Posts Tagged ‘Dearborn’

TAP grants fund local bicycle and trail projects

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The current Federal Transportation bill made many changes to how we fund non-motorized projects. One major change was the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) functionally replaced the old Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. The bill also required MDOT to share that TAP funding to groups like SEMCOG that would make grants within their seven county region.

At the national level, this sharing was considered a “win”. In Michigan, MDOT did a fair job with TE funding, so this may be a negative since it adds complexity and requires advocates to monitor two separate granting programs.

Either way, the first round of SEMCOG TAP grant funding has been announced — a total of $6.3 million in grants:

  • City of New Baltimore, Connection to the County Line Rd. Path, $183,016
  • City of Monroe, North Dixie Highway Median, $80,000
  • City of Auburn Hills, Opdyke Pathway Gaps, $267,475
  • City of Auburn Hills, Downtown Riverwalk Squirrel Ct Improvements, $194,589
  • City of Ferndale, Livernois Complete Street, $118,094.40
  • City of Ferndale, West Nine Mile Streetscape Improvement (Livernois to Pinecrest) Phase IV, $590,134
  • City of Novi, Metro Connector Trail, $741,200
  • City of Rochester, Safety Crossing, $99,970
  • St. Clair County Road Commission, Bridge to Bay Trail on Desmond Landing, $211,339
  • City of Port Huron, Bridge to Bay trail – 10th Street to Military Street, $250,614
  • Ypsilanti Twp (Road Commission for Washtenaw County), Grove Road trail reconstruction, $763,000
  • City of Allen Park, Ecorse Road Streetscape, $626,883
  • City of Dearborn, Proposed Rouge River Greenway Extension Project- UM Dearborn Connection, $242,830
  • City of Dearborn, Rouge River Gateway Trail Extension Phase I, $302,000
  • City of Detroit, West Vernor / Woodmere to Clark Streetscape, $1,000,000
  • City of Detroit, Congress Streetscape, $636,310

Our favorite? Ferndale’s Livernois Complete Street project will provide bike lanes and more to improve the cycling connection between Ferndale (at 9 Mile) and Detroit. The city of Detroit is also looking at improvements to Livernois south of Eight Mile. When completed, this will provide a nice route between the University District/Sherwood Forest neighborhoods and downtown Ferndale.

We also like Dearborn’s extension of the Rouge Gateway Trail from Andiamo’s Restaurant and westward. Ending in a restaurant parking lot on a busy Michigan Avenue is far from ideal. Continuing the trail to the nearby neighborhood and park is a great idea.

Many of the other projects are wide sidewalks and sidepaths along roads. With the exception of Novi’s project (which connects two MDOT trails), it’s disappointing to see these projects funded from a limited source. We think the cities should pay for sidewalks and sidepaths, especially since in so many cases they less safe and more costly than other options.

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.

Making connections with Detroit Greenways

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The Heritage Newspaper’s Press and Guide had a recent article on greenways in Metro Detroit.

It’s a good article with a focus more on the Dearborn, Detroit, and Downriver areas.

Still, we’re a little unclear about some statements.

Detroit is leading the way in the endeavor, and currently has more greenways than any other city in the country, quite a change for a city that built its reputation on the automobile. In Detroit’s favor, it is a city with many, many miles of unused railways, which advocates hope will eventually be converted totally to greenways.

We’re not sure the city of Detroit has more greenways than any other city, but it could very well be among the leaders from an investment perspective.

And this is a great quote from Tom Woiwode of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

“Ultimately, the goal of the GreenWays Initiative is to connect all the communities in southeast Michigan and to link the system with projects outside the region,” said Woiwode. “In the meantime, watching as greenways are embraced by a region known for the automobile continues to be a pleasure.”

The article does end on a flat note.

“Every day, we are a little closer to being able to travel the whole tri-county area without ever setting foot on a road.”

That’s neither true nor realistic — and not even desirable. Many of the planned greenways in Detroit are partially, if not 100% on the road.

Riding on roads is not a bad thing to be avoided. What we need to avoid is building roads that don’t safely accommodate bicyclists. We need Complete Streets.

Chances are we’re not building a greenway to your front door. Or your school. Or your work. We just need to fix the roads between your starting and ending points.

Bike to Work Ride from Dearborn

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I just received these photos from Michael Boettcher, the Executive Director for the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority. We had a small group which was perhaps due to it being the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. Still, it was a great ride from Dearborn to Campus Martius.

Bike to Work Day – Dearborn to Detroit

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Last Friday was Detroit Synergy’s organized bike to work day from Downtown Dearborn to Campus Martius in Detroit.  It was a light turnout, which was surprising giving the great weather and high gas prices.  Perhaps many were getting an early start on their Memorial Day Weekend plans.

Nonetheless, we had a great ride straight down Michigan Avenue.  Channel 7 came out and covered the ride. Thanks to Alex, Detroit Synergy, Michael Boettcher (East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority), the Dearborn Police, and the Mercury Coffee Shop.