Trails like the Joe Louis Greenway are not on the ballot today, but the politicians making trail funding decisions are. We’re members of the Detroit Environmental Agenda and they have more voting information including Detroit Charter Revision Commissioners.
To make getting to the polls a bit easier, Lime scooters are offering free 30-minute rides today with the promo code LIME2VOTE2018.
Joe Louis Greenway
Framework Planning Proposals are due this week. With this being such a critical greenway planning process, we put together this brief article on what we think a winning proposal should include. First and foremost is community engagement. It’s a long trail and we want to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to participate in the design process. This is much more than just a trail project.
The city expects to review the proposals and award a contract by the end of the year.
$100 million for the RiverWalk and other Trails
You likely heard the great news that the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation pledged $100 million towards Detroit trails and the RiverWalk.
$40 million of that goes to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s West Riverfront Park project. As a result, the park was renamed to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park. An additional $10 million goes into an endowment to fund the park’s long-term sustainability.
Another $40 million is for building regional, connecting trails in Southeast Michigan, including the Iron Belle Trail. We imagine the Joe Louis Greenway could potentially receive some of this funding. The last $10 million is also an endowment to help operate and maintain the these trails.
At the announcement ceremony, we had the opportunity to personally thank Mary Wilson and share some stories on how trails and bicycling are benefitting Detroiters in the neighborhoods. It’s more profound than most realize and it’s our role to share these stories.
Bike lanes: Planning, Building, Maintaining
Detroit has approved $125 million in road bonds to revitalize commerical corridors. About $80 million of that targets major infrastructure improvements on key corridors, which includes Complete Streets and stormwater designs. The following should be under construction next year:
- Livernois (Puritan to Eight Mile Road). The last we heard the infamous median will be removed, the sidewalks widened, and bike lanes added.
- W. McNichols (Marygrove College to UDM). This includes both an sidepath trail segment and bike lanes. The Fitzgerald Greenway just south of McNichols will also be under construction next year.
E. Jefferson will also get this road funding. We recently attended the initial stakeholder planning meeting. A public meeting is tentatively planned for December 12th. We’ll share more information as we get it. In the meantime, the city is offering office hours at the Elmwood Park Public Library on Tuesdays from 5 to 7pm on Nov. 20th, Dec. 4th, and December 18th. if you would like to learn more.
Our Hamilton Avenue bike lane project in Highland Park continues to move forward. If all goes as planned, we are expect that project to be constructed next year.
MDOT has also started planning for a major streetscape project on Grand River Avenue from the Southfield freeway to Berg Road. At a recent community meeting, most of the resident and business concerns focused on speeding cars and pedestrian safety. Bike lanes are also being discussed and MDOT is trying to find additional funding to continue this design from the Southfield to I-94.
One would expect news to slow as the weather turns chilly, but that’s certainly not the case.