Where are the bike racks?

A new custom-built bike rack at Eastern-Market

Desiree Cooper made an interesting post on her blog called, The Road to a renaissance is lined with bike racks.

Last month I attended one of the Detroit Mayor’s neighborhood forums on the re-imagining of the city. I was amazed at the diversity at the huge gathering (translation: many white people were there). When the residents started voicing their complaints, I heard many of the predictable gripes: Stop the foreclosures! Get rid of abandoned buildings! Fix the public schools!

And then one man raised his hand to be heard. He was young, white and a new Detroit resident. “Where are the bike racks?” he asked indignantly.

The room went silent for a minute. You didn’t hear one “Amen.” With all that faces the city, were we really going to haggle over places to park a Schwinn?

The surprising answer is yes; Detroit’s future might just lie in bike racks.

Of course, the city’s future is not literally dependent just on bike racks. If it were, we’d be one fat CMAQ grant away from solving our problems.**

No, Detroit has many concurrent issues, but the point being the increase in young people moving to the city and adopting bicycling had added one more issue to the list.

Cooper’s post goes on to highlight a Port Huron family that moved to the city. She had a great family photo on bikes.

And in a similar vein, Metro Parent has an article called, Raising Kids in the City of Detroit.

The article covers the serious challenges Detroit families face. One focus is on Lisa McNish. McNish works at the Wheelhouse Detroit so it’s not surprising she got a little plug in for biking in Detroit.

Biking is definitely catching on, [McNish] says. “Detroit doesn’t have as much traffic, per say, so it’s a lot easier to ride and a lot more flexible,” she says. “And you see things that you hadn’t seen before,” like little shops or a neighbor’s yard filled with pet ducks.

Okay. Who cares about where the bike racks are? Where are the pet ducks?

**Note: We should mention that the Woodward Avenue Action Association is now offering grants that could pay for bike racks along Woodward Avenue.

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