Posts Tagged ‘bike parking’

Share your thoughts on Downtown Ferndale

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The Ferndale DDA is hosting a survey to collect your thoughts on the downtown area.

There are bike-related survey questions regarding bike lanes, bike parking as well as the call for traffic calming.

It’s just a one-page survey and it doesn’t take too long to complete.

A recent Daily Tribune article gives more details:

[DDA Executive Director Cristina] Sheppard-Decius said downtown officials hope to find a way to narrow West Nine Mile Road from five to three lanes, similar to what has been done in the main business district.

Reconfiguring the roadway would allow for wider sidewalks and landscaping and open the way to add public benches, decorative street lighting, bike racks, and on-street parking. Other possible improvements are bicycle lanes and a roundabout at Livernois.

We’d love to see that Livernois intersection improved. It seems to create endless waits especially when heading south. Livernois is a key Eight Mile Road crossing for area cyclists.

New bikes lanes in Corktown and Southwest Detroit

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Have you seen the new bike lanes and bike routes being installed throughout Corktown, Mexicantown, and along West Vernor in Southwest Detroit?

This is not a new project. It started about seven or so years ago with the Greater Corktown Development Corporation and a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The goal was to make the area more walkable and bikeable while connecting it to the future West RiverWalk.

But much has changed since then. Greater Corktown went through financial issues forcing them to hand off the project to the Southwest Business Development Association (SDBA). In taking over the project, the SDBA expanded it to include bike lanes along most of West Vernor, connecting it with their existing trail through Patton Park.

The project design also changed over time, shifting from having some off-road paths to simply bike lanes and bike routes. The latter are being employed on roads that are too narrow for bike lanes.

In the meantime, the wildly successful Tour de Troit has generated additional funds for the project to keep pushing it forward.

Safety Grants

There’s one other piece. The city of Detroit applied for an MDOT grant to improve safety along a portion of West Vernor from Livernois to Waterman. As a result, the city is adding bike lanes along that one mile of Vernor. They’re also adding lighting beneath the viaduct just west of Livernois.

When completed, there will be 24 miles of new bike lanes and 11 miles of signed bike routes.

Building on this success, the city recently applied for seven safety grants and received six. The city is looking to add bike lanes to all six projects in 2012, which includes roads such as Central and West Chicago.

Bike parking, directional signs, and more

And there are additional projects which complement this work.

There are new bike racks being installed throughout the area by a handful of different groups. Have you seen the new cool bike racks at Clark Park? They’re across the street from Cafe con Leche.

Also, the SDBA is also looking at wayfinding — signs and maps that help guide bicyclists through the area. For example, a sign might provide bicyclists with direction and mileage on how to get to specific destinations like downtown, the RiverWalk, Roosevelt Park, and Patton Park. The posted mileage also reminds those who don’t bike just how close some places are — and that perhaps bicycling between them is easier than they may have thought.

This wayfinding project is looking to develop designs that can be used across the city, which would help keep signs more consistent.

Adventure Cycling should have their first of two maps completed this year for their Underground Railroad Bicycle Route through Detroit. That route has been located on West Vernor to take advantage of these bike lanes.

Now wouldn’t it be great if the West Vernor bike lanes could get you to the Rouge Gateway Trail and Hines Drive in Dearborn?

Detroit bike shorts: Suburban updates

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Novi passes non-motorized plan

Congratulations to the city of Novi!

On a 7-0 vote, the Novi City Council adopted the proposed non-motorized master plan which we’d mentioned earlier. This is the first non-motorized plan passed in Oakland County. While Troy developed one earlier, the plan was never adopted by their city council. Royal Oak’s plan is still under development.

Novi  city counilmember Andrew Mutch adds, “The plan provides the framework to guide the continued development of the city’s non-motorized transportation system and includes detailed recommendations for changes to our design and construction standards and ordinances for implementing the recommendations. It also includes concepts plans and cost estimates to implement various aspects of the plan.

The master plan is available on-line along with the presentation made by the consultant before city council.

