Posts Tagged ‘Midtown Loop’

We got a TIGER for the trail!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

After getting rejected for funding in the TIGER III, the city of Detroit and collaborators tweaked the grant proposal and re-submitted for TIGER IV.

We didn’t get the $15.3 million we asked for, but we did get $10 million.

What does this fund? The proposal centers around Eastern Market by improving streetscapes and bridges, while making three non-motorized connections via a Dequindre Cut extension, another segment of the Midtown Loop, and bike lanes to the proposed Hamtramck Trails network.

There’s more coverage on the MTGA web site and in articles by Crain’s Detroit Business and mLIVE.

Globe Trading Building

While these greenway connections improve access to Eastern Market, they also improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians heading to the Detroit RiverWalk and Milliken State Park. As for the latter, last month the DNR announced their $12.8 million investment in an Outdoor Discovery Adventure Center in the park and along the Dequindre Cut.

This Free Press article makes it sound like quite the trail-side attraction.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said this morning it anticipates as many as a million visitors a year coming to its planned discovery center to be built in the historic Globe Building on Detroit?s east riverfront.

Features will include a 60-foot climbing wall, an archery range, simulator rides demonstrating kayaking and other water sports, and classrooms to teach schoolchildren and other visitors outdoor safety as well as the science of natural resources and wetlands.

And yes, a young Henry Ford was an apprentice in this building while working on ship engines.

Given the current state of the Globe Trading Building, it’s difficult imagining that it will be open next year, but that is the timeline.

The DNR also expects a million visitors a year.

Midtown and RiverWalk construction updates

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

These updates are from Midtown Detroit:

Midtown LoopPhase II construction began on April 16th. Construction goes along the north side of Canfield Avenue from Cass to John R. and continues south along the east side of John R. to Mack.

Second Avenue Two-Way Conversion Project – will convert Second Avenue to a two-way street with bike lanes from I-94 to West Grand Blvd. New decorative LED street lighting will also be installed. Construction will begin May 1st.

Third Avenue Two-Way Conversion Project – will begin on May 7th and is planned to end on July 15th. This project will convert Third Avenue between Ledyard and Forest to two-way traffic, add bike lanes in both directions, and maintain parking along both sides of the street.

Anthony Wayne Drive is also getting bike lanes which connects the Second and Third Avenue projects.

Trumbull from Warren to Holden is also getting bike lanes this year, though it’ll likely happen later in the season.

Mt. Elliott Plaza

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will begin construction on an new plaza and splash park at Mt. Elliott Park this June. The construction should be completed in a year.

The plaza will be similar in size to the one currently at Gabriel Richard Park at the foot of the bridge to Belle Isle.

The splash park has a schooner theme with masts, waterfalls, a river, and water cannons. It looks very cool! It’s the kind of attraction that will definitely pull kids and families to the park.

The schooner does not have a name, but you can change that by making a serious donation.

 

City of Detroit submits TIGER IV grant

Monday, March 19th, 2012

We mentioned Detroit submitted a TIGER III transportation grant that would have extended the Dequindre Cut and Midtown Loop. built bike lanes from Eastern Market to the planned Hamtramck Trail, and made major street improvements at Eastern Market.

That grant wasn’t funded though the city was told by one congressional office that it scored near the top.

The City is submitting an improved version of the grant request this round.

Competition?

One interesting wrinkle this time is it appears the M1 Rail group is applying for a $25 million TIGER IV grant as well. Even though it would be from the transit portion of TIGER IV, it’s unlikely two big grants would come to Detroit.

From the Detroit News:

[U.S. DOT Secretary Ray] LaHood said in January the government will consider awarding Detroit’s light-rail project up to $25 million on top of $25 million awarded for a bus rapid transit system.

LaHood told The Detroit News he is willing to offer additional government money if the M-1 light rail coalition can show it is financially viable.

Congressional aides said the M-1 plan assumes it will win the $25 million grant, which the FTA says is not certain.

The Detroit News is reporting the the U.S. DOT has “serious concerns” about the M1 Rail’s viability. The Detroit Free Press reports a more moderate response.

…while no decision has been made, there is skepticism in Washington, including concerns that the M-1 plan’s cost estimate — at $125 million — is too low and that the group of private investors won’t pull together enough private financing to qualify for a $25-million federal grant for the project.

Of course the other issue with M1 Rail and bicycling is their plan to run the street cars along the curbs. As we’ve said before, curbside alignments are problematic for cyclists and Complete Streets advocates.

Seattle cyclists sue

The street car tracks are a major safety issue and liability. At least a half-dozen Seattle cyclists have lawsuits against the city for crashes due to street car rails. We spoke with an attorney handling these cases and they said this would be a class action lawsuit if their office had the capacity to organize such an effort.

Does MDOT really want to open themselves up to that?

MDOT should know it’s a hazardous design for bicyclists — it’s mentioned as such in Detroit’s Woodward light rail reports.

There are safety concerns for bicycle users with [the curbside designs] due to the potential for bicycle tires to be caught within the rail flange space in the road. While alternative rail types may reduce this potential conflict, it cannot be fully mitigated.

Of course the odds are that neither project will receive the funding. It’s a hyper-competitive grant source.

Then again, Michigan’s only successful TIGER III grant was a road to a landfill, so anything is possible.

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.

Detroit TIGER III grant: a multi-modal enhancement plan

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

The city of Detroit’s TIGER III $25.7 grant request is a work in progress, but this agenda item for an upcoming city council meeting is revealing:

Submitting reso. autho. to endorse TIGER III Grant Application to USDOT for approximately $25.7 million in funding for the Link Detroit! Multi-Modal Enhancement Plan. (Public Works Department intends to submit an application for funding to construct a series of multi-modal infrastructure improvements to create a fully functional transportation system through the Midtown area to Eastern Market continuing on to the Detroit Riverwalk and into the heart of Downtown, collectively called Link Detroit! Multimodal Enhancement Plan.)

So just what are those multi-modal infrastructure improvements?

There are basically five which all tie together:

  • Streetscape improvements in Eastern Market
  • Construction of a Dequindre Cut extension from Gratiot to Mack with a formal entrance in to Eastern Market. As mentioned earlier, this will be a rail with trail non-motorized pathway.
  • Replacement of bridges over this new section of the Cut
  • Bike lane, path, and sidewalk connections from the Dequindre Cut extension to Hamtramck
  • A Midtown Loop connector between Eastern Market and Midtown

As you can see, getting funding to complete these projects would provide major walk and bike connections to Eastern Market, the RiverWalk, Midtown, and Hamtramck. It would be absolutely huge.

TIGER III grants are due at the end of this month and it is quite competitive. $547 million will be granted.

Keep your hands up for Detroit — and your fingers crossed.