Posts Tagged ‘Macomb County’

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.

MDOT grants announced for trails and streetscaping

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

MDOT has announced the latest round of Transportation Enhancement funding.

Here are the grantees from the three Metro Detroit counties.

Macomb County

The city of New Baltimore will make streetscape improvements to its historic downtown on Washington Street from Green Street to Front Street. The project will include streetlights, trees, planters, bike racks, street furniture, and staining the existing sidewalk. The project budget is $486,110, including $340,277 in federal TE funds and $145,833 from the city.

Oakland County

The Road Commission for Oakland County, in partnership with West Bloomfield Township, will construct a multi-use trail along an abandoned rail line from Arrowhead Road to Haggerty Road. The trail will be an extension of the West Bloomfield Trail, which connects to the Clinton River Trail. The project includes trail surfacing, roadway crossings, benches, trash receptacles, and trail shoulder restoration with native plant materials. The project budget is $1,111,692, including $611,431 in federal TE funds and $500,261 from West Bloomfield Township Parks and Recreation.

Wayne County

MDOT, in partnership with the city of Detroit and the Greening of Detroit, will install streetscape amenities along US-12 (Michigan Avenue) between 14th Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard. The work includes replacing the concrete sidewalks and adding brick pavers, tree planters, bike loops and trash receptacles. When the project is complete, the Greening of Detroit will place trees in the planters. The project budget is $407,351, including $325,881 in federal TE funds, $71,286 from MDOT and $10,184 from the city.

Both streetscape projects include bike racks.

What’s not on the list is the grant request for Trumbull in Detroit. As we’d last heard, this was a request to reconstruct Trumbull from Warren to W. Grand Boulevard, including adding bike lanes.

Another project that is expected to get funded soon is the next portion of the Conner Creek Greenway from the Mt. Olivet Cemetery to Eight Mile. It includes a combination of bikes lanes on E. Outer Drive/Conner, sidewalks, and bike routes.

As you may recall, Transportation Enhancements has been threatened to be cut in Washington DC. Now is as good a time as ever to contract your Congress member and remind them of the value in these transportation dollars.

Complete Streets in Oakland County

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

We just sent the following letter to Congressman Gary Peters asking his support for continued bike and pedestrian funding and HR 1780 — the federal Complete Streets bill.

The fatality numbers for Oakland County, which Peters represents a portion of, are quite compelling. There have been reductions in road fatalities among motor vehicle operators, but far less so for pedestrians and bicyclists.

For that reason, 29% of all road fatalities in Oakland County in 2010 are now pedestrians and bicyclists. This is an increase from 25% in 2009. The national average? Only 14% in 2009.

And for 2010 Oakland County’s bike and pedestrian fatality percentage is higher than Wayne and Macomb County’s.

Clearly something needs to be done to reduce bicycle and pedestrian deaths in Oakland County. Building Complete Streets needs to be a priority.

[Data sources: Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]

Here is our letter to Congressman Peters:

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Macomb County biking: a mixed bag

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

With only 11 total miles of bike lanes, Oakland County is not even competitive in terms of bike friendliness — except when they’re competing against Macomb County.

Macomb has zero miles of bike lanes.

Harrison Township Supervisor Anthony Forlini tried getting bike lanes but was rebuffed by the Macomb County Road Commission.

Excepted from an archived Macomb Daily editorial, August 18, 2009:

Robert Hoepfner, chief highway engineer for the road commission, has no complaint with bicyclists. But he is concerned about safety. Many county roads simply aren’t wide enough for the kind of designated lanes Forlini described, Hoepfner said.

If county residents want designated areas for bicyclists, “Then let’s build bike paths and make them safe,” he said.

As we noted back in August of 2008 , Hoepfner showed his lack of knowledge on AASHTO design guidelines for bicycle facilities and best practices.