This plan was developed by the Greenway Collaborative, Wade-Trim and the Active Transportation Alliance.

Berkley adding bike racks

The city of Berkley is installing six new bike racks as part of a SMART grant.

“It’s something we’re seeing more of, and we want to see even more of,” says Tom Colwell, facility manager and parks and recreation director for the city of Berkley.

“Ultimately we’re going to put some of the racks closer to bus shelters and around town,” Colwell says. “What we want to promote is people not driving their own cars everywhere, but getting around by biking. We want to promote a healthier lifestyle.”

The city is also looking at how it could make its roads safer for bicyclists. They also passed a Complete Streets resolution recently.

West Bloomfield extending trail

The Spinal Column has an update on plans to extend the West Bloomfield trail westward to the township border near Haggerty Road.

“We will hire a design coordinator that will work with the commission on developing a design plan and preparing construction drawings,” said Parks and Recreation Commission Director Dan Navarre. “The coordinator will then monitor the construction process so it’s done according to plan.”

When it is completed, the West Bloomfield Trail will stretch out to 6.5 miles.

“We should have the design and the bids done in the fall and we may begin building in the spring of 2012 and hopefully have it finished in June 2012,” Navarre said.

Clawson examines ordinances

In 2009 we noted some of the more ridiculous rules of the road that some local municipalities have. One was Clawson’s ordinance which made it illegal to take your hands off the handlebars while riding.

This article in the Royal Oak Review talks about Clawson’s recent efforts to remove these types of ordinances.

“We are looking into all of our outdated ordinances,” Pollock said. “These are laws that are not going to be enforced.”

The city, like many others in the area, has many old and odd ordinances on the books. They range from the funny — for example, it’s unlawful to ride a bicycle without both hands on the handlebars — to the possibly illegal — it’s against the law in Clawson for a liquor license owner to allow his business to be frequented or become a gathering place for homosexuals.

Wayne State University bike parking map

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

There’s been much discussion in the city of Detroit lately about adding more bike parking.

And during that discussion, we were sent this interesting link from Wayne State University. It shows bike racks on campus and around the perimeter. Clicking on the rack icon makes a window pop up with additional location information. Neat.

Where are the bike racks?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

A new custom-built bike rack at Eastern-Market

Desiree Cooper made an interesting post on her blog called, The Road to a renaissance is lined with bike racks.

Last month I attended one of the Detroit Mayor’s neighborhood forums on the re-imagining of the city. I was amazed at the diversity at the huge gathering (translation: many white people were there). When the residents started voicing their complaints, I heard many of the predictable gripes: Stop the foreclosures! Get rid of abandoned buildings! Fix the public schools!

And then one man raised his hand to be heard. He was young, white and a new Detroit resident. “Where are the bike racks?” he asked indignantly.

The room went silent for a minute. You didn’t hear one “Amen.” With all that faces the city, were we really going to haggle over places to park a Schwinn?

The surprising answer is yes; Detroit’s future might just lie in bike racks.

Of course, the city’s future is not literally dependent just on bike racks. If it were, we’d be one fat CMAQ grant away from solving our problems.**

No, Detroit has many concurrent issues, but the point being the increase in young people moving to the city and adopting bicycling had added one more issue to the list.

Cooper’s post goes on to highlight a Port Huron family that moved to the city. She had a great family photo on bikes.

And in a similar vein, Metro Parent has an article called, Raising Kids in the City of Detroit.

The article covers the serious challenges Detroit families face. One focus is on Lisa McNish. McNish works at the Wheelhouse Detroit so it’s not surprising she got a little plug in for biking in Detroit.

Biking is definitely catching on, [McNish] says. “Detroit doesn’t have as much traffic, per say, so it’s a lot easier to ride and a lot more flexible,” she says. “And you see things that you hadn’t seen before,” like little shops or a neighbor’s yard filled with pet ducks.

Okay. Who cares about where the bike racks are? Where are the pet ducks?

**Note: We should mention that the Woodward Avenue Action Association is now offering grants that could pay for bike racks along Woodward Avenue.