Huffington Post ran this articlelast week that shows the city of Detroit’s commitment to being “very aggressive” in adding bike lanes.
[Department of Public Works Director Ron] Brundidge said Detroit is aggressively building bike lanes to promote a healthy lifestyle and to encourage environmentally conscious behavior. “We just feel it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to have our citizens have the option and ability to get out there and bike,” Brundidge said.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
The If you look at the city map provided by the article, you might ask these questions why the City didn’t add bike lanes…
On East Jefferson? There are already a couple other bike lane and streetscape projects planned for this road through the East Jefferson Corridor Collaborative. Stay tuned.
On any of the other spoke roads? All of the other spoke roads (e.g. Grand River, Gratiot) are state roads. It’s up to MDOT to add bike lanes to them.
On Outer Drive? That’s a Wayne County Road. The City did add State Fair, which is an extension off E. Outer Drive.
Connecting Corktown to the RiverWalk via the Sixth Street bridge? The south end of that bridge is on private property. It would be a little trickier getting that connection improved for bicycling, though it’s not all that bad today.
On Second Avenue north of Grand Boulevard? The optimal solution would be to convert Second back to two-way just like it is being done this year south of the Boulevard. These conversions are expensive because the traffic signals need to be replaced as they only face in three directions.
How certain is all this? It’s not 100%. Some of these bike lanes require state grant funding that is very likely but not for certain.
Most of the bike lanes are being added through the city’s regular re-striping program. Those white lines don’t last forever and need to get repainted. Next year Detroit’s going to put down the paint a little differently.
With all the budget cuts planned, some might ask why there’s a priority on adding bike lanes in Detroit now. However, the funding for this is for transportation purposes only and it can’t be spent on police or fire. The Michigan Constitution actually prevents road funding from being spent on non-transportation items.
The exciting news is that if this does all get completed as expected, Detroit will have the most extensive bike lane network among all cities in Michigan and among nearly all U.S. cities. If we don’t win a Cup, World Series, or Super Bowl by next year, at least we’ll have that to brag about.