And he apparently hasn’t learned much since then. Just last month he proposed adding a side path to a road widening project. If the road was being widened, why isn’t it being made wide enough for bike lanes? What’s the excuse now?

Bye, Bye Road Commission

Last Tuesday was the last meeting of the Macomb County Road Commission. After creating a county charter, a vote of the people and the amendment of state law, Macomb County was able to combine the county road commission and county government, saving the taxpayers money as well. (Governor Snyder, It shouldn’t be that difficult to combine county government with county road commissions in order to save money.)

Like Wayne County, Macomb County now has a road division as part of county government. It’s accountable to the public, too. They report to the county executive.

Even still, Hoepfner is was named the head of the county road division.

Utica mayor mentions Complete Streets

While Complete Streets policies and ordinances are popping up all over Michigan, there are none in Macomb County.

That might change according to this article in the Advisor & Source Newspapers:

Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan has asked City Attorney William McGrail to look into developing an ordinance based on the “Complete Streets” program, which has already taken root in several Michigan communities.

“This is an important issue and we should take a position on it,” Noonan told the Utica City Council on Dec. 14. “We should set ourselves up to do what seems to be the wave of the future – transportation for the human beings involved.”

“Complete Streets highlights that any improvement should speak to the issue of not just vehicular traffic but pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well,” Noonan said. “It also pays attention to transit development, such as the railroad that runs through this city. All of these issues are brought into play in the movement called Complete Streets.”

Could Utica lead the way to bike friendliness in Utica?

First bike lanes in Macomb?

Despite the positive words from Utica, its more likely that the first bike lanes in Macomb County just south of Selfridge. They would be part of the Lake St. Clair Shoreline Trail project. This project includes a bike lanes along portions of S. River Road, Bridgeview, and N. River Road. The bike lanes connect Jefferson Avenue with the planned shared-use path along the east border of the Selfridge golf course and along the shoreline.

The county’s Request for Quotes (PDF) from last September does provide some additional details on the project.

It remains to be seen what happens in Macomb County, but at least there are some signs of progress.

Major Detroit trail and park grants get the nod

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

The Dequindre Trail abuts the historic Globe Building

Yesterday was likely the biggest day in Michigan history for greenspace grant decisions largely due to a recent windfall in gas and oil leases on state land.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board of Trustees today recommended to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm that 117 recreation projects and land acquisitions totaling $102,098,400 be funded in 2011. The board this year had considered 165 applications for development and acquisition projects totaling $140.4 million, which were competitively evaluated based on scoring criteria developed by the MNRTF board.

“Michigan’s remarkable natural resources help to make our state more appealing to residents and visitors alike,” said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. “The important work of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund makes it possible to acquire and safeguard some of our most beautiful natural and recreational areas for the enjoyment of current and future generations.”

Of course these grant decisions are not final and are subject to a review by the Governor before the Michigan legislature actually appropriates the money sometime next year.

So, how’d this area do?

City of Detroit

Clearly the biggest winner was the Detroit RiverWalk, Milliken State Park, and Dequindre Cut. These three projects were recommended for a whopping $34.4 million for land acquisition.

Here’s how that funding breaks down. Note the the DNRE was the applicant for the first three, while Detroit applied for the Dequindre Cut expansion.

  • William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor (Wayne County) – $20 million. This funding will be used to acquire three to six large private inholding parcels and trail easements along the Detroit Riverfront as additions to the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor in downtown Detroit.
  • Globe Building Adventure and Discovery Center Acquisition (Wayne County) – $9 million. This funding would be used by the DNRE to acquire 48,000 square feet of built-out space in the Globe Building for the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor Adventure and Discovery Center in downtown Detroit.
  • Detroit Riverfront Easements and Acquisitions (Wayne County) – $5 million. These funds would be used by the DNRE to acquire public use easements and land acquisitions along the Detroit River from the Ambassador Bridge to the MacArthur Bridge as part of a 5-mile-long public greenway.
  • Dequindre Cut Expansion, City of Detroit (Wayne County) – $375,000. These funds would be used to acquire a 0.7-mile section of abandoned rail corridor in downtown Detroit that continues the Dequindre Cut north, connecting the Detroit Riverfront to the historic Eastern Market.

