Posts Tagged ‘I-275’

Detroit Bike Shorts for June 7th

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Here are various bike-related updates from around the state and Metro Detroit area —

Model D Speaker Series: Urban Mobility

If you missed this event, don’t worry. Jason Rzucidlo has a nice writeup with photos.

Of course, Model D also covered the event.

Marja Winters, deputy director of the city’s Planning and Development department, said non-motorized transit options are an essential component to the mayor’s Detroit Works Project. Credit the growing movement across the country to urban areas, often for the diversity of options a city affords. “The quality of place is becoming the number one determining factor,” she said. “And ranking high in the decision-making process is the notion of alternative forms of transit.”

We probably would not have heard similar quotes from Detroit’s planning department just a few years ago. This really signals the great deal of progress and increased awareness that has happened during that time.

Bicycle Friendly State rankings

Michigan continues to drop in the state rankings developed by the League of American Bicyclists. The Mitten state is now ranked 22nd and was given a “D”.

This 10 spot drop since 2008 is likely attributable to new ranking criteria and the lack of progress in key areas — progress that other states have made. Michigan received an “F” score in the categories of Infrastructure, Evaluation & Planning, and Enforcement.

Ride challenge for MDOT Director

With the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood biking to work yesterday, we suggested MDOT’s Director Kirk Steudle could do the same via Twitter.

@michigandot OK Director Steudle. You’re next and please post pics  http://t.co/hVNYoFs

MDOT responded with “I forwarded your tweet to Dir. Steudle to let him know. Thanks! ”

GM’s Akerson calls for fuel tax increase

The unwillingness in Washington DC and Lansing to increase fuel taxes has helped led to a transportation funding crisis. (Yeah, sprawl and the lack of regional planning in Metro Detroit are factors as well.)

Bill Ford Jr. has previously advocated for a fuel tax increase. Now, so to has GM’s CEO Dan Akerson according to this Detroit News article.

A government-imposed tax hike, Akerson believes, will prompt more people to buy small cars and do more good for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards.

“You know what I’d rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas,” Akerson said.

“People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans.”

An increased fuel tax can also encourage more people to bike, walk, and use public transit, while providing improved funding.

I-275 Metro Trail

There was a reopening ceremony for a portion of the I-275 bike path on Saturday. We weren’t there, but the Detroit Free Press was. The I-275 path will continue to be expanded northward as the southern portion is rebuilt and reopened. You can stray up to date with the progress by visiting the Friends of the I-275 Pathway on Facebook.

Michigan Airlines Rail-Trail

The Spinal Column is reporting that the Surface Transportation Board has denied a quick abandonment for the rail corridor that many hope will soon become a trail.

STB board members denied Michigan Air-Line Railway’s petition because it didn’t “provide the Board with sufficient evidence regarding the revenues and costs associated with the line, thereby making it impossible to determine what burden, if any, (Michigan Air-Line) Railway incurs in continuing to operate the line.”

Nevertheless, Michigan Air-Line Railway still hopes to get the STB’s approval to abandon the railroad, therefore allowing the trail project to move forward.

“We’re still moving forward with the grant applications,” said Commerce Township Planner Kathleen Jackson. “The NRTF board doesn’t make the grant decision until December, and (Michigan Air-Line Railway) hopes to have an answer by then.”

We do hope this gets resolved prior to the Natural Resource Trust Fund grant decision is made in December. This is the third attempt at getting this grant which will help pay for most of the property.

Metro Detroit trail construction updates

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Conner Creek construction in Maheras Gentry Park

Conner Creek Greenway (Detroit)

The greenway segment from Jefferson to the Detroit River (at Mahera Gentry Park) should be completed this week. Most of this route is bike lanes, but there is also a new pathway through the park.

Clinton River Trail

The new  bridge over Telegraph Road in Pontiac will be completed this spring when they are able to pour the bridge’s concrete surface. It will remain closed until then.

Macomb Orchard Trail

The County expects that one closed bridge to be repaired this winter while the remainder of the trail is paved in the spring.

