Detroit Bike Shorts: June 18th, 2010

Detroit Pedicabs

The Michigan Citizen has an excellent story on some of the pedicabs or rickshaws operating in the city of Detroit. Pedicabs weren’t allowed in Detroit until some entrepreneurs worked with city council to change the ordinances.

After 12 years of traveling with the military, Walker brought back a new perspective on entrepreneurial opportunities. The one he settled on has increased the level of charm throughout Detroit while addressing some complex issues with transportation and the environment. This old method of transportation seems forward-thinking in today’s increasing emphasis on alternative sources of energy.

“This is one of those rare opportunities to start a business right out of the box,” [Terry L.] Walker says. “But ultimately, it adds to the quality of life.”

Detroit Greenways

The Time Magazine blog recently gave coverage to the growing trails and greenways scene in the city of Detroit — something we’ve been bugging them about for a long time. It also gives much deserved mention to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the group that really kicked off the greenway movement in this area.

Recently, I met with the Tom Woiwode, director of the GreenWays Initiative for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. We took a tour of this project, which is connecting the city, Mexicantown, Corktown and part of Dearborn’s Salina business district. It is one of the first projects these groups have ever worked on together. And, chances are, it won’t be the last.

“It’s always been about the community,” Woiwode emphasized. “You start connecting these groups, and you’ll connect the community.”

And on a related note, an upcoming Detroit City Council agenda includes a resolution to apply for a half-million dollar grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. That grant is “to acquire the Right-of-Way (ROW) needed for the construction of Dequindre Cut, Phase II Project.” Yes, that’s the Dequindre Cut extension from Gratiot to Mack Avenue. One doesn’t apply for such grants until you have a willing seller, so this is positive news.

Detroit’s “Big Bikes”

Detroit makes stuff, so it’s no surprise we have some nice big bikes. Really nice.

We’d previously written about the Dog Sled a couple years ago. That quadricycle has since been transported to Burning Man.

The creator of the Dog Sled now has a new ride — the BigDog — and it will be at the Maker Faire at the Henry Ford at the end of this month.

The Make zine has an interview with the creator.

1. Tell us about the project you’re bringing to Maker Faire.
A wonderfully impractical assemblage of bicycle, go-cart, and golf-cart pieces and parts, drainage pipe, steel tubing, and patio chairs. This four-wheel vehicle allows four passengers to travel in minor discomfort at speeds approaching a brisk walk, for relatively short distances, on completely flat terrain.

There’s also a video of the BigDog roaming Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak. The new bike looks lighter and faster than the Dog Sled.

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