plan before Detroit City Council where it is unanimously approved. Council also passes a resolution in support of greenways in Detroit.
- The Kresge Foundation awards $3.5 million in funding for the Conner Creek Greenway, Dequindre Cut, Midtown Loop, and Detroit Greenways Coalition.
- Recognizing the common greenway operational issues faced by various non-profits in the city, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan along with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance begins convening the Detroit Greenways Coalition.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy officially opens its first segment of the Detroit Riverwalk.
- The City of Detroit develops a non-motorized master plan which calls for 400 miles of bike lanes.
- First segment of Conner Creek Greenway is built with funding with federal Transportation Enhancement and philanthropy. When completed, this greenway will stretch from the Detroit River to Detroit’s northern border at Eight Mile Road.
- Detroit’s first bike lanes are implemented on Belle Isle.
- The City of Detroit publishes the Downtown Transportation Master Plan which calls for “the improved integration of bicycles into the transportation fabric of downtown.” It also notes, “While recreational bicycling is relatively common along the riverfront areas, little utilitarian bicycle use has been observed within downtown, as a lack of roadway facilities and end-of-trip amenities (such as bicycle parking or shower/change facilities) is prevalent throughout most of the area.”
- Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is launched by three key partners: the City of Detroit, General Motors, and the Kresge Foundation. Kresge provides a $50 million challenge grant that serves as the economic catalyst for the Conservancy’s efforts.
- The Conner Creek Greenway Master Plan is completed by the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative.
- The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publishes a study of potential rail-to-trail conversions in Detroit. This study is funded through the GreenWays Initiative.
- The first Tour de Troit bike event attracts a few dozen cyclists.
- The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan launches their GreenWays Initiative. Through this program’s history, close to $10 million was granted within Detroit, leveraging $70 million in state and federal funding for greenway development in the City.
- The first Critical Mass ride occurs in Detroit.
- Detroit Summer begins Back Alley Bikes. The original purpose of the shop was to provide transportation to youth participants. It has since grown with highly-success earn-a-bike programming and a supporting commercial bike shop.