Posts Tagged ‘Conner Creek Greenway’

A cycling perspective on Detroit’s EFM

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Detroit EFMOn Friday, Governor Rick Snyder announced his plans to install an Emergency Finance Manager or EFM in the city of Detroit.

There are many varied opinions on this, but we’ll just look at it from a cycling and trails perspective just as we did with the earlier consent agreement.

The Mayor’s office and City Council have been very supportive of making the city more bike friendly and more walkable. There’s not another city in Metro Detroit that’s doing more. So from a high-level perspective, an EFM reduces their influence and could potentially derail some of this positive momentum.

Will that happen? Probably not.

The EFM will likely focus on general funding issues. Most of the bike and trail work is funded through grants, philanthropy, and the city’s road fund, which comes from the state and federal government. General funds are not used to build bike lanes or trails. The state and federal road funds cannot be spent on anything but transportation according to Michigan’s Constitution.

However, general funds are used to maintain city parks, through which some trails pass. Those park services were severely cut after the failed Belle Isle lease proposal. The park closure most directly affecting trails is Maheras-Gentry. The Conner Creek Greenway would remain open, but the park entrance maybe closed to motor vehicles.

According to the Detroit Free Press, public transit, lighting, and public safety are more likely to be affected. Certainly these all affect bicycling and walking as well. Deeper cuts to public transit could force more people to seek alternative travel options, like biking. And, Detroit surveys say that adequate lighting and public safety are key requirements for residents to walk and bike more, especially at night.

One area of concern is will key city employees seek other employment during this tumultuous time. Traffic Engineering recently lost two designers to other opportunities. At least one will be able to be rehired. But again, Traffic Engineering doesn’t rely on the general fund. Filling other vacant staff positions under an EFM might not be challenging.

There is one EFM rumor that we know is false. Detroit’s EFM will probably not be the young cyclist with training wheels shown on the Governor’s EFM brochure.

What are your thoughts?

Greenway job opportunity on Detroit’s Eastside

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

From the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative:

Job Title: Executive Director

Reports to: Chairperson or Appointed Representative, Board of Directors

Job Term: One-year contractual engagement. Full-time work schedule will include a set of core hours, but will require accommodations for some evenings and weekends.

Job Scope: Manage the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative and direct the planning, design, construction, programming, and general operations of the Conner Creek Greenway and related greenways with a goal of developing a linked network of greenways to connect people and places on Detroit’s Eastside.

Required Qualifications:
o Minimum Bachelor’s degree, preferred Master’s degree, in planning, natural resources, public policy, health or other related field.
o Familiarity with greenway operations including design, construction, programming, maintenance and fundraising
o Excellent project management and organizational skills
o Demonstrated ability to manage staff or interns
o Demonstrated experience fundraising and managing organizational and programmatic budgets
o Excellent communication and interpersonal skills both verbal and written
o Proven ability to take initiative and work independently
o Experience with computer software including Microsoft Office Suite and social media including Constant Contact and Facebook

Desired Qualifications:
o Resident of Detroit
o Familiarity with Detroit’s Eastside

Key Responsibilities
o Serve as chief executive officer of the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative overseeing financial and administrative work
o Conduct and manage fundraising efforts
o Manage Conner Creek Greenway Operations including design, construction, programming and maintenance
o Coordinate greenway operations with partners such as City of Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Detroit Greenways Coalition, etc.
o Support development of related greenways such as the Elmwood Connector and Belt Line Greenway
o Support city-wide greenway efforts through the Detroit Greenways Coalition, Food & Fitness Initiative and GREEN Task Force
o Coordinate events to promote awareness and use of the greenway as needed
o Oversee Farm to Head Start Program
o Monitor Earn-A-Bike Program
o Work with community partners, community organizations and residents to support clean, safe and well-used greenway(s)
o Provide regular reporting, program analysis, budget updates and course correction to the Board of Directors as needed.

Contract range – $45,000-$60,000 commensurate with experience. Contractor is responsible for covering his or her own benefits.

How To Apply
Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative is an equal opportunity employer. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, resume and three (3) references to:

Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
4401 Conner Street
Detroit, Michigan 48215-2201

Please submit resumes by January 18, 2013

Revised 12/12/12

Youth Earn-a-bike in Detroit’s Osborn Community

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This is the fourth week for a youth earn-a-bike program in the Osborn community, more specifically at E. Outer Drive and Van Dyke Avenue. Once again, Mode Shift has covered this program quite comprehensively in this article.

