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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.


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How MDOT’s I-94 project affects biking and walking

MDOT has plans to modernize I-94 between Trumbull and Conner, including portions of M-10 and I-75. That modernization includes:

  • Widening, primarily by adding six lanes of service drives in some places
  • Removing 14 bridges, including a few pedestrian bridges
  • Removing some roads
  • Elevating some pedestrian bridges that are currently at grade

Many of these design decisions can have a negative impact on biking and walking within this corridor. We’ve documented the proposed changes on this map.

The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been working others, including Wayne State University, Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, SEMCOG, the Henry Ford Health System, the city of Detroit and others to better understand and propose alternative designs that can lessen the impacts.

The good news is MDOT is listening.

It’s too early to say what changes might be possible. Analysis is underway on how the John R bridge could remain. We’ve also highlighted the need for the Ferry Street bridge since the alternative at Warren is a congested and unsafe crossing for bikes and pedestrians.

No one seems to know why the Canfield pedestrian bridge is being removed.

We’ve also aren’t fond of the odd 8-foot bike/bus lanes proposed for the service drive. Does anyone really want to ride on service drives? They’re typically filled with speeding motorists and little else. Their one-way designs also limit their usefulness.

The elevated bridges are not preferred. Having them at-grade makes them more convenient, even if that meanshaving to cross the service drive. We heard from the disabled community that this was important to them , too.

We’ll continue to work with MDOT on this and tweak their design.