Joe Louis Greenway Groundbreaking
The City of Detroit recently held a groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the Joe Louis Greenway — a key milestone showing this trail vision is becoming a reality. This historic event took place on a former Conrail railroad property that was highlighted over 18 years ago in a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy study funded by the Greenways Initiative.
It was great to see so many elected officials and community members at the event and voicing their support, as well as Joe Louis’ family. For those who don’t already know, Joe Louis was much more than a world champion boxer. He was a leader in civil rights and an American hero — themes that will undoubtedly be told along the future greenway.
- Detroit breaks ground on 27-mile Joe Louis Greenway, Fox 2 Detroit
In conjunction with the groundbreaking, the City put the greenway framework plan online, which truly is an amazing vision for the greenway.
So, now that this nearly 3-mile segment is under construction, when will the next six phases get completed? The answer comes largely down to funding. There is not enough funding in hand for all the future phases, but that could change.
The City of Detroit is receiving $826 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. Mayor Mike Duggan has initially proposed that $50 million of that go towards parks, paths, and the Joe Louis Greenway. (He’s also proposed another $20 million for streetscapes and $30 million for recreation centers.)
Another option might be the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act that was mentioned in last month’s newsletter. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works just included this act within the next transportation bill. If it remains there, this could be a new federal grant opportunity for major trails like the Joe Louis Greenway.
And, federal earmarks are back…
While Mayor Duggan stuck with a 10-year completion timelines, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said let’s try getting it done in five.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy also broke ground on a highly anticipated segment of the East RiverWalk along the UniRoyal Site. This segment runs between the Mt. EIlliott and Gabriel Richard Parks, and would connect with the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle.
It’s expected to be open by the fall of 2022.
If you missed the live coverage of the groundbreaking, there is a 3-minute video on the project.
“The Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for building and maintaining roads, bridges and freeways, and we have also assisted with building trail systems throughout the state as well,” said Robert A. Davis, senior advisor for MDOT [and DGC board member.] “It’s exciting to work with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to help transform the riverfront into a trail system that pedestrians can enjoy. It’s a legacy project for us.”
Bike to “Work” Day
Detroit Bike to Work Day looked much different this year given the pandemic and fewer people commuting to work and school. This year we encouraged everyone to ride to participating local coffee shops and bakeries. Nearly 200 people registered for the event and were able to pick up free custom Detroit Bike Challenge socks at those local businesses.
The weather was great and it seemed like a welcomed change from the previous event format.
Thanks to everyone that participated, especially our local businesses.
Our event was part of the Detroit Bike Challenge, which you can still register for. It’s free and you can record your rides to win prizes. This is a City of Detroit program that’s encouraging more people to ride bikes in the city, but especially to work. The Challenge runs from May through October.
Streets for People
We are encouraging all Detroiters to participate in the Streets for People project. In short, the City of Detroit is “developing Streets for People, a transportation plan with a singular focus — to make it easier and safer for all Detroiters to move around the city.”
You can participate by adding your transportation needs and challenges to this Streets for People map which includes a brief introductory survey.
While this map focuses on transportation, we encourage residents to provide feedback on transportation issues related to the environment and public health, such as the need for:
- More green space and tree canopies along our roads and trails, which can also reduce urban heat island effects
- Increased green stormwater infrastructure that can reduce residential and street flooding
- Greater connection between residential communities, recreation, green space, commercial areas, jobs, transit, and more
- Reduced impacts from truck traffic on residents’ health and mobility options
Events for Saturday May 29th
- GMOB/GLOW Coupe Day – While there are activities planned for the entire weekend (see the flyer below), you don’t want to miss the big gathering on Saturday afternoon at Cass Park. It’s one of the most amazing displays of custom bikes and Detroit bike culture. We’ll have a table there and will be a judge in the bike custom competitions.
- Occupy the Corner Bike Giveaway – Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield is hosting this event at the Coleman Young Playfield, Chene at Bradby from 1pm to 5pm. Supplies are limited!
- Bailey Park Moves — This bike safety event is from 2pm to 5pm at 2617 Joseph Campau. There will be a bike raffle, helmet fitting, and more. Please register in advance. It’s free.
- Metro Detroit’s bike infrastructure is growing. Here’s how., Model D
- On bicycle clubs and the social fabric of Detroit life, Model D
- ‘Not too fast, not too slow’: Todd Scott explores the city on two wheels, Model D
- If You Build It, They Will Bike: Pop-Up Lanes Increased Cycling During Pandemic, New York Times