This Week in Detroit Biking

It’s been a busy week for bike advocacy and promotion in Detroit this week, which explains the lack of new entries on m-bike.  My job with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance take precedence over the blog!

So here’s a brief recap of some highlights.

Downriver Trails

The Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative met to provide updates throughout the Downriver area.  In summary, there’s a lot going on from Monroe to the Detroit’s southwest border.  Some of the major trail efforts include:

  • I-275 bike path revitalization
  • Pathway connections along the Huron River
  • The Downriver Delta project – a partnership to connect Southwest Detroit with its neighboring communities
  • Humburg Marsh International Wildlife Refuge
  • All the water trail (a.k.a. blueway) efforts along the Detroit, Huron, Rouge and other area rivers.

Woodbridge Greenway

A couple University of Michigan students are continuing work to look at possible greenways within Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood.  We discussed many possibilities within the neighbor as well as how it could connect with the Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink, Midtown Loop, and Wayne State University.  This has huge potential.  Woodbridge is a very cool neighborhood.

Model D Speaker Series

Scott Clein from Giffels-Webster gave a great presentation at the Russell Industrial Center on Tuesday.  He spoke along side John Hertel from the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council.  Yes, it was well-received, but what I found so positive is that we (cyclists and peds) got equal billing with some major transportation leaders.

Rouge 08

This annual event is far more than trails and greenways.  It’s overriding theme is the Rouge Watershed.  Still, trails are a part of efforts to improve the Rouge.  They provide recreation, but also build stewardship by providing access to these valuable regional resources.  If the public doesn’t have access to them, they’re much less likely to become stewards and advocates for their protection.

A couple highlights stuck out at this event.

First, Marathon Oil committed to making their two-thirds ownerships of Fordson Island a greenspace.  This is great news.  Fordson Island sits in the Rouge River just north of the Fort Street bridge.  We had hoped to extend the Rouge Gateway across the island, and this announcement makes that hope much more realistic.

Second, we have some great grassroots groups within the Rouge watershed.  Three addressed the group at Rouge 08: ACCESS, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV), and the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA).

Lisa Goldstein from SDEV discussed many of the environmental issues facings Southwest Detroit, including the new bridge proposals.  Lisa deserves some big thanks for submitting excellent comments on MDOT’s bridge proposal.  Her comments noted the need to non-motorized access to Canada, as well as access within the bridge/expressway area.

Kathy Wendler from SDBA gave an excellent presentation on a vision for extending the Rouge Gateway around the Fort Street Bridge and Fordson Island.  This is an absolutely amazing project that really justifies the word “Gateway.”  It would tie together green industries with greenways and blueways.  It’s also a presents a paradigm shift.  Yes, this area is heavily industrial, but it’s our heritage and we can celebrate it in very green ways.

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2 Responses to “This Week in Detroit Biking”

  1. Mike Ingels Says:

    Hey, Todd!

    I’d appreciate any links or additional reports on the Downriver Linked Greenways/I-275 Bikeway/Monroe developments.

    Thanks for the great blog!


  2. Todd Scott Says:

    Thanks, Mike.

    I’ve got one more Downriver trails item in the pipeline! I hope to write about it soon.

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