Posts Tagged ‘Auburn Hills’

Oakland University keeps pushing Wallmart bike sharing

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Oakland University in Rochester Hills is expanding their on-campus bike share program.

According to the Oakland Press:

The pink bikes purchased by the university this year are part of the Bike Share program that allows any student to ride one of the bikes from and to any part of the campus for free, said Greg Jordan, director of OU’s recreation center and the Bike Share program.

Students are on the honor system to keep the bikes on campus for the next student to pick up and go on his or her way.

Jordan said: “What I am proud of is that the students of OU have chosen to make this an honor system program,” from among the many kinds of bike programs on campuses throughout the country, such as rental or signing them in an out for a certain period.

Will it work? From what we’ve seen first-hand and read about elsewhere, this is an unsustainable approach. The unlocked bikes eventually get stolen or damaged.

As Joel Batterman commented on college honor system bike sharing when we first covered this story in 2009, “…typically only succeed at very isolated rural campuses.”

In addition, there is the issue of durability. The OU bikes are sold by Wallmart for $89. At that price they probably aren’t very durable for a single-owner when stored inside a garage.

This 26″ Women’s NEXT La Jolla Cruiser Bike is styled in a classic design, with an extra-low dropped top tube for maximum comfort. Its full aluminum frame reduces the weight to an incredible 28.5 lbs., and makes the 26″ NEXT women’s bike easy to handle… Play it safe! Always wear a helmet and safety pads when you ride.

OU’s Greg Jordan did tell the Oakland Press that “one of our challenges with the program is as heavily used as it is, is keeping up with maintenance and wear and tear on the bikes.”

What’s odd is these bicycle apparently do not have baskets or a rear rack for carrying items.

What about bike facilities?

OU’s roads are fairly poor for biking. They’re not Complete Streets. It seems investing in those while encouraging Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills to do the same would be a first step to increase bike commuting.

Michigan State University has been making those investments and building more bike lanes. They’re seeing big increases in bike commuting. They’ve received a Bicycle Friendly University award as well.

And MSU does rent (and even sell) bikes. Those renting do place a deposit on the bike and are responsible for their return. The bikes come with locks and can get free maintenance through MSU Bikes Service Center. Go Green!

Bike Share video from Oakland Press

Detroit Bike Shorts for the start of summer

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Put it in Gear

Portland puts a bird on it. Detroit puts a fist. PassingLeft has an neat Detroit bike T shirt for sale on Etsy.

Green Garage Update

Final construction is underway with the Green Garage in Midtown. The Garage will make it easy for tenants to bike to work.

The Green Garage added an indoor bike rack and a shower to their building plans as well. “If we are encouraging employees to bike into work here, it only makes sense that we give them everything they need to truly be green” Mrs. [Peggy] Brennan told me.

Could they become another Bicycle Friendly Business in Detroit?

Hostel Detroit Bike Pavilion

We saw this interesting slideshow about a Detroit Bike Pavilion and we had to learn more. They were good enough to write a summary of the project:

The Detroit Bike Pavilion is a Design/Build project run as a summer graduate studio as part of the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The project team consists of two professors and 9 graduate students, including myself. Our mission is to design, fabricate and install a (roughly) 300 sq/ft pavilion in Detroit which will act as a place to store bikes, hold concerts and other various community events.

Our client is Hostel Detroit, which is a non-profit organization recently established in the corktown region of Detroit. In addition to serving as a youth hostel, they routinely rent out bikes and thus are in need of a place to store them.

Detroit Bike City

Jason Hall from Bikes and Murder posted this article entitled Detroit Bike City. It highlights some of the Detroit bicycle scene.

We sometimes forget what the world is really like outside of our little bubbles. What I mean by that is when you’re in a car driving with your music up, it’s easy to forget to look around you and see what’s really going on. I had become a victim of that very thing. I would drive my car three blocks for a soda, a mile to see a friend. When I got on a bike I had to face realities and fears that keep us grounded. I saw neighborhoods I hadn’t EVER seen. Went places I had never even gone in a car. I soon became a converted bike rider.

Suburban Critical Mass

Yes, the Detroit Critical Mass is a great time. This Friday’s event already has 401 attending and 227 maybe attending on their Facebook page. It’ll be huge, but it’s not making much of a statement. It’s a city that’s already super bicycle friendly with city staff are becoming quite supportive of biking as transportation.

It’s quite the opposite story in most of the Detroit suburbs. That’s where a Critical Mass ride could serve its original intent.

So on July 22nd there will be the first Suburban Mass Ride starting at Royal Oak Farmers Market parking lot. It meets at 6:30pm and rolls out at 7pm. There is additional information on Facebook.

New Pistons owner

At a recent press conference, Piston’s owner Tom Gores noted the difficulty (Okay, near impossibility) of inner city families getting to the Palace of Auburn Hills without a car. He said he couldn’t see Piston games as a kid because he only had a bike to ride. Though Gores didn’t mention it, if the stadium was in Foxtown, those transportation hurdles go away.

Chicago’s mayor wants more bike lanes

Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel is also a “bike enthusiast” and wants to add 100 miles of protected bike lanes in Chicago — the first of which just opened. He also wants Chicago to be the “bike friendliest city in the U.S.”. He cited bike facilities as an essential tool for quality of life and economic development.

Mopeds are the “ultimate gas savers?”

According to Tom Greenwood’s column in the Detroit News, mopeds are the ultimate gas savers. Really? More than bicycles, walking, electric vehicles, and public transit?

Fundraiser ride on the Clinton River Trail

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This Saturday, September 18th is the Friends of the Clinton River Trail Fall Classic Ride. And this year there’s a 5K walk option as well.

You can still register on-site at Riverside Park in Auburn Hills on the morning of the event starting at 8:30 AM.

C and G News recently ran a story on this event and others that the Friends are involved in.

The Clinton River Trail Fall Classic is coordinated by Friends of the Clinton River Trail, a volunteer organization dedicated to developing and improving the trail for all users.

“We coordinate the printing of maps and stock the map boxes,” said Mimi Zwolak, event coordinator. “We send out an annual newsletter. We are all volunteers, different from the Paint Creek Trail, which has a commission. We meet monthly and we are a loose governing body.”

The Clinton River Trail is so lucky to have a Friends group such as this. The group is so energetic and willing to lead — and fun, too. They are a super dedicated group, so you should feel pretty good if you can come out on Saturday to support them.