I-275 Metro Trail

MDOT construction and re-construction projects continue to move further along this pathway. From the north to the south:

  • MDOT expects to build the trail between 14 Mile and Maple next year.
  • The segment between 13 Mile and 14 Mile is nearly done. While the pathway is open, some landscaping work remains and won’t be completed until spring.
  • MDOT and Novi will be developing the connection from 13 Mile Road to the I-275 Metro Trail at Meadowbrook.
  • The trail maintenance from Meadowbrook to Hines Drive is completed and the trail is open.
  • Construction on the segment from Hines Drive to Michigan Avenue continues. MDOT expects the trail to open next month.
  • Construction is also underway from Michigan Avenue to I-94. That should be completed by October 2011.
  • From I-94 to Sibley Road, MDOT is replacing 6 bridges. They do not have funding yet to improve the trail surface.
  • There are no funded reconstruction projects yet for the I-275 path once it gets to Monroe County. That is actually in a different MDOT region. Monroe is very much interested in seeing this trail continued into Downtown Monroe, the Raisin River battlefield (War of 1812), and Sterling State Park.

Metro Detroit Trail Updates for August 2010

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Clinton River Trail: Bridge Groundbreaking

MDOT and the city of Pontiac are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the new trail bridge over Telegraph. The ceremony is August 12th at 10AM on the eastern edge of the bridge near Old Telegraph.

This bridge will connect two important pieces of the Clinton River Trail that are currently very difficult to connect using surface streets. A rendering of the bridge is shown on the right. This project is being funded primarily with ARRA (a.k.a. stimulus) money. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is also contributing.

This still leaves one major gap in the Clinton River Trail for Pontiac: from Bagley Street west of Downtown to the Auburn Hills border at Opdyke.

We are clearly ignoring the trail’s improper signed routing of the Clinton River Trail through Downtown Pontiac on sidewalks. Yes, a newly signed bicycle route on sidewalks.

We’re not sure how such obvious mistake could have been funded by MDOT given the AASHTO bicycle guidelines clear instructions against it — especially within a central business district. It’s unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Macomb Orchard Trail: More Asphalt

The Detroit News is reporting that nine more miles of the Macomb Orchard Trail will be paved.

Officials recently authorized the county to seek a low-interest loan to pay for paving those parts of the trail.

“We’ve already submitted our application and it’s being reviewed,” said Bob Hoepfner, the county’s chief highway engineer. “Hopefully we’ll know if it’s approved in about a month. We’d like to get it paved this year if we can.”

There were many complaints about the existing pea gravel surface, so this is certainly good news for cyclists and pedestrians.

Milford Village: Seeking Sidepaths

Another Oakland County government with its DDA was looking to build a side paths for bicyclists (calling them “safety” paths) in spite of the AASHTO bicycle guidelines against it. This sidepath would include 18 intersections in less than one-third of a mile: 2 sidewalks, 3 roads, and 13 residential driveways.

“We asked how can we do this economically,” [Village Manager Arthur] Shufflebarger said. “The DDA went through the options, and said this one was the least expensive.”

They apparently didn’t go through the AASHTO bicycle design guidelines for options. The least expensive option would be an safe, on-road connection.

That said, the?sidepath project was stopped within the same month due to other reasons.

I-275 Metro Trail: Open House

MDOT is scheduling another 5.5 miles of trail reconstruction along I-275 for next spring. This includes rehabilitating “six bridges and two boardwalks, install a pedestrian signal at Ecorse Road and upgrade signs.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open house-style meeting to provide an overview on the 2011 construction work on the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the bike path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and I-94. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details and provide feedback regarding this project.

The open house is August 10th, from 5pm until 7pm at the Fellows Creek Golf Club (2936 South Lotz Road in Canton.)

New trails, bike shops, and more

Friday, April 9th, 2010

New Trail: Midtown Loop

The official ground breaking ceremony for the Midtown Loop is scheduled for next Thursday, April 15th.

From WLNS:

Construction starts next week on the Midtown Greenway, which will begin as a route for pedestrians and bicyclists circling through Detroit’s Cultural Center area and Wayne State University’s campus.

It’s the first part of a four-phase project that by fall 2012 is expected to link the area with Eastern Market and the Detroit riverfront. Construction crews begin work Monday and an event to mark the start is Thursday.

