Bike Shorts for June 29th, 2010

A young protester at the Palmer Park rally against closing Detroit parks

Complete Streets bills pass the House

House Bill 6151 passed on a 85 to 21 vote while House Bill 6152 passed 84 to 22. Both bills are now on their way to the Senate. This is great news, but we’re not done yet. Please contact your Michigan Senator and ask them to support both bills.

Michigan Ranked 10th for Obesity

The newest obesity report was just released.

Michigan was named the tenth most obese state in the country, according to the seventh annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010 report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Obesity rates among youths ages 10-17 from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) also were included in the 2009 F as in Fat report; 12.4 percent of children were obese in the state, with the state ranking 41st out of the 50 states and D.C. for childhood obesity.

What’s interesting is Michigan’s youth obesity rank is 41st.

Detroit RiverWalk: A touch of nirvana

There’s a insightful Free Press opinion piece by Stephen Henderson.

We spent a big chunk of last Sunday, Father’s Day, on the RiverWalk, just a few blocks from where we live. …for my children, now 5 and nearly 7, this was just another slice of Detroit nirvana.

The riverfront is their very public backyard, where they ride bikes or scooters and marvel at the bellowing vessels headed for the Soo. They’ve seen a wedding. They’ve learned about ducks and geese and powerboats.

Their neighborhood is safe and full of nearby thrills.

Model D: Game changing projects

The Conner Creek Greenway is at #10 on this interesting list from Model D.

10. Conner Creek Greenway: Among the numerous bike lane and greenways projects around town, I chose to single this one out because of the fact that about a third of the 9-mile project, which will ultimately run contiguously from the Detroit River to Eight Mile by 2013, is already complete. The fact that the greenway taps into Creekside’s 140 acres of riverfront parks, Chandler Park and Mt. Olivet Cemetery and that it takes you pretty darn close to the haunted and awesome Two-Way Inn knocks this project out of the park.

Detroit Parks to remain open

The budget standoff between Detroit City Council and the Mayor’s office has been resolved. The $4.5 million cut to General Services has been restored. That cut would have eliminated 40 from the city’s grass cutting crew and kept parks from being mowed.

Sally Patrella from the Friends of Rouge Park posted the following on the Detroit Parks Coalition page on Facebook:

We did it. The mayor gave his budget amendment to City Council that restored half of the funding for parks and City Council approved it this afternoon. Mayor’s office says it is unlikely any parks will close now. President Pugh and Kenyatta agreed to work with this new coalition and Kenyatta is going to start a task force.

The Detroit Parks Coalition is having its second meeting next Wednesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. at the St. Luke Tabernacle, 19633 Joy Road (at Plainview 1 block east of Evergreen).

Had those 77 parks closed, it would likely have affected greenways and trails, including those at Rouge Park, Patton Park, and Palmer Park.

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