Today was a big day. Another greenway in Detroit — the Midtown Loop — was officially under construction starting this week and there was a celebration on the lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
From this UCCA/CFSEM press release:
Construction is underway on the Midtown Greenway, a four phase, two-mile greenway trail that will circle through Detroit’s University Cultural Center, Wayne State University and Medical Center and Brush Park districts.
Today at a press conference held at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, organizers officially broke ground to signify the start of the first of four phases of construction. When completed, the linked trails will provide eight miles of continuous greenways, enabling people to go from Wayne State University through the Eastern Market to the Detroit Riverfront.
“One of our main goals with the development of the Midtown Greenway is to reclaim the rights-of-way for pedestrians by creating a widened walkway, improving ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) crosswalks, and adding pedestrian traffic signals,” said University Cultural Center Association President Susan Mosey. “By adding such amenities along the route as outdoor seating, pocket parks and pet-friendly features, this trail will contribute to the quality of life and the lifestyle of the community.”
Mosey noted that only the first phase (Kirby and John R) is under construction and should be completed this year. She expects the Canfield segment construction will begin this fall with the Cass section beginning in 2011. The entire loop should be ready to go by the end of next year.
But that’s not all. The UCCA is also working on non-motorized connections to the Dequindre Cut.
And as we’ve noted before, this greenway is geared towards pedestrians and slower cycling. Commuters and faster cyclists may prefer sticking to the streets. This is similar to the current RiverWalk vs. Atwater tradeoff.
TellUsDetroit.com did some excellent interviews which are now on-line.
One highlight? Sunny Jacob from Traffic Engineering explaining this project’s focus on Complete Streets and livable communities — something the city of Detroit is now pushing.
This project is all about making the street safe and walkable for all uses… and its the new concept called Complete Streets. We are pushing forward with the city of Detroit to make new communities and make them user friendly for all the uses.
Secretary LaHood — Detroit’s talking the talk and would make an excellent candidate for the next round of federal TIGER (as well as ACT) funding.
We’ve uploaded a video of Al Fields speech. Al is Mayor Bing’s Group Executive for Planning, a very active cyclist, and the one you should thank for Detroit’s first bike lanes (on Belle Isle.)