Posts Tagged ‘Trails’

The $1 billion Bloody Run Creek Greenway project

Monday, February 18th, 2013

BloodyRunIt’s been talked about for decades, but these conceptual plans makes the Bloody Run Greenway seem slightly more possible.

And yes, it does have a $1 billion total price tag. However, breaking the project into smaller phases makes it a bit more palatable.

Besides, how amazing would it be to have a creek running next to the Dequindre Cut?

Or a waterfall next to the shipping container hotel proposed for the Cut?

Are the recent demolitions east of Eastern Market related? We’re not sure, but both the demolitions and the Bloody Run project have Kresge Foundation funding.

Dequindre Cut Extension

While we don’t have any recent updates on the Dequindre Cut extension, the project must be out to bid by July of this year. We have seen the construction drawings and it looks phenomenal.

Keep in mind that this project will:

  • Extend the Cut under Gratiot and on to Mack Avenue
  • Add bike lanes from end of the Cut to Hamtramck
  • Add an Eastern Market connector trail just north of Wilkins
  • Add bike lanes and sidewalks from Eastern Market to Midtown
  • Add bike parking in Eastern Market

If Hamtramck receives grant funding this spring, they could build their bike network by next summer.

Current the Dequindre Cut is mostly undeveloped except for a rail car spur. That has been captured in this movie by Michelle Andonian entitled “The Cut.” That’s a living project that will evolve as the trail does.

 

Is Governor Snyder’s Belle Isle to Wisconsin Trail for bikes?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Last November, Governor Rick Snyder lauded Michigan trails during a speech called “Ensuring our Future: Energy and the Environment.”
Belle Isle to Wisconsin Trail

Michigan has more total trail miles than just about any other state. Much of the credit goes to volunteers who have shoveled, raked, trimmed and groomed these trails on their own time and often at their own expense. This shows the real appetite Michiganders have for quality trails, and points to the opportunity we have to be the number one trail state.

We can reach that goal much faster together. I am directing the DNR, Michigan Snowmobile and Trail Advisory Committee, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, the MEDC, the MDARD and the MDOT to align and prioritize their efforts to support and create trail connections. All these entities will reach out to local communities as partners, helping them to maximize the economic return from trail use. We can and will seek to make Michigan the Trail State.

He then committed to a new long distance trail.

As the Trail State, we will need a showcase trail that celebrates these efforts and pulls together private and public trails into a signature Pure Michigan experience. With the addition of approximately 200 miles of additional trails in the Lower Peninsula and the UP, we could hike or bike from Belle Isle to the Wisconsin border. Today, I am directing DNR to focus on connecting those trails, through cooperation with private and non-profit partners and the use of their own resources.

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA) helped with the trail routing — primarily bike lanes and sidewalks — through the city of Detroit and further north.

What’s odd is that the Midland to Mackinaw Trail is not fully open to bicycles. The same is true for some parts of the North Country National Scenic Trail which is used across the Upper Peninsula. The parts of that trail along Pictured Rocks and in the Ottawa National Forest are not open to bikes.

Reading the Governor’s text, it appears the trail should be open bikes.

What’s interesting is the latest State Trails Plan calls this trail a hiking trail. Certainly not all hiking trails are hiking-only trails, but it does make one wonder if the intended trail usages have changed since the original announcement.

We’ll trying to find an answer.

Continue the trail to Canada

The Governor has been a vocal champion of the New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor.

To us, it makes perfect sense that his proposed trail get extended to the new bridge and connect with Canada. This is another reason why we need bike and pedestrian access on this bridge.

In an informal conversation with the Governor, he seemed supportive of having this access on the bridge. In a followup email, he recognized that the approved plans do support bikes and pedestrians, but they also say it is up to U.S. and Canadian border security to approve it.

MTGA contacted Senator Carl Levin for assistance in working with Homeland Security. The Senator wrote Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security in support of bike and pedestrian access on the bridge.

“There are many benefits of a year-round cycling connection between Detroit and Windsor, including by bolstering the cycle tourism in the region.”

This support is already helping to legitimize the importance of this issue on both sides of the border — and we look forward to more positive news in the coming months.

Veronica Davis to talk transportation in Detroit

Friday, October 19th, 2012

This Thursday, October 25th at 6pm is a special, free community gathering at the Gleaner’s Community Food Bank (2131 Beaufait) presented by the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative (DFFC).

The event is called Active Living in Detroit and the guest speaker is Veronica Davis from Washington, DC – a professional transportation engineer, non-motorized planner, and recent honoree of President Obama’s Champions of Change program. There’s more information about Ms. Davis on the Whitehouse web site.

Many people do not recognize the role that equitable and
accessible multi modal transportation options play in their
everyday lives. Transportation planning and choices have
the ability to impact socioeconomic conditions, personal
health and overall quality of life. I seek to help others
understand that the role of transportation cannot be
underestimated.

There will also be updates on our the DFFC’s overall and two priority active living efforts: Complete Streets and building more trails, greenways, and bike lanes.

We hope you can attend and share this with other who share our similar interests in making Detroit a healthier, more active community.

More on the Governor’s Detroit bike ride

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Below are a few more updates from Governor Rick Synder’s bike ride on the Dequindre Cut.

First, his office has posted this entry on the Reinventing Michigan blog, including a video of the Governor’s speech celebrating the ground breaking for the Globe Trading Building project (See below).

Next, the Detroit Free Press ran a Caption This contest. The photo is of the Governor snapping on his helmet. The best entries will be printed in Sunday’s paper.

And finally, as we mentioned earlier, we had the Governor’s ear while riding up the Cut. We mentioned how Detroit is one of the most bike friendly cities in the U.S.. Apparently that stuck in the Governor’s mind because he repeated it during a WJR radio show just two days later.

From Mlive:

To mark the project’s birth on Saturday, he slapped on a helmet and went biking along the Dequindre Cut, and said people remarked about how Detroit is one of the best cities in the country for biking.

We’ll take credit for that.

Lafayette & Elmwood Trails now in Google Maps

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Unless you live in Detroit’s Lafayette or Elmwood neighborhoods, you may not be aware of the huge trail network that runs throughout the area. The trails are rarely straight and it’s easy to get turned around.

They may not provide shortcuts for cyclists but they can make your ride more interesting.

But be forewarned that there are some issues with the trails. Some sections require maintenance. It’s not uncommon to encounter cracked pavement drainage issues, or little sinkholes.

Also, these trails typically do not have well-designed road crossings. You shouldn’t come to the road and have to search for a crossing (with curb cuts.) If these trails would be much more popular and well-used if they had easy to use road crossings, improved maintenance, and some directional signs.

One of the more unique trails runs along the west side of the Elmwood Cemetery. It’s paved with brick and makes for a bumpy ride for those on skinnier tires.

With encouragement from Kelli at Wheelhouse Detroit, most of these trails have been added to Google Maps bicycling layer. More of the smaller connections need to be added, but it’s usable now – so start exploring!