Unity Ride 4 Justice
We want to thank the Detroit Saints Bike Club for hosting the Unity Ride 4 Justice ride last week. It was inspiring, uplifting, and positive event that reinforced that we are all one family and supporting each other when we ride together.
Virtual Project Meetings
Given the panademic, all public project meetings are now online. Here are some June meetings you may want to check out and provide feedback —
- State Long-range Transportation Plan on June 16th at 7 PM and June 17th at 10 AM – Want to help shape how the state of Michigan invests in transportation? MDOT is hosting two telephone town halls to get your input. You must register 3 hours in advance. There’s more information online for this statewide planning project.
- Old Redford Neighborhood Link on June 17th at 5:30 PM – This meeting is for sharing your thoughts on community-led activation of public space in Old Redford. This includes public art and cultural programming. Zoom or call in 312 626-6799 with meeting ID 528 771 3400.
- Parkland Park on June 18th – Wayne County Parks is hosting two public meetings to discuss improvements at Parkland Park in Dearborn Heights, neslted between Rouge Park and Hines Drive: 11 AM – 12 PM (password 630206) and 4 PM – 5 PM (password 003784). The park provides a key connection for the Rouge River Greenway. Please consider joining one of these meetings!
- Kercheval Streetscape on June 18th from 5:30 PM – The City of Detroit is hosting this meeting to give contruction updates. This project runs from E. Grand Boulevard to Parker and includes improvements for walking and biking. Zoom or call 231 338-8477.
- Lenox Center/A.B. Ford Park on June 30th at 5:30 PM – The City of Detroit is having a kickoff community meeting for a redesigning project. Zoom, or call 267-831-0333 with meeting ID: 918 1582 7787. They are also gathering input using this survey.
- Joseph Campau in Detroit is being resurfaced between E. Davison and Carpenter this year. It will be receiving a two-way cycletrack as well since this is a segment of the Joe Louis Greenway.
- The City of Detroit received the entry-level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists. Like other national awards, it assumes the Census Bureau’s bike to work numbers accurately reflect the amount of bicycling in all cities. That’s not a good assumption in Detroit where bicycling is growing ever popular while its bike to work numbers have dropped significantly.
- Similarly, People for Bikes ranked Detroit as 22nd among U.S. cities, jumping over a couple hundred other municipalities. Last year Detroit fell over 100 spots in the rankings despite adding more protected bike lane miles than any U.S. city. We don’t place much value in this either since it also makes assumptions with Census data.
- The planned overhaul of the Detroit zoning ordinances continues, this includes possibly reducing or eliminating parking requirements — something that could lead to denser development that is more walkable and bikeable. We would welcome this.
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Eastern Market, Belle Isle Conservancy, Downtown Detroit Partnership and City of Detroit have developed this Detroit Parks Coloring Book. Download the pages for free and start coloring!
Livernois Bike Shop
We want to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Sam Awada, owner of the Livernois Bike Shop, located at the east end of the new Fitzgerald Greenway. Sam’s family says the shop will continue to be open and honor his memory.
A memorial gathering occured shortly after his passing where many in the community shared their stories of how Sam helped them and others. His nephew mentioned Sam’s adoration of MLK Jr. and how he would play his speeches as the younger kids sat on the floor and listened. Read more about Sam and the shop
Many streetscape improvement projects will be under construction this year as part of Detroit’s $80 million Commercial Corridor Program. Per the City, “These streetscape improvements support the City’s neighborhood planning efforts to improve safety and quality of life for Detroit residents. Streetscape improvements might include a variety of amenities including expanded sidewalks, bicycle lanes, improved lighting, plantings, neighborhood branding, and more.” (More on Crain’s Detroit)
Prior emails have encouraged everyone to attend community meetings for Grand River. Those are ongoing with additional information on the city website. As a result of previous meetings and feedback, the preferred design is for a vastly improved pedestrian, bike, and transit experience along this state trunkline while retaining onstreet parking (see below). The city recognizes the need for motorist and bicyclist education with a 2-way cycletrack. Construction is scheduled to begin this year.
There is a community meeting on Tuesday, March 19th from 6-8pm for the Kercheval Avenue Street Design between E. Grand Boulevard and Parker Street. The meeting is at the Solanus Casey Center, 1780 Mt. Elliott Street. (flyer)
Also this month is the East Jefferson Corridor Improvements Community Meeting. It will be held Thursday, March 21st from 6-7:30pm at the Hope Community Church, 14456 E. Jefferson. (flyer)
This Crain’s Detroit Business article covers many of the other exciting projects.
FCA Community Benefits Agreement
The City of Detroit is moving quickly to try landing a new Fiat Chrysler plant near the the existing E. Jefferson plant. There are already bike lanes on all four sides of that facility, including the Conner Creek Greenway and Iron Belle Trail along the St. Jean. Mayor Mike Duggan has proposed vacating St. Jean to gain the needed acreage for the plant. An initial community benefits meeting is this Wednesday, March 13th from 6:30-8pm at the UAW, 2600 Conner Avenue. We’ll be there to ensure the bike lanes and trails remain and propose that they get improved.
Bike Lane Ordinance
Council President Brenda Jones has asked the Law Department to draft an ordinance that requires all new bike lanes to be approved by City Council. We strongly oppose this. As we said recently in public comment before Council, bike lanes are a safety design that improves mobility for bicyclists, pedestrians, scooter users, and those in motorized mobility devices. Current city ordinance gives the Department of Public Works the ability to design safe roads based on national standards. City Council has approved the non-motorized plan that calls for these bike lanes. As one might imagine, there is a wide variety of opinions among city council members as this video from a recent Public Health & Safety Committee meeting shows.
We will keep everyone updated on this proposal and how you can share your thoughts with City Council.
- April 20th (to be confirmed) – Detroit Greenways Coalition Fundraiser at the Lexus Velodrome
- May 7th at 7:30am to 12pm – MOTION Coalition Annual Meeting (free registration)
- May 17th – Bike to Work Day in Detroit (registration to open soon)
Additional Reading & Listening
- Time to Fix Michigan’s CMAQ Problem
Michigan is on the verge of having to send back nearly $86 million in federal transportation funding that could be spent on bicycle and trail projects.
- Our thoughts: Milliken State Park Master Planning
- Detroit ByCycle – Episode 3
We had a chance to talk about Detroit bicycling with the startup Detroit ByCycle.
- 4 projects to bring Detroit RiverWalk closer to its full vision, Detroit Free Press
- With new mobility options, Detroit goes multimodal, Driven
- Want a toll-free trip into Detroit? Ride your bike over the border, London Free Press
- MoGo Neighborhood Ambassador applications are due this Friday, March 15th
- The Detroit Health Department is hiring temporary Safe Routes Ambassadors “to work on safety education with school children and community groups with an emphasis on the recent and upcoming Complete Streets work and Safe Routes to School efforts.”