Posts Tagged ‘West Bloomfield Trail’

More on the West Bloomfield Trail extension

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

We mentioned a couple weeks ago that West Bloomfield had received Transportation Enhancement funding through the Road Commission for Oakland County.

The Spinal Column has more exciting details:

“We’re going to put a new limestone surface on top of the ballast similar to the existing trail, and have a safe road crossing at Arrowhead, Halsted and Walnut Lake,” said West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Director Dan Navarre. “There will be 400 feet of boardwalk north of Walnut Lake over a wetland area and a pergola area with benches.”

There will be benches installed every quarter-mile and two overlooks with benches – one at Woodpecker Lake between Arrowhead and Halsted Road, and another over a large wetland area west of Halsted.

A small parking lot will be constructed at the terminus of the trail at Haggerty Road.

This will add 2.5 miles of pathway and extend the West Bloomfield Trail all the way to Haggerty Road. Here it will eventually connect with the Walled Lake, Commerce, and Wixom rail-trail also under development. MDOT has also suggested building a trail bridge across M-5 to connect the trails.

The Road Commission is even considering a speed table where the trail crosses Arrowhead — an innovative traffic calming design that we’d like to see more of. Not only does it act as a stretched speed bump for cars, it tells drivers that they’re crossing the trail. It visually says that the trail has a right-of-way. This is a design we would have preferred seeing where the Dequindre Cut crosses streets south of Jefferson.

As mentioned in the Spinal Column, the West Bloomfield trail extension should be under construction by May and completed by the end of summer.

Support Transportation Enhancements

Federal Transportation Enhancement funding really makes projects like this possible, but that funding source may get eliminated in Congress. A vote on this is coming up this week in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Local congresswoman Candice Miller serves on this committee.

Please take a minute and call her office before Thursday’s vote and ask her to not eliminate this funding. Her Washington DC phone number is (202) 225-2106.

Let’s keep this funding in the next transportation bill!


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.

Commerce rail-trail section gets critical funding

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Three is a charm for the Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom rail-trail.

After two previous rejections, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recommended they receive a $3,755,400 grant to acquire the now-abandoned rail corridor which runs between the West Bloomfield Trail and the Huron Valley Trail in Wixom.

This near 33 acres provides a critical connection between the two trails mentions, but especially in the context of the Great Lake to Lake Trail which connects St. Clair to Lake Michigan. This new trail would also connect with the planned M-5 Trail which is a northern?extension?to the I-275 Metro Trail.

The funding also includes acquisition of the?Walled Lake Train Depot which would be used as a historic stopping point along the route.

Other projects in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties were recommended:

  • City of Dearborn (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $268,900 to develop a new bridge across the Huron River on the Camp Dearborn non-motorized trail with a fishing pier and canoe launch.
  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 for improvements to Jayne-Lasky Playfield, including development of walking trails, relocation of a soccer field, renovations to two softball diamonds, landscaping improvements and site amenities.
  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 for improvements to Lipke Playfield, including relocation of a football field, conversion of open space, horseshoe courts, renovation of a softball diamond, walking trails, landscaping and site amenities.
  • Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $94,000 for improvements to Kensington Metropark to include a pond overlook, replace a seawall, walks and railing, group seating area, interpretive signage, viewing scopes and accessibility to pond dipping programs.
  • City of Inkster (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 to construct a trail within the Lower Rouge Parkway System.
  • City of Lathrup Village (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $50,000 to replace playground equipment at Goldengate Park.
  • Oakland Township (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $300,000 to develop a paved trail, boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, interpretive/directional signage and fishing access on the Paint Creek Trail/Polly Ann Trail south connector.
  • Southeast Michigan Eco-Region Consolidation is recommended to receive $1,475,000 for the acquisition of critical in-holdings within existing boundaries in state parks and recreation areas, state game areas, state harbors and Natural Rivers areas.


West Bloomfield trail: Its history and expansion

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Parks and Recreation Director Dan Navarre is giving a presentation on both the history of the West Bloomfield Trail and the plans for its expansion. That expansion runs from Arrowhead Road west to Haggerty Road.

This trail is a key portion of the Great Lake to Lake Trail.

This free presentation is being held on Saturday, December 3rd at 11am at Marshbank Park (2805 Hiller Road, north of Commerce.)

The event is hosted by the Friends of West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation. If you want more information, contact Doug McEwen at 248 788-3940.

Detroit bike shorts: Suburban updates

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Novi passes non-motorized plan

Congratulations to the city of Novi!

On a 7-0 vote, the Novi City Council adopted the proposed non-motorized master plan which we’d mentioned earlier. This is the first non-motorized plan passed in Oakland County. While Troy developed one earlier, the plan was never adopted by their city council. Royal Oak’s plan is still under development.

Novi  city counilmember Andrew Mutch adds, “The plan provides the framework to guide the continued development of the city’s non-motorized transportation system and includes detailed recommendations for changes to our design and construction standards and ordinances for implementing the recommendations. It also includes concepts plans and cost estimates to implement various aspects of the plan.

The master plan is available on-line along with the presentation made by the consultant before city council.

This plan was developed by the Greenway Collaborative, Wade-Trim and the Active Transportation Alliance.

Berkley adding bike racks

The city of Berkley is installing six new bike racks as part of a SMART grant.

“It’s something we’re seeing more of, and we want to see even more of,” says Tom Colwell, facility manager and parks and recreation director for the city of Berkley.

“Ultimately we’re going to put some of the racks closer to bus shelters and around town,” Colwell says. “What we want to promote is people not driving their own cars everywhere, but getting around by biking. We want to promote a healthier lifestyle.”

The city is also looking at how it could make its roads safer for bicyclists. They also passed a Complete Streets resolution recently.

West Bloomfield extending trail

The Spinal Column has an update on plans to extend the West Bloomfield trail westward to the township border near Haggerty Road.

“We will hire a design coordinator that will work with the commission on developing a design plan and preparing construction drawings,” said Parks and Recreation Commission Director Dan Navarre. “The coordinator will then monitor the construction process so it’s done according to plan.”

When it is completed, the West Bloomfield Trail will stretch out to 6.5 miles.

“We should have the design and the bids done in the fall and we may begin building in the spring of 2012 and hopefully have it finished in June 2012,” Navarre said.

Clawson examines ordinances

In 2009 we noted some of the more ridiculous rules of the road that some local municipalities have. One was Clawson’s ordinance which made it illegal to take your hands off the handlebars while riding.

This article in the Royal Oak Review talks about Clawson’s recent efforts to remove these types of ordinances.

“We are looking into all of our outdated ordinances,” Pollock said. “These are laws that are not going to be enforced.”

The city, like many others in the area, has many old and odd ordinances on the books. They range from the funny — for example, it’s unlawful to ride a bicycle without both hands on the handlebars — to the possibly illegal — it’s against the law in Clawson for a liquor license owner to allow his business to be frequented or become a gathering place for homosexuals.