More bike racks in Southwest Detroit

More bike parking, more local green jobs. From the West Vernor and Springwells Business Improvement District (BID) newsletter:

The BID partnered with the SDBA and the SMART Bus System to identify locations for the installation of 8 decorative bike rakes designed by Disenos Ornamental Iron. The Bike Racks have been installed at Vernor Food Center, the Campbell Detroit Public Library, Chase Bank, Comerica Bank, La Mexicana, Secretary of State, Congress of Communities, and LA SED Youth & Senior Center. We have received many positive comments from residents and business owners who thought the bike racks were beautiful enough to be public art.

Would you like a bike rack too? Special Offer for Current BID Members!

If you are current on your BID fee, the BID will fabricate and install a bike rake in front of your business or property for the discounted price of $350. Please call Matthew Bihun if you are interested in having an ornamental Disenos bike rake installed at your location (313.254.8161).

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3 Responses to “More bike racks in Southwest Detroit”

  1. Dave Says:

    Is there any data on how apparent it is to people, that such bike racks are indeed just that? I personally prefer functionality over aesthetics, if I had to choose one to emphasize more. Regardless of whether there is any type of data do you think it would be a good idea to have a visible but not overly so, symbol which indicates such pieces are bike racks? Like a picture of a bicycle in some form. This makes me think of the bicycle racks near the main branch of the DPL across from the Detroit Historical Museum (I think they are racks..given that there is a circular passage to put some type of cable lock, presumably). Those racks near the DPL look a little like this and if you take a look at the rack in the picture, there is a picture of a bicycle on the ground painted.

    Secondly, are there any programs at the state, county, or local level (other than this example) that offers any type of program for bike racks, possibly of any combination of:

    -bulk/reduced cost
    -transportation funding
    -other funding

    Whether it was paid for in part by businesses that it would be in proximity to to help disperse the cost, or however.

    I ask because I live Downriver, and though this is not news to many, there seems to be an utter abundance of parking for cars but lack thereof, for bicycles. Signs don’t really count though you can risk it I suppose and it may suffice. I’m disappointed by the lack of bicycle racks I see at businesses. Though I will admit, it isn’t something I constantly am scanning for, so it is possible they are places and I don’t see them.

    At the nearest businesses to where I live (a small grocer on one side) and a small to moderate business strip (not downtown at all) with about 8-15 businesses, I see no bicycle racks.

  2. Todd Scott Says:


    There has been other feedback like yours. Some didn’t realize these were bike racks. Now that they are being used as such, it’s becoming more apparent, or so I’ve been told.

    The DPL racks are part of the Midtown Loop and seem more artful than functional. It fits more with the character of the project. I wouldn’t expect to see these racks elsewhere in Detroit.

    As for funding sources, I recommend you bug your city to apply for SMART bus rack grants. That’s what has paid for racks around Metro Detroit, including those in SW Detroit. The drawback is they need to be along a SMART bus route. The contact at SMART is Andy Thorner,

  3. Dave Says:


    I sent an email to Mr. Thorner on January 27and received a response a few days later and he informed me that the program is currently suspended, along with
    other main points:

    -They are weighing the decision of whether or not to pursue addtional funding for bike racks

    -New grants would probably require a 20% local match, which the state of Michigan covered in the past, and the state has declined to match again due to economic conditions.

    -SMART is not in a position to support the program either if they cannot cover the match and he cited that they made service cut by 23%.

    -The program has been utilized in the past: 27 communities participated an purchased a total of 152 racks. Also of note, is that they could “place them anywhere within their borders.”

    If there is any more information you want to know, let me know (as it may be in the email), and I’ll send you the emails through BF.


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