Posts Tagged ‘Clinton River Trail’

2012 Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund Grants

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The 2012 recommendations for Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund grants have been announced. There were just five in Southeast Michigan.

  1. Macomb County – Shelby Township, Riverbends Park to Macomb Orchard Trail Connection - $300,000 – Development to include trail connection from Riverbends Park to Orchard Trail.
  2. Macomb County – City of New Baltimore, County Line Road non-Motorized Pedestrian Path – $116,000 – Development to include completing the remaining section of pathway on County Line Road from the Crapeau Creek to Main Street.
  3. Macomb County – City of Fraser, McKinley Barrier-Free Park Improvements – $300,000 – Development to include universally-accessible barrier-free parking lot, sidewalk, walking path, basketball court and site amenities.
  4. Washtenaw County – City of Ypsilanti, River’s Edge Linear Park and Trail Development – $300,000 – Development to include multi-use trail, plaza, fishing pier, river overlook, signage and site amenities.
  5. Wayne County – City of Dearborn, Rouge River Gateway Trail Extension – $280,000 – Development to include 1/4-mile trail extension of the Rouge River Gateway Trail to connect to Ford Field Park.

This information is just the overview so it’s not easy determining exactly what each project entails.

The first couple Macomb county grants are for their 70-mile loop. The Shelby Township portion is part of the critical trail connecting the Metro Parkway to the Macomb Orchard Trail, Clinton River Trail, and Paint Creek Trails.

Many years ago Riverbends Park and Bloomer Park were the Rochester-Utica State Park. There used to be an old wooden bridge across the Clinton River that connected the two portions of the state park near the Yates Cider Mill. Governor Engler sold the state park to the city of Rochester Hills and Shelby Township. With the bridge falling into disrepair, it was eventually removed.

We’d much prefer seeing a new bridge rather than a sidepath along Avon Road and an unsafe crossing at 23 Mile Road. However, we also recognize that the sidepath would be completely within Macomb County and that does make implementation more expedient.

Rouge Gateway Extension

The Dearborn grant is welcomed news. Getting to the Rouge Gateway Trail head at Andiamo’s is not easily accomplished by bicycle at this time. Connecting to Ford Field makes a great deal of sense. Of course, connecting the Rouge Gateway down to Fort Street makes even more sense but has a much bigger price tag.

Of course these grants are merely recommendations at this point. In the past, the Michigan legislation simply passed the recommendations without politicizing the process. That all changed last year, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Rochester Hills doesn’t have some basic traffic ordinances

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

This story started with a trip on the Clinton River Trail through Rochester Hills. The trail crosses Crooks Road midblock. There’s a stop sign for the trail users and a crosswalk, but no stop sign for road users.

There’s another sign for trail users: Cross traffic does not stop.

This is odd for two reasons. First, it’s not the intended use of this sign according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). These signs are for two-way stops that users might mistake as four-way. That’s not the case here.

But secondly, road users are supposed to stop when a user is in the crosswalk. If you’re going to invest in signs, shouldn’t they tell the motorists to yield to those in the crosswalk?

Not in Rochester Hills

Most cities adopt the Uniform Traffic Code (UTC) in their city ordinances which includes a provision for motorists and other road users yielding to pedestrians.

Rochester Hills apparently forgot to include this. It appears as if it used to be in Article III of Chapter 98 according to one of the park ordinances. It’s not there now.

The Rochester Hills City Council did just update these ordinances and included the Michigan Vehicle Code, but they must have overlooked the Uniform Traffic Code. Or did they?

What does this mean?

In Michigan, the “rules of the road” have been divided between the Michigan Vehicle Code and the Uniform Traffic Code. Among many other rules, the Uniform Traffic Code includes:

  • Road users yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalks (Note that state law requires yielding to pedestrians and bicycles only when turning through a crosswalk.)
  • Prohibiting jaywalking and hitchhiking
  • Prohibiting littering on streets
  • Prohibiting driving on sidewalks
  • Requiring pedestrians to yield to vehicles outside of crosswalks
  • Requiring vehicle drivers to exercise due care around pedestrians, but especially children
  • Treating skateboarders, roller skaters, or in-line skaters as pedestrians and prohibiting them from roads

We’re not suggesting you try all these, but if you are struck by a car that fails to yield on a trail crossing in Rochester Hills, don’t expect city ordinances to help.

As for the rest of the Clinton River Trail, Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Rochester have adopted the Uniform Traffic Code. Sylvan Lake has not.

How to make Pontiac more walkable and bike-able

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Clinton_River_Trail is routed away from the downtown Pontiac businesses -- and on sidewalks

How can the city of Pontiac’s transportation network be improved so that it brings more business and life to the downtown?

A public meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, March 17th from 10am until noon at the Crofoot Ballroom to discuss that.

This Oakland Press article has more information:

Oakland County planners are trying to figure out ways to attract traffic into downtown Pontiac, rather than have traffic diverted around the downtown district.

The public is invited to attend a meeting with local government officials, planners, residents and business owners to discuss how to fix what many argue has become a barrier for the neighborhoods and surrounding communities.

The group also has been examining the city’s transportation links, assets and past planning documents.

The data, along with input from residents, will create an action plan for the Woodward Loop and to improve the city’s streets, sidewalks and bike path system.

Here’s one obvious suggestion: Stop routing the Clinton River Trail around the downtown. The trail should go through the main downtown business area using the roads.

It shouldn’t be routed on sidewalks. Besides ignoring the downtown businesses, the trail design ignores best practices.

 

Clinton River Trail bridge under construction

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

The Friends of the Clinton River Trail have posted some very exciting construction photos of the Clinton River Trail bridge over Telegraph Road in Pontiac.

According to the Friends site, “Progress is being made on the bridge, with the ramps set and the first steel spans in place… Engineers say they are on track to have the bridge open by sometime in June!”

For more information and many more construction photos, visit the Friends of the Clinton River Trail blog site.

Clinton River Trail Map app for Android phones

Monday, April 4th, 2011

We recently received this notice from the Friends of the Clinton River Trail email list. And although we still have a dumb phone, we’re looking forward to using this someday and seeing  similar mobile applications that help promote biking in Metro Detroit.

Friends Group member, Doug Gordon, has created a free app for the Clinton River Trail.

Version 1.0 of the Clinton River Trail Android application is up and available on the Android Market. Those with Android smartphones should know how to install it. Search for “clinton river” and you’ll find it (just searching for “clinton” brings up too many political-related apps!).

This first version has a copy of our standard map that you can drag around on the screen to view different parts. Tapping on any of the 17 numbered points of interest brings up a short description. And that’s about it to start with.

Plans for the future include:

  • Using GPS to show where you are on or near the trail, with possible distances to nearby facilities.
  • Additional text about locations along and near the trail.
  • Support for gestures to zoom in and out.
  • Photos at various locations when you tap on them (e.g., at the Rotary Overlook).
  • News feed for trail information (e.g., the upcoming construction closure).