Measuring Detroit’s “Bike Friendliness”

  • The current “bike friendly” city measurements and rankings are largely based on heavily flawed and inaccurate bike commuting data.
  • Bike commuting data does not represent actual biking levels in cities like Detroit where a majority of workers travel to the suburbs for their jobs.
  • Relying on bike commuting data ignores the majority of other bicycle trips made within cities.
  • Other Detroit data sources can be a more accurate measure of bicycle friendliness.

We’ve been working with the Detroit Office of Sustainability on how bicycling, walking, micro-mobility, bike lanes and greenways fit within their planning efforts. They want to measure Detroit’s progress in these areas. Initially they’d suggesting using ratings from national bicycling organizations, but those are highly inaccurate and rate Detroit poorly. Those ratings clearly do not reflect the reality of Detroit’s diverse bicycle culture that includes the largest weekly bike ride, the most bike clubs, and the second largest protected bike lane network in the U.S. This article explains why these ratings don’t work and provides better data options for measuring progress.

Measuring Detroit’s “Bike Friendliness”

There is no U.S. standard for measuring the bike friendliness of the city. One could expect the number of people bicycling in a city to be a good reflection of its bike friendliness. However, such data does not exist.

Despite this, many national organizations receive grant and private funding to rate U.S. city bicycle friendliness. They rely on heavily flawed data that impacts Detroit’s measure to a much greater extent than other cities.

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News from the Trail – June 2018

Joe Louis Greenway Fundraiser Ride

We are organizing a 28-mile Joe Louis Greenway fundraiser ride on Sunday morning, June 24th. The objective of the bike tour is to create more awareness and raise money to help get the Joe Louis Greenway built. We’ll share the latest information on this major urban trail system — and you’ll also get a custom ride water bottle.

There will also be a midway stop at the Oloman Cafe in Hamtramck to rehydrate and refuel.

Limited tickets for this inaugural event are now available on-line. Don’t miss out!

Detroit Bike to Work Day

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2018 Detroit Bike to Work Day event sponsored by Henry Ford LiveWell.

It was a record turnout — and the weather wasn’t too bad at all!

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan addressed the crowd at Spirit Plaza this year and noted:

We want to have choices in the city, different ways to get around, different ways to get to work: to be able to walk, to be able to bike, to be able to take a bus, to be able to drive.

The Mayor mentioned this and you can see it in the photos. There were many city staff riding bikes to the event and of course Council member Scott Benson. As you might imagine, there  is no better way for staff to understand the bicyclist needs and perspectives than first hand.

Council member Benson also introduced a Resolution declaring May 18th, 2018 as Bike to Work Day and the month of May as Bicycle Awareness Month. The resolution was passed by City Council.

Thanks to our other event sponsors include the office of Detroit Council member Scott BensonAECOM,  American Cycle and FitnessDetroit Future CityDowntown Detroit PartnershipGiffels-WebsterHNTBOHM AdvisorsMoGoSEMCOGTour de TroitWayne State University, and Wheelhouse Detroit.

Detroit Sustainability Agenda

The City of Detroit is crafting its first Sustainability Action Agenda and is asking that Detroit residents take this online survey. Of course Mobility is one of the major topics within the agenda: How can  Detroiters have more sustainable transportation choices to get where they need to go?

We need your involvement to craft an inclusive and equitable vision for a sustainable Detroit today and for years into the future. Simply put, meeting our needs of today without sacrificing the needs of future generations.

–Joel Howrani Heeres, Director, Office of Sustainabilit