Woodward to get light rail and “bike paths”?

The Varsity News is reporting on a transportation symposium held at the University of Detroit-Mercy last week.

The symposium included a discussion on the proposed light rail project currently being planned for Woodward. It is hoped that ground will be broken on the first phase of this project by late next year.

According to the article, one person raised concerns about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

[Board president of M1 Rail, Matt] Cullen said the system “will be very pedestrian friendly.”

The rail line will have stops at major sites, such as stadiums, colleges and the New Center area. It will create more foot traffic, and there will also be a bike bath.

“It allows you to explore further,” Cullen said.

We wonder if he meant bike lanes on Woodward. Others have asked for them and rumor is they are feasible.

If this is the case, it’s a big improvement over what Cullen told us last winter. He said bikes might be pushed off Woodward.

Light Rail Community Workshops

And speaking on the light rail project, DDOT is hosting community workshops next week.

Here are the details:

Light rail is coming to Woodward Avenue.  With it, comes an opportunity for transit oriented-development (TOD) to stabilize, revitalize and improve the neighborhoods along the rail line.

How can TOD be a tool to enhance Woodward Avenue?  And what opportunities are there for your neighborhood? Join us at any one of three community hands-on, interactive workshops on October 11-13, 2010.

We want to hear your thoughts and ideas.  During the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to be involved in creating a vision for the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed light rail stations between Euclid Street (north of New Center) and 8 Mile Road.  Come and be part of Detroit’s Future!

TOD Workshops are being held:

Monday, October 11

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Mt. Olive Church

9760 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

(Station Area 5: Hazelwood Street and Calvert Street)

Tuesday, October 12

9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m.  Mt. Olive Church

9760 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

(Station Areas 5 and 7:  Hazelwood Street, Calvert Street, McNichols Road, 7 Mile Road and State Fairgrounds)

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Achievable Visions Community Ctr. 15840 Second Street, Highland Park

(Station Area 6:  Glendale Street and Manchester Street)

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Achievable Visions Community Ctr. 15840 Second Street, Highland Park

(Station Area 6: Glendale Street and Manchester Street)

Wednesday, October 13

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Precinct 12

1441 W. Seven Mile Road, Detroit

(Station Area 7: McNichols Road, 7 Mile Road and State Fairgrounds)

Please respond by October 7 to Belinda Beard at beard@pbworld.com or 313-202-1163

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4 Responses to “Woodward to get light rail and “bike paths”?”

  1. Sandi Svoboda Says:

    I went last night and they assure me the trains should have bike racks. Participants mentioned connecting stations with bike lanes in their brain-storming session. I had a brief conversation that included a discussion about bike lanes with a planner saying they would NOT mark bike lanes in the center of Woodward because of the tracks. (DUH?) So perhaps this makes it a challenge for them to be on the curb sides of the traffic lanes because of parking? Todd?

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    Not clear what you’re saying with respect to the challenge, Sandi. Are you referring to putting the trains on the curb side or the bike lanes? There’s not problem locating bike lanes between vehicle lanes and parked cars. They just need to be wider to reduce the chances of dooring. The current design guidelines are fairly clear about where a bike lane can be located.

  3. Carl Says:

    It took the Detroit region so long to get to this point of having a rail system built, we should’nt be adding a burden of trying to get bicycle lanes also, let us be grateful for the rail system; let’s forget about bike lanes, at least for now.

  4. Todd Scott Says:

    Carl, If it’s an undue burden then I agree. But if it’s a negligible burden (as we suspect) then bike lanes should be included now. There may not be a later. Besides, it’s less expensive to do them both at once. For instance, those bike lanes recently added to the Michigan Avenue repaving project were of “negligible” added cost according to MDOT. And this is basically following the recommended Complete Streets policy. You accommodate all the transportation modes unless the costs are excessive.

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