A million dollars in Detroit Recreational Department projects were also recommended, both of which include trails. These grants  along with the Dequindre Cut grant would not have been possible without the city’s recreation plan being approved earlier this year — a basic requirement for this funding source.

  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $500,000 to develop the Balduck Park In-Town Youth Camp and Family Picnic Area. This will include restrooms, picnic shelter, play area, nature trail, walking path, camp activity areas, pathways and interpretive signs.
  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $500,000 for improvements to Patton Park, including construction of two softball diamonds, lighting, comfort station, picnic shelter, parking lot improvements, connecting pathways, and an asphalt trail linking the Greenway to the sidewalks.

Wayne County

Four other projects in Wayne County were recommended:

  • Northville Township (Wayne County) – $3,053,700. These funds would be used for Phase II acquisition of 51.01 acres to create a linear park connecting the former Northville State Hospital property with the Wayne County Hines Parkway system and also preserve 200-year-old growth forest and link to the Southeast Michigan Greenways Network.
  • Wayne County is recommended to receive $500,000 to develop the Refuge Gateway Boat Dock/Fishing Pier for the Great Lakes Schoolship and associated recreational features.
  • City of Flat Rock (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $447,900 for the Flat Rock-Oakwood Metro Park Connector. This project will develop 1.93 miles of trail linking the Flat Rock Greenway to the Oakwood Metro Park Greenway to create a contiguous 23-mile greenway system in southeast Michigan.
  • City of Inkster (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $408,000 to develop a 4.5-mile Inkster Park Greenway Trail through the city along Wayne County parkland adjacent to the Lower Rouge River.

Oakland County

Five projects in Oakland County were recommended, but perhaps the biggest news was the one that wasn’t, the Wixom, Commerce, Walled Lake rail-trail, part of the Michigan Air Line. It was rejected last year due to a lack of matching funds. This year the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) spoke against it since the original plan would have negatLively impacted a local rail customer. That plan had been updated to remove that impact but MEDC was apparently unaware of it and no one was at the meeting to address the update. This is very unfortunate given the large amount of funding available this year.

  • West Bloomfield Township (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $500,000 to develop a 2.5-mile, 10-foot wide aggregate path; road crossings; benches; interpretive signs; native seeding along the West Bloomfield Trail, which is part of the Michigan Airline Trail system.
  • City of Novi (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $437,500 to develop a trailhead for Landings Park for the existing and future non-motorized regional pathway system within the 11-acre Landings parkland, with an accessible waterfront park with 835 feet of naturalized shoreline.
  • Oakland County is recommended to receive $308,000 to develop universally accessible amenities at Highland Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Red Oaks and Rose Oaks parks.
  • Oakland Township (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $154,900 for the improvements at the Lost Lake Nature Park, including renovation of existing residence for nature center use, a fishing dock, non-motorized boating, nature observation/education, accessibility improvements to parking lot, pedestrian routes, interpretative signage and storm water buffers.
  • Village of Leonard (Oakland County) – $22,500. This funding would be used to acquire 0.28 acres of property adjacent to the Polly Ann Trail.

Macomb County

Only one project was recommended in Macomb County. The county had submitted a grant request for the Lake St. Clair Shoreline Trail between Selfridge AFB and the lake. That was rejected since the land was already in public ownership. The case was being made that although it was in public ownership, it hadn’t been open to the public. Apparently that argument didn’t win out.

  • Macomb County is recommended to receive $205,000 to develop the Nicholson Nature Center, including a restroom facility, classrooms, boardwalk, trails, stream crossings, wetlands enhancement and signage.

Link: Complete list of all funding recommendations