Posts Tagged ‘Berkley’

Still more bike talk for Berkley and Royal Oak

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Just when we thought it was safe to publish a collection of recent news stories on biking in southern Oakland County communities…

Today the Daily Tribune has an article, Royal Oak, Berkley work to make cities biker friendly.

The wheels of government are catching up to cyclists determined to use pedal power as their mode of transportation whenever possible.

Now that’s a lead in statement we need to read more often in Oakland County!

And we need more political leaders like Berkley councilmembers Steve Baker and Lisa Platt Auensen. The Tribune had this quote from Baker.

“To me, it’s about having a road system designed for everybody regardless of age and ability,” Berkley city Councilman Steven Baker said. “An incomplete street moves cars from Point A to B efficiently. A complete street moves people from point A to B. That’s a subtle but important difference for anybody riding a bike, pushing a stroller and using a walker, cane or wheelchair.”

Perhaps one point that was missed is Complete Streets are not just some local idea being pushed by those crazy cyclists. It’s a national movement which is backed but a large, diverse group. For instance, the National Association of REALTORS is a major sponsor. Health organizations, such as the American Heart Association, are supporters.

And AARP has been a huge advocate for Complete Streets. If you live in a community with incomplete streets (and sub-optimal transit options), driving becomes a requirement for mobility. A 2007 survey of seniors found that they feared losing their driver’s license much more than they feared dying.

The Tribune also mentioned last night’s Progressive Bike and Dine between Royal Oak and Berkley. Despite the chilly weather, there was a very decent turnout of spirited residents.

The ride started with drinks at Lily’s Seafood, then pizza at Amici’s, and a meal at the Royal Oak Brewery. Even though we passed on desserts, we likely consumed more calories than we burned.

No problem. It was a lot of fun.

South Oakland County communities in the news

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Despite the downturn in the weather, there’s been an upturn in media coverage for bicycling news among communities in southern Oakland County.

And while we’ve already covered these stories, it’s great to see them in the media before a much larger audience.

Metromode has two new articles.

The latter article includes a discussion of getting Complete Streets in Birmingham.

Jana Ecker, a planner with the city of Birmingham, said although that city is already a walkable community, there isn’t a resolution in place yet. For example, the city doesn’t have bike lanes. “It will require some changes from what we do now,” she says. She expects the city will take another look at the ordinance in November, after it’s reviewed.

The Detroit News published an article that covers both Royal Oak’s planning efforts and the local Complete Streets victories.

And even the Oakland Press provided some positive coverage of the recently passed Complete Streets legislation in Lansing.

All combined these articles reflect the significant (and relatively new) momentum behind making at least the lower portion of Oakland County a bike friendly environment.

Royal Oak Bike and Dine

Don’t forget that the Royal Oak Bike and Dine is tonight. Here’s the information:

Please join us for a Progressive Bike & Dine in Royal Oak and Berkley.  Royal Oak is conducting a non-motorized transporation plan, and Berkley recently adopted a “complete streets” policy, so this event will celebrate progress in both communities.

No RSVP is required but we would appreciate an RSVP so that we can alert each restaurant on how many guests to expect.  RSVP via the Facebook event (!/BikeWalkRoyalOak), or reply to this email,, or phone 248-797-1075, or mail to 3126 Glenview, Royal Oak 48073.  The event will begin:

  • Thursday, October 21st
  • Lily’s Seafood, 410 So. Washington, Royal Oak MI 48067.
  • Join us in the bar any time between 5:30pm to 6:30pm to register.

The pace will be leisurely–new and occasional cyclists are welcome and encouraged.  Our schedule is approximate but the locations are confirmed:

  • Optional drinks at Lily’s, 5:30pm to 6:30pm.  We leave from Lily’s to begin the ride at 6:30pm.
  • Appetizers at Amici’s Pizza, 3249 W. 12 Mile, Berkley MI 48072, 6:45pm – 7:15pm.
  • Entree at Royal Oak Brewery, 215 E. 4th, Royal Oak MI 48067, 7:45pm – 8:30pm
  • Dessert at Pronto’s, 608 S. Washington, Royal Oak MI 48067, 8:35pm, 9:00pm
  • Optional after-dinner drinks at Lily’s, 9:00pm – ?.

There is no fee outside of the bill at each restaurant.  Participants should:

  • Bring cash in small bills (to make dividing up the tab easier).
  • Wear reflective clothing, since we will be riding after dark.  Attach bicycle lights if you have them.
  • We will NOT cancel in case of rain or cold weather.

Berkley passes Complete Streets resolution

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

At last nights Detroit Light Rail public workshop, we crossed paths with Steve Baker, a Berkley City Commissioner.

His good news?

The city of Berkley passed a Complete Streets resolution just last week.