Basically, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy directed a $12,500 grant to the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) to run a youth earn-a-bike program that also did community service. This DECC program was 2 two-week sessions for kids 10-14. Thirty used bikes, parts, and tools were purchased through The Hub of Detroit. The youth learned how to repair a bike – which they kept – and did work in the community along with group rides. They also got helmets, bike locks, and bike lights.

Why Osborn? There have been earn-a-bikes in various parts of Detroit, but not in Osborn despite it having a high concentration of youth. And, the Milbank Greenway is located here along with a new segment of the Conner Creek Greenway, which is being constructed this year.

Also, this area was the focus of a series of Free Press articles on Safe Routes to School. For some, being able to bike to school might be a safer, quicker alternative to walking and the DDOT buses. A related note, The Hub of Detroit did a survey of students at the School of Performing Arts in Detroit. Not having a bike was the second most common reason for not riding to school. (Number one was the fear of bike theft and bullying.)

Part of the community service involves a pop-up bike shop where the youth and instructors will do free minor repairs on bikes. The shop be on the Milbank Greenway at Van Dyke (just north of E. Outer Drive) this Thursday, August 16th from 10am until noon.

What happens next? DECC has tools and workstands to keep this program running on Detroit’s east side. More funding would be needed for the bikes, parts, and instructors. Stay tuned.


Inaugural Cycle into Spring ride is May 19th

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

From the Conner Creek Greenway web site:

Join the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative for the first annual Cycle into Spring!

Enjoy a pleasant pedal from the Detroit River to Eight Mile and back along the Conner Creek Greenway (CCG), nine miles of cycling infrastructure that traces the original Conner Creek and links people, parks, green spaces, neighborhoods, schools and shops. Five miles are complete; funds raised at Cycle into Spring! will support programming and the development of the final four miles of the greenway. Refreshments provided at rest stop.

Sites along the route include Chrysler Mack Assembly, Wayne County Community College, Chandler Park, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Conner Playfield, Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport, Better Made Snack Food Factory and the Milbank Trail.

Cost: $25; $35 includes a full lunch from Slow’s Bar B Q post-ride. $15 lunch only.

Register now!

Check out our event on Facebook and tell your friends.

New Detroit bike lanes for 2012

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

There are bike lanes planned for the city of Detroit that are expected to be completed this year. Here’s a run down of those projects.

Midtown bike lanes

The below projects all tie together to create on consistent north-south bike route from Cass Tech to New Center. Though not a bike lane, phase II construction of the Midtown Loop will begin this year, extending the pathway south on John R and on Canfield from John R to Cass. The segment along Cass is now phase III.

Second Avenue from Grand Boulevard to Palmer – The street is being returned to two-way travel with bike lanes added for most of it. There is insufficient road width north of the railroad underpass so sharrows will be used.

Anthony Wayne Drive from Palmer to Warren – Bike lanes will be added.

Third Avenue from Warren to Ledyard – This segment will become all two-way with bike lanes.

Cass Park – All of the streets surrounding the park will receive bike lanes.

Conner Creek Greenway

Another phase of this eastside greenway is being constructed this year. This time the portion between 6 Mile and 8 Mile is the focus. E. Outer Drive and Conner Avenue below the Milbank Greenway (which is just north of E. Outer Drive) will get bike lanes.

Trumbull Enhancements

Bike lanes will be added to Trumbull from Warren Avenue north to about Holden. We haven’t seen the drawings, but that’s what we’ve heard. The City has said they would look into continuing the Trumbull bike lanes from Warren south to MLK though there is no timeframe for that.

Safety Improvement Projects

These are the safety projects we’d mentioned earlier. There is one additional public meeting to discuss safety improvements to West Chicago from Spinozza (Rouge Park) just about to Livernois. That meeting is Monday, February 20th from 5pm to 7pm at the Don Bosco Hall, 19321 W. Chicago. We’re told the plans for W. Chicago include bike lanes but we don’t know to what extent yet. We do know they make a great east-west connection to Rouge Park which has great roads, pathways, and trails for biking. Spinozza also connects with W. Outer Drive, another great Detroit biking road.

Dix Road from Waterman/W. Vernor to Woodmere – This is basically an extension of the existing bike lanes on W. Vernor which provides a connection with the pathway in Patton Park.

Central from W. Vernor to McGraw – Only portions of the Central will get bike lanes. At times the road is too narrow so sharrows will be used instead. Central become an even more critical biking route after the Detroit International Freight Transfer Project (DIFT) closes nearby Lonyo Road. Central is also part of the proposed Inner Circle Greenway route that encircles the city.

E. Seven Mile from I-75 to Gratiot is also a safety improvement project but there was insufficient room to add bike lanes. However, like the roads mentioned above, the designs are such that they encourage motorists to drive more prudently.