Joe Louis Greenway
This is going to be a banner year for trail construction in Detroit — and here’s proof. There’s now an actual banner announcing the future of the Joe Louis Greenway. The banner is located on the north side of Grand River just east of Oakman Boulevard.
The Phase 1 construction start is still pending some final environmental approvals. When those are complete, you can expect the City of Detroit to make an announcement.
You may have read the recent Crain’s Detroit Business article ($) about a local company encroaching on the city’s trail property — and the resulting lawsuit. The land in question is along Dexter, north of Oakman. While this segment is not part of Phase 1, it is a critical trail connection. We are hopeful this lawsuit doesn’t delay future trail construction.
The DLBA owns a significant number of properties across the city. Much of the land along the greenway route has been held to restrict outside speculators. Recently, some of this land was transferred to the city for Phase 1 greenway amenities, such as neighborhood connecting trails. Additional properties are available to neighbors along the greenway and this meeting will discuss those options.
This land strategy is one method the city is using to mitigate gentrification — the displacement of local residents along the greenway. Other greenway developments around the country have shared their regrets of not addressing this issue before their trails were built. We’re glad to see the City of Detroit tackling this issue from the start.
Planet Detroit recently published an article on this topic, Can Detroit’s Joe Louis Greenway avoid gentrification? Second Wave Media also touches on this issue with this article, Connecting Detroiters with the Joe Louis Greenway. Both articles include a wealth of great photos, too.
Last year we supported state legislation that clarified the modest flexibility that local governments have when setting speed limits based on factors other than just the 85th fastest motorist traveling under ideal conditions. Among many safety factors, it would allow the consideration of the road crash history, adjacent land use (e.g. parks), and the presence of pedestrians. This is aligns with recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and others.
Unfortunately that bill died in the House Ways and Means committee, but it has been re-introduced (HB 4014) and is before the House Transportation committee scheduled for Tuesday, February 16th at 10:30 AM.
We’re working to bring more support to the table from local governments to local experts, especially since we expect the Michigan State Police will oppose the bill. Individuals can email their thoughts to the committee clerk, Dakota Soda.
- The construction contract for the Rosa Parks Streetscape project has been delayed in response to comments at City Council. DPW has agreed to do additional community outreach. While a few residents spoke against the proposed bike lanes, there were more concerns shared about a tree nursery project which was unrelated to this contract. There was also uncertainty about whether the construction would repair the sidewalks — it would. If you live near Rosa Parks (between the Boulevard and Clairmount) and want to learn how to get involved, please email us.
- The City of Detroit is updating their Parks and Recreaton Strategic Plan. They are hosting a virtual public meeting about this on Monday, February 15th at 5pm. Attend via Zoom or call in at 312-626-6799 (webinar ID: 363 140 9738).
- Don’t forget! I-375 Environmental Assessment comments are due on Friday, February 19th.
- America Walks is seeking 30 Walking College fellows who want “to be part of bringing about transformative change to their neighborhoods.” Applications are open through February 28th.
- MoGo is hiring! They recently received a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership to understand certain barriers to bike and bus transit and develop solutions to improve the connections between them. MoGo is also seeking an executive director after founder Lisa Nuszkowski announced she’s stepping down. Lisa’s done an amazing job taking the idea of bike share and making it a reality in Detroit and Southeast Oakland County. We especially appreciate system’s equity and accessibility aspects which are a model for other bike share systems around the country. We’re sad to see her leave but look forward to see where she lands.
- Speaking of bike-transit connections, Amtrak and MDOT are improving the bike carrying options for the the Wolverine route out of Detroit. They are testing new passenger coach class cars, each of which include three bike racks conveniently located across from the luggage storage area. We can’t wait to see (and use) them in the near future.
- Detroit RiverWalk to expand after successful river remediation, Model D
- What is design speed and how does it affect our streets?, Beyond the Automobile
- Renovation can start on Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne, Click on Detroit. (Fort Wayne is located along the Joe Louis Greenway.)