“This is not a requirement for us to rip up existing roads and start over,” Baker said. “A Complete Streets policy, and our upcoming Master Plan amendments, is a win-win for Berkley. This better positions Berkley to compete for scarce funding resources and grants, and it helps to further enhance the quality of life for our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition web site also has the resolution and the very nice, localized presentation on Complete Streets.

Congratulations, Berkley!

Bike shorts: Brief updates around Metro Detroit

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Green Leaders

The Free Press recently honored green leaders throughout Michigan. Many of them have a connection to biking and trails:

  • Among other green things, Orin Gelderloos rides his bike to work everyday. He’s quoted as saying, “The idea was to always be close enough to ride to work.”
  • The Reverend Faith Fowler created the Cass Green Gym for her shelter residents which includes 10 stationary bikes (that happen to generate electricity for the shelter.)
  • The Greening of Detroit is more than just urban forestry and urban agriculture. This year they received grant funding to hire a crew of local young adults who are charged with maintaining three of Detroit’s greenways. They’ll not only provide the maintenance, but will lead community events along the greenways that will build neighborhood stewardship. This outstanding program is very unique in the U.S. — and it’s creating green jobs.
  • Yes, the Green Garage is all about sustainability, but Tom and Peggy also plan to make their building very bike friendly. And their nearby green alley will provide a funky back door bike route to Motor City Brewing.
  • Last but not least, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is one of the primary forces behind greenways in Southeast Michigan. They built excitement for greenways among private foundations which really gave the movement its forward momentum. There are very few greenways in Southeast Michigan that haven’t benefited from their efforts. Trail design and construction isn’t free, and given the tight resources within this area — especially Detroit — the help from the Community Foundation was invaluable. The Free Press has posted a Dequindre Cut photo gallery as well.

Dequindre Cut Closure

And speaking of the Cut, our friends at the Wheelhouse Detroit just posted this information on their Facebook page: “Yes, the rumors are true. The Dequindre Cut will be closed between Lafayette and Woodbridge on weekdays for 4 months while the Larned and Lafayette bridges are rebuilt.” We knew this was coming, but… ugh.

Also, the Wheelhouse got a great (and well-deserved) plug in the Living in the D blog for their Detroit architecture tours.

Bike Tunnels

Filmed by Bike was held last weekend in Portland. There was an entry from Detroit that made a tongue-in-cheek (or serious) call for underground bike tunnels. You can watch the Bike Tunnel video on-line.

Complete Streets

We’ve noted that Detroit’s Health and Wellness Promotion Department recently applied for and received a grant to pass a Complete Streets ordinance. The city of Ferndale is also looking to pass a Complete Streets proposal. We don’t have a timeline for when this might happen, but it’s in the works. There’s also some interest or discussion among other neighboring communities. If you haven’t already signed the Michigan Complete Streets petition, please do so.

Royal Oak Non-Motorized Planning

Planning has not yet begun. The city of Royal Oak is just waiting for the Department of Energy (DOE) to sign off on their much larger energy efficiency plan — and release the funding. The planner is ready to go.

Bike Parking

The city of Berkley and their DDA are still mulling over bike parking policy. The city of Ferndale is also dealing with parking both for motor vehicles and bicycles.

Woodward Avenue Non-Motorized Planning

There’s been further discussion among the Southeast Oakland County communities that border Woodward Avenue from Eight Mile to Maple. There appears to be consensus that Woodward needs a better balance of transportation options for those traveling along or crossing the corridor. How that is implemented is yet to be determined. One factor that greatly affects what’s done: future mass transit plans. Stay tuned.

Berkley Bike Racks

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Bikes, Beans, and Brews blog has an excellent post on proposed ordinance change in Berkley which would encourage more bike racks.

My dandy little town of Berkley, Michigan just had an article in the local little paper, Woodward Talk, entitled “Berkley aims to promote greater bike usage at city businesses“. This sounds like it will be all about new bike lanes and bike racks, right? Sounds encouraging, right?

Well, almost. The article is actually about how the council voted DOWN an amendment to the bicycling parking requirements for Berkley businesses and requested that the planning commission rewrite the ordinance.

The Woodwalk Talk article in included this telling passage.

However, as Councilman Dan Benton pointed out at the Oct. 19 meeting, the ordinance as written would have required business owners to install a new bicycle rack anytime their existing parking lot is developed or resurfaced.

‘”We should not be making businesses put in more bike racks if they don’t want to,” he said. “If they want to resurface their parking lot, then we’re not giving them a choice here. But businesses won’t want to do this unless it makes sense to them, like if they’re hoping to create a business that caters to bicycle users.”

So Berkley is comfortable requiring businesses to provide off-street parking (at an approximate cost of $8,000 per parking space) but won’t require businesses to provide $250 bike racks. And as Bikes, Beans, and Brews noted, the cost of a bike rack is relatively minor even when compared to the cost of redeveloping or resurfacing a parking lot.

Another point that Councilman Benton missed is that bike racks are not just for business customers. Businesses have employees. Having bike racks makes it easier for employees to ride to work.