Below is the DDOT announcement about public hearings on the planned Woodward light rail project.
Why is light rail important to Detroit cyclists?
First, a well-designed light rail system will lets you easily take your bike on board and provides bike parking at the transit stops. The system can actually encourage more people to ride. Biking increases the light rail’s effective reach into the neighborhoods. The light rail is not going to take you to places like Hamtramck, Eastern Market, Cortktown, Mexicantown, or Ferndale — but those could be easily biked to.
Second, this project is an opportunity to get light rail on Wooward and make it a Complete Street. Can we improve biking in a way that works well with the new light rail?
Mia Birk from Alta Planning has been involved in streetcar/bicycle facility design for a some time and recently wrote an article called “Bikes & Streetcars – Let’s be Best Friends!.”
Both streetcar and bicycle transportation are highly effective, sustainable solutions with multiple benefits. Bicycling leverages enormous health and environmental benefits, while streetcar leverages development. Both use space efficiently and forward economic progress. Together, they signify the dawn of a powerful new era of transportation efficiency.
And one thing’s for sure: designing streetcar lines without serious consideration of bicyclists will cost more in the long run, as it’s always harder to fix things than doing them well in the first place.
That bolded text is perhaps the key point. Let’s make sure things are done well from the beginning and save money.
And let’s be best friends!
More details on the public meetings
Woodward Ave. Light Rail Transit Project Public Hearings Slated for February 12
Public Encouraged to Attend
Detroit MI: On Saturday, February 12, 2011, the public is invited to attend the Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit Project public hearings sponsored by the City of Detroit and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration.
There will be two hearings: The first from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a presentation at 11:30 a.m.; the second from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a presentation at 4:30 p.m. The public may participate in one or both events, which will be held at the Main Detroit Public Library, Lower Level Auditorium, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202.
The purpose of the hearings is to give interested parties opportunities to provide comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). This includes the project’s purpose and need, the alternatives considered, the potential environmental and community impacts evaluated, and some preliminary measures proposed to mitigate those impacts.
Project staff will be available to informally discuss the DEIS and the proposed project, beginning 30 minutes before each presentation. Copies of the DEIS are available at several municipal buildings and will be available for review at the public hearing. The Notice of Availability period (public comments and participation) begins January 28, 2011 and ends on March 14, 2011.
Hearing materials will be available in English, Arabic and Spanish and translators will be on site. Individuals with special needs or who require an accessible format version of the public hearing invitation should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (313) 963-4678, five days prior to the meeting.
For more information on the Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit Project, contact
www.WoodwardLightRail.com or (313) 933-1300.