More Metro Detroit trail news

Yes, there is a street named Greenway in DetroitThe Detroit News recently covered trails developments both Downriver and in Macomb County.

One interesting quote from Macomb County highlights the importances of biking and walking infrastructure investments as a means for attracting new companies and jobs.

Steve Cassin, the county’s director of planning and economic development, said surveys have shown that the top two factors for industry looking to locate a new operation include the availability of work force and quality of life. Greenways and outdoor offerings, he said, are a major factor in quality of life considerations.

I-275 Metro Trail

We’d mentioned earlier that the I-275 bike path (now called the I-275 Metro Trail) received $4 million in stimulus funding for reconstruct the trail from Michigan Avenue to Hines Drive. However, it did not get any round two stimulus funding.

However, bids for MDOT’s stimulus projects have been coming about 10% lower than anticipated. That has freed up additional money that MDOT will use to reconstruct the I-275 Metro Trail from Michigan Avenue south to Sibley Road, where it will connect with the Willow Metropark.

This is great news and a critical connection.

Detroit Trails

Some trail projects in the city of Detroit also received stimulus funding.

The biggest project is Phase I of the Midtown Loop. This project will transform the sidewalks on Kirby and John R into more of a RiverWalk design — wide paths with benches, art, and more. It also includes bike storage. The project has gone out to bid and construction is expected to begin in this spring.

Another project is a resurfacing project on St. Jean from Jefferson to Mack Avenue. Once resurfaced, St. Jean will have bike lanes and become another completed segment of the Conner Creek Greenway. This project has been awarded and construction should begin this spring as well.

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2 Responses to “More Metro Detroit trail news”

  1. Chris Says:

    That’s great to hear about I-275 trail, and I didn’t realize the Michigan Ave to Sibley Rd portion was next in line. One question though: any chance the I-94 to Sibley section could be postponed in favor of a more needy section?

    My thought is that section is better served by the Lower Huron-Willow trail, which then connects back to the 275 trail just south of Sibley. The one missing thing is a more formal connection to LHMP where the 275 trail comes out south of 94 at Hannan Rd. Instead of taking the sidewalk on Northline Rd (the current “trail”), take Hannan down to the Metro Pkwy spur and into the park.

    2 years ago some friends and I did a “figure 8″ loop of 275 and the Metropark trail (we followed the local BMX kids’ example and hopped a fence into the Mockingbird subdivision at Oakwoods and took Will Carlton Rd east to 275.) The pleasantness of the MP trail made that section of the 275 trail seem redundant. Unlike other parts of 275 trail, one is very close to the freeway the whole time, so there is not much buffer.

    Of course I want to see the whole system improved and expanded so we can finally get to Monroe, just wondering if there is an opportunity to bump up some of the needier sections north of 94 in priority, or begin the anticipated Oakwoods-to-Flat Rock-Rockwood-etc. connection.

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    Chris,

    As I understand it, the 275 rehabilitation plan priorities are based on the recent study by Wade-Trim. When MDOT submitted their stimulus funding requests, it was based on that plan. There really isn’t much opportunity to change that at this time.

    But you’ve provided some great information for future work and prioirities. I would suggest you forward your thoughts to both Jeff Edwards (EdwardsJe@michigan.gov) at MDOT and Sue Nyquist (sue.nyquist@metroparks.com) at the HCMA/Metroparks.

    And if you haven’t done so already, you may want to check out the Friends of the I-275 bike path group. They have a Yahoo! group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/I275bikepath

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