Posts Tagged ‘Clawson’

Southeast Oakland County bike summit

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

A bike summit is planned for this Wednesday, December 12th at 7 PM in the Royal Oak Public Library (222 E. 11 Mile Road.)

The purpose it to provide updates on efforts to improve biking in Southeast Oakland County, primarily Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Huntington Woods, Madison Heights and Royal Oak. There will also be an update on a new bike route map some of us have been working on. The Road Commission for Oakland County will also share their recent Complete Streets report.

The Detroit Free Press has this article describing the summit as well as this interesting story from Huntington Woods.

In 2010, Berkley and Huntington Woods residents who live on 11 Mile Road rejected what could’ve been a bike-friendly narrowing of 11 Mile during repaving from Woodward to Coolidge.

“We thought it would improve everyone’s property value along there, to have one lane (of traffic) each way instead of two, but the residents didn’t want it,” Huntington Woods City Manager Alex Allie said.

A road diet on 11 Mile would have had no affect on vehicle congestion. Some people just don’t want improved property values, less speeding, reduced noise, safer streets and a more walkable, bikeable community.

This raises the question of why do we let those who live along a public road limit how safe it will be? Isn’t safety more important than the opinions of some residents?

Apparently not yet in some parts of Southeast Oakland County.

Gran Fondo

The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) will also be at the summit to discuss their Complete Streets planning effort and proposed race/ride on Woodward.

The ride and race event is called the Gran Fondo, and while the WA3 boards, MDOT and others support it, Royal Oak’s city manager has come out strongly opposing it. The police chief opposed the ride because motorists speed on Woodward, will get road rage, and senior church goers will be confused.

Modeshift has excellent coverage of the recent Gran Fondo discussion before the Royal Oak City Commission.

Royal Oak’s bicycle ban

While the Royal Oak Commission did not vote on the Gran Fondo, they did move towards banning bicycle riding on downtown sidewalks. What the Commission failed to discuss is why cyclists ride on the sidewalk to begin with. Mayor Jim Ellison was quite certain it was only because they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to.

Apparenty Royal Oak Commissioners don’t ride bicycle much downtown. If they did they’d know that the city’s streets are not comfortable to ride for a majority of bicyclists. They feel safer on the sidewalks. If they made any investments to make more bike friendly streets in the downtown, it would draw cyclists off the sidewalks.

Instead the City is proposing they invest in signs banning bicycles. We estimate it will take about 40 signs or roughly $6,000 to properly sign the downtown per state law requirements.

And contrary to what was said at the recent Royal Oak Commission, without these signs, the city’s ban on bicycle riding is not enforceable.

One thought we’ll share at the summit is these Southeast Oakland County communities are relatively more progressive than many of the other neighboring communities, but they’re much less progressive compared with the city of Detroit. For as much attention Detroit gets for having a “broken government” they are consistently more supportive and committed when it comes to being bike friendly.

Grassroots Southeast Oakland County bike route mapping

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

From Tom Regan of Royal Oak:

If you cycle frequently you have probably mapped out some safe and quick ways to get from here to there (say, from Royal Oak to Berkely, or from Clawson to Ferndale). Now it is time to share your knowledge.

We are collecting safe biking routes into one large regional biking map. With help from the Oakland County mapping department we will collate the data and publish this map sometime in the spring of 2012.

Residents of Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, and Royal Oak are invited and encouraged to attend. If you live in another city and would like to join please call or email me directly and we will add you in.

Join us:

Come by any time between 7pm and 8:30pm to share your map ideas.This event is a joint project of the Royal Oak Environmental Advisory Board and environmental advisory boards in Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, and Pleasant Ridge. Thank you also to the Oakland County mapping department for their kind offer to collate our mapping data.Please spread the word any way you can.
Tom Regan
3126 Glenview
Royal Oak, MI 48073
home: 248-435-0147
cell: 248-797-1075
tregan3@hotmail.com

Spring Rolls: a progressive dinner on bikes

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

This Thursday is another bike ride progressive beginning in Royal Oak. Here are the details:

Please join us for “Spring Rolls,” our Spring 2011 Progressive Dinner on Bikes, in Royal Oak, Clawson and Berkeley.

Thursday, March 31st.  The itinerary:

(Optional) Before-dinner drinks at Lily’s Seafood 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

  • Leave from Lily’s to begin ride at 6:30pm sharp.
  • Appetizers at Black Lotus, corner of 14 Mile and Main in Clawson.
  • Entree at Pasquales, 3155 Woodward in Royal Oak.
  • Dessert at Sugar Kisses Bakery, 2688 Coolidge in Berkley (they normally close at 6pm but are staying open late just for us).
  • Free! After-glow courtesy of Urbane Apartments at their co-work room, 310 W. 6th in downtown Royal Oak.

The ride will end after dark, so please wear reflective clothing and put lights on your bike.  There is no fee to participate, you only pay for what you eat and drink.  Please bring small bills to ease paying the tabs.

Join us for a fun and productive evening.  We’ll get the latest updates about the non-motorized transportation plan in Royal Oak and the campaign for complete streets in Berkley.

RSVP requested but not required.  4 ways to RSVP:

Tom  Regan

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.

City of Clawson supports Complete Streets policies

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Clawson's Main Street design with bike lanes

Back in early December, Clawson’s city council passed a resolution supporting a Complete Streets policy.

According to the minutes, City Manager Mark Pollock provided this background prior to the vote.

Complete Streets is a design or planning principle to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. ?The City of Clawson already incorporates many of the goals of the Complete Streets philosophy into the projects it undertakes. This is evidenced by the recent renovations of the downtown main intersection and streetscape projects. ?The resolution supporting a Complete Streets Policy pledges the City’s continued commitment to the complete streets philosophy and may assist the City in applications for funding available under the revised statutes. My recommendation is the resolution supporting a Complete Streets? Policy for the City of Clawson be approved and forwarded to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and State Transportation Commission (STC).

City council passed the Complete Streets resolution unanimously. That resolution is below the fold.

Clawson now joins Berkley, Ferndale and Novi as Oakland County municipalities that have adopted Complete Streets ordinances or policies — or have good intentions.

Now perhaps it’s time to revisit those bike lanes planned for Main Street that never got constructed.

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