Windsor updates: Bikes, Trains, and Ferries

Bicycle Use Master Plan underfunded

The Windsor Star has a brief mention of the city of Windsor’s bicycling efforts, which according to some bicycling advocates is moving too slowly.

Members of the Windsor Bicycling Committee and the advocacy group Bike Friendly Windsor were at Wednesday’s capital budget meeting to implore council to devote more money to the Bicycle Use Master Plan (BUMP).

Drafted by the city in 2001, the 20-year plan was meant to show the city’s commitment to building an “easily accessible, safe and actively used” cycling network.

But Steve Konkle of Bike Friendly Windsor said BUMP has been the victim of “chronic underfunding.”

According to Konkle, Windsor has less than 25 miles of bike lanes.

Bike Train now daily

The Ontario Bike Train is now daily. The train makes it easy for cyclists to get between Windsor, London, Toronto, and other cities in Ontario. Bicycle racks are available for cyclists.

We spoke with Justin LaFontaine, Projects Director for Transportation Options and the founder of the Bike Train initiative. He said the big buzz among Toronto cyclists is riding in Detroit. And while they can take the bike train to Windsor, there is no option for them to get to Detroit.

They have had conversations with the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority about ferry service across the Detroit River. The Port Authority is very interested in helping make that international connection for cyclists.

Until there is a convenient way for cyclists to cross the border, Detroit-area cyclists can drive to the Windsor train station. There’s also this interesting web site with the tag line, “Explore Ontario by bike. Stop at bicycle friendly places to eat, visit and sleep.”

What about AMTRAK?

One obvious question is what about bicycles on AMTRAK? The Pere Marquette and Blue Water lines should be getting roll-on bicycle service. However, we do not know about the Wolverine line, the line between Pontiac, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago. That line is not subsidized by MDOT and therefore is not required to have roll on service per an MDOT appropriations bill. We’re waiting to hear if AMTRAK will provide roll on service nonetheless.

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4 Responses to “Windsor updates: Bikes, Trains, and Ferries”

  1. Dave Says:

    I’ve tried a few different routes over the past six months and thought Michigan Ave. (from about I-275 to downtown Detroit was fun, but that was during non-peak traffic hours on a Friday).

    Reading this made me think of going for more longer rides and I was wondering if there are any sources to find out about different routes. Information such as: (1) roads/routes (2) road condition, (3) traffic volume, (4) speed limits and (5) number f lanes (google maps helps but can take a bit of time). Whether it was online, any bike shops, or anywhere else, as bikeforums seems neglected, at least the Great Lakes/Local section. Designated paths are not bad either, but when I think of that, I think of uniform sidewalks that may be neglected, damaged, etc. as well as limited in distance.

    I brought this up, because I’d like to go west more, but don’t think I’d be too thrilled about riding on a road where there is a speed limit that is 55MPH, being Michigan Avenue (if you put in “46551-46999 Michigan Ave” on Google Maps, and go East bound on eastbound Michi Ave, you’ll see it). Whether that is in more low-density areas in terms of development and population, I don’t know.

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    SEMCOG has a PDF that shows composite road information, however I’ve not found them to be useful.

    Are you looking for routes west out of downtown? W. Chicago to Hines Drive is an interesting route that gets you to Northville. You can find some lessor traveled roads west of town.

  3. Fabian Lanzy Says: The specific link on the Amtrak site for options to take your bike on the train. I’m sure it will be updated when on train racks become available in Michigan- I would find it extremely useful for a trip from Pontiac to Jackson to take the falling waters trail and some road mileage out into the Irish hills for a holiday weekend, or to the Kal-Haven trail, or biking in the Chicago area.

    If specific information isn’t available on the page listed they dirrect you to their 800 number, 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

  4. Dave Says:


    I live downriver, and living next to a natural boundary (Detroit River) limits the directions I can feasibly ride, though reading this also has made me consider trying to ride in Canada sometime, I think I’d rather try more routes on this side of the border first, and was looking for a way to help zero in on this vs. trying solely by google maps/ finding by riding.

    I’m open to anything outside of Jefferson Avenue to be honest and live downriver if I didn’t mention already. I ride that mostly because of the low speeds/traffic and it’s in fair condition and its proximity to where I live. I’ve found Jefferson south of my residence does not offer this, because speed limits are considerably higher + only one lane each way typically.

    I mentioned Michigan Avenue because that’s an additional major road I’ve traveled on that appears to have what I’m looking for and allows me to not ride Jefferson at all (mixing it up, in other words with all that I look for).

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