University Cultural Center Association President Susan Mosey said the project will widen walkways to create more room for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as add landscaping, bike racks, benches and small park areas.

The greenway is designed make the area, which includes the Detroit Institute of Arts, more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.

One thing to keep in mind is that this trail is not geared towards commuters or fast cyclists. It’s a trail for a relaxed, family and touristy rides.

New Bike Shop: Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop

There’s a new bike shop opening in town and there’s a official opening celebration tomorrow, April 9th at 2pm. The shop is located at 163 W. Nine Mile in Ferndale.

Volunteers needed: I-275 Metro Trail Cleanup

From the Detroit Free Press:

Volunteers are needed Saturday for spring cleaning on the I-275 bike path just east of Meadowbrook Road.

Friends of the I-275 Pathway plan to work from 9 a.m.-noon removing litter, trimming overgrown brush and shoveling mud from the path, said communications chair John Bailey, who is a WWJ-AM (950) radio traffic reporter.

Volunteers can park in the commercial parking lot at the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Meadowbrook, on the east side of Meadowbook just south of I-96. Bring flat shovels, rakes and other tools to scrape mud off pavement, he said.

For information, call 248-994-3074 anytime.

Donations sought: Beaumont Bike Day

From My Fox Detroit:

Kids riding on bikes is a sure sign of the season. But for special needs children, riding a bike seems like just a dream. But thanks to Children’s Miracle Network , that dream can come true.

They provide funding for Bike Day at Beaumont Children’s Hospital and you can help as well since these just aren’t any bikes. They’re custom made to suit each child.

FOX 2 and Gardner-White Furniture are asking you to support bike day. Every dollar you donate goes directly to the program allowing each bike to be provded for free. Drop by any Gardner-White Furniture location to make a donation. Or log on to www.beaumonthospitals.com/donate and select ‘Bike Day’ in the drop down to donate online.

I-275 Metro Trail Open House

Friday, March 19th, 2010

MDOT is hosting a public open house to discuss the I-275 Metro Trail from Hines Drive to Michigan Avenue.

March 30, 2010 from 6 – 8 p.m

Plymouth Township Hall, Town Hall Room, 9955 N. Haggerty Road, Plymouth, MI 48170

MDOT and project team staff will host an open house to provide an overview of the project scope and boundaries of this approximately 7-mile section of the I-275 Metro Trail. This section is planned for reconstruction beginning this spring. There will be an opportunity to provide written feedback and input on various elements of the project including trail signs and bridge aesthetics.

For more information, please contact:

  • Gorette Yung at 313-375-2400, yungg@michigan.gov
  • Leah Groya at 313-961-3650, lgroya@wadetrim.com
  • Jayson Nault at 810-220-2112, jayson.nault@tetratech.com

A third and final public open house regarding this section of the trail will be scheduled for April.

Also, Associated Online published an article on the I-275 Metro Trail reconstruction.

The work includes a complete reconstruction of the path between Michigan Avenue and Hines Drive, [John Bailey] said.

“The path will be upgraded to present-day standards, including widening it to 14 feet, constructing proper drainage and slopes, and bringing it in line with ADA compliance,” he said.

Repairs will also be made to the section from Hines Drive north to Meadowbrook Road, which Bailey said isn?t as badly deteriorated as the southern section.

The work includes four new bridges, too: over Fellows Creek, Tonquish Creek, Wiles Drain and Smith Drain.

There’s also positive news on the north end of the I-275 Metro Trail. The Commerce, Walled Lake, and Wixom Trailway Management Council is applying for trail grant funding after a public hearing. The public comment was nearly unanimously in favor of converting this rail line to a non-motorized trail. The lone opposition came from a local business that receives material deliveries from the rail line. Receiving those deliveries by truck would increase their manufacturing costs.

The council hopes to purchase the 5.33 mile railroad and turn it into a paved, non-motorized pathway that will connect to the Huron Valley Trail and the West Bloomfield Trail.

This grant would match an MDOT grant and allow for land acquisition. Later grants would be sought to improve the trail surface, signage, etc.