Posts Tagged ‘Ambassador Bridge’

Detroit Riverfront Conservancy looks west

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Earlier this month we attended a public meeting in Southwest Detroit to discuss the westward expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk. This would be the 2-mile segment of RiverWalk from Joe Louis to West Grand Boulevard/Riverside Park.

The interest was very high as the room quickly filled to standing room only.

The initial plans looked great to us. This portion of the RiverWalk would look more like Belle Isle than the often hard-surfaced RiverWalk East. This is due in part to the larger land holdings, including the old Free Press printing plant site and Riverside Park. Of course the railyard in between adds a significant challenge.

It was noted that being able to bike and walk under the Ambassador Bridge would be quite a sight and quite a unique draw. It was good to see Dan Stamper of the Detroit Bridge Company in attendance to show their apparent support of the RiverWalk West concept.

A recent Model D article also added:

Faye Alexander Nelson, president and CEO of the Conservancy, had to remind the audience on several occasions that the planning is beginning now and the community will be a big component of the process.

“This will be challenging,” [Conservancy Chair Matt] Cullen says. “But a real exciting opportunity.”

The Conservancy says they’ll continue to have public meetings as the process for the West Riverfront moves a long.

Raising the millions in funding for this project is a major task, but the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has a track record of getting it done. We see no reason why this won’t come to fruition.

Increased turnout for Bike the Bridge event

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

There were 180 riders for the 2010 Bike the Bridge event this year. One big reason for the increase is Canadian bicyclists could start in Windsor, ride over the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, turn around and ride back — a neat option.

Once over the bridge, both the U.S. and Canadian cyclists enjoyed a breakfast at Windsor’s Mic Mac Park. Afterwards, 49 cyclists rode to Amherstburg, Ontario for a quick guided tour of Fort Malden. Many of the other cyclists rode to Walkerville where they heard about the local history of prohibition and Hiram Walker — and got to sample some Canadian whiskey.

Both groups re-converged at the Carousel of Nations event held along Windsor’s river front park. The U.S. cyclists then boarded chartered Transit Windsor buses for the return voyage back to Detroit.

The Metro Times provided from-the-saddle coverage and highlighted the uniqueness of this event for cyclists.

A special thanks to Sue Moretto, the Bridge Company, Windsor Bicycle Committee and all the volunteers for helping make this happen.

Register now for the 2010 Bike the Ambassador Bridge

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

The 2010 Bike the Bridge registration closes tomorrow, May 31st, at midnight. Riders must register early for this event so that the roster can be sent to Customs ahead of time.

Last year was the inaugural event and this year will be a little different. Riders can chose between a shorter historical tour of Walkerville or a longer 40-mile round trip ride to Fort Malden in Amherstburg.

Here is the press release with additional details, including a Bridge ride option for Canadians.

Ambassador Bridge Allows Cyclists to Cross For JUST One Day

Border Cyclists to Meet for Bike the Bridge & Area Tour

(Windsor, ON) On June 13, 2010 the Ambassador Bridge will allow a rare occurrence: during a brief window of time, a small group of people will be allowed to cross the bridge on their bicycles for Bike the Bridge 2010.

This is the second year for the tour that was started as a way to bring attention to how difficult it is to get across the river between Detroit and Windsor when riding a bicycle. Currently cyclists can only take their bicycles across the border if they are driving it there themselves or taking a taxi (bicycles are not allowed on the Tunnel Bus either).

Few Canadian riders participated in the past due to the logistics of getting their bikes across to participate but this year, riders from Windsor will be allowed to cross the bridge on their bikes to meet up with the Detroit riders before cycling back over the Ambassador Bridge as a group. After the crossing, the group will stop at a Windsor park for a breakfast catered by Tres Be-An Cafe. From there riders get to choose from two adventures: either a long distance ride lead by Todd Scott (director of Detroit Trails), or a tour of Hiram Walker with a presentation by Marty Gervais followed by a sojourn to the riverfront for Carrousel of the Nations.

Sue Moretto, the Michigan-based organizer of the event, is excited to bring everyone together and return to Windsor with her riders, We had so much fun on the ride last year; the breakfast was delicious and it was a great day.

Moretto has spent several months working with representatives of the Windsor Bicycling Committee (WBC) to finalize plans on the Windsor side of the border.

We are delighted that well be part of this effort. Events such as these are commendable as they help promote our important connection of our regions as well as cycling as a healthy transportation alternative, says Alan Halberstadt, the Windsor city council representative on the WBC.

For $35, Canadian riders get their bridge crossing, breakfast, a commemorative t-shirt and their choice of two cycling tours. Riders must be 16 years and older (18 and older for Hiram Walker tour) and must wear a helmet. Riders must pre-register by May 31, 2010 at http://bikethebridge2010.eventbrite.com/

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Biking to Windsor across the Ambassador Bridge

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Cyclists take a quite break under the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, OntarioYesterday 60 cyclists rode where no one had in more than 30 years — on the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor.

This was the inaugural Bike the Bridge event, a special group ride which worked out the details with the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) as well as U.S. and Canadian Customs.

The DIBC closed the Detroit-to-Windsor side of the bridge to motorized traffic during the ride over. They also placed mats over the expansion joints to help prevent any tire damage.

It took about 20 minutes for the cyclists to clear the bridge. That’s not too bad considering this is the tallest hill climb in Detroit.

Once in Canada, the group was met by Alan Halberstadt, a Windsor City Councillor and member of the Windsor Bicycle Committee. Halberstadt led the group on a tour of historic village of Sandwich and the Windsor’s Riverfront bike trail.

Halberstadt did mention that if the DIBC builds a second span across the Detroit River, they have mentioned keeping the existing bridge open and possibly available for non-motorized traffic. It’s still far too early to speculate whether than will happen or not.

The new proposed public bridge (called the DRIC) does plan to provide bike and pedestrian access.

The ride continued to a Windsor park where the group was fed. The 51st annual Tour di Via Italia bike race was just a few blocks away on Erie Street.

For the return to Detroit, the bicycle were loaded onto a rental truck and Transit Windsor provided two buses.

Biking in Windsor, Ontario is really a nearby gem, but unfortunately Detroit cyclists can’t just ride to it — at least not yet. Having a convenient, year round non-motorized international connection across the Detroit River would really increase the appeal of biking in the Detroit-Windsor area.

Link: Photos from Bike the Bridge