Posts Tagged ‘CFSEM’

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.

Midtown Loop Greenway breaks ground in Detroit

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Today was a big day. Another greenway in Detroit — the Midtown Loop — was officially under construction starting this week and there was a celebration on the lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

From this UCCA/CFSEM press release:

Construction is underway on the Midtown Greenway, a four phase, two-mile greenway trail that will circle through Detroit’s University Cultural Center, Wayne State University and Medical Center and Brush Park districts.

Today at a press conference held at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, organizers officially broke ground to signify the start of the first of four phases of construction. When completed, the linked trails will provide eight miles of continuous greenways, enabling people to go from Wayne State University through the Eastern Market to the Detroit Riverfront.

“One of our main goals with the development of the Midtown Greenway is to reclaim the rights-of-way for pedestrians by creating a widened walkway, improving ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) crosswalks, and adding pedestrian traffic signals,” said University Cultural Center Association President Susan Mosey. “By adding such amenities along the route as outdoor seating, pocket parks and pet-friendly features, this trail will contribute to the quality of life and the lifestyle of the community.”

Mosey noted that only the first phase (Kirby and John R) is under construction and should be completed this year. She expects the Canfield segment construction will begin this fall with the Cass section beginning in 2011. The entire loop should be ready to go by the end of next year.

But that’s not all. The UCCA is also working on non-motorized connections to the Dequindre Cut.

And as we’ve noted before, this greenway is geared towards pedestrians and slower cycling. Commuters and faster cyclists may prefer sticking to the streets. This is similar to the current RiverWalk vs. Atwater tradeoff. did some excellent interviews which are now on-line.

One highlight? Sunny Jacob from Traffic Engineering explaining this project’s focus on Complete Streets and livable communities — something the city of Detroit is now pushing.

This project is all about making the street safe and walkable for all uses… and its the new concept called Complete Streets. We are pushing forward with the city of Detroit to make new communities and make them user friendly for all the uses.

Secretary LaHood — Detroit’s talking the talk and would make an excellent candidate for the next round of federal TIGER (as well as ACT) funding.

We’ve uploaded a video of Al Fields speech. Al is Mayor Bing’s Group Executive for Planning, a very active cyclist, and the one you should thank for Detroit’s first bike lanes (on Belle Isle.)

Smart Transportation and Traffic Engineering

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Last week, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan brought in Ian Lockwood, a traffic engineer from Glatting Jackson.  Ian was here to lead a multi-disciplinary team of experts to look at how we can improve the built environment on Detroit’s lower eastside.

One of the biggest benefits of these sessions is Ian provides the terminology and solutions to familiar urban design issues, e.g. super blocks, a city’s bone structure, etc.  He also emphasizes that cities exist to promote exchange.  That increasing transportation speeds limits exchange.  And when making decisions, we need to err on the side of place.

So, if you missed these sessions, you’re in luck because Ian has a video from an earlier presentation on-line (see below.)

He also has a PDF document that covers many of the same topics covered last week.  It’s called Transportation Prescription for Healthy Cities.

Greenways, Riverwalk, and Dequindre Cut Blogging

Monday, September 15th, 2008
Photo by Marvin Shaouni

Photo by Marvin Shaouni

Tom Woiwode knows greenways. ?He’s been at the forefront of the movement in Metro Detroit since 2001 when he led development of the GreenWays Initiative.

At the end of August, Tom wrote a series of guest blogs covering topics from the Dequindre Cut to the Riverwalk to other trails and greenways in Metro Detroit. ?The resulting blog entries are some of the best you’ll read on trails and what they mean to the people and communities that build and use them.

Thanks to Metromode and Model D for putting these on-line. ?The photo was taken by Marvin Shaouni.

Grants awarded to Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Dequindre Cut in Detroit

Crain’s Detroit Business has reported that the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) awarded over $4 million in grants to help revitalize Detroit neighborhoods from the riverfront to the near east side.

Two of these grants are of special interest to those following trail development in Detroit.

The first is a $500,000 grant to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to help create recreational, fitness, cultural and educational programming.  This programming will be developed by working with local community groups, churches, schools and businesses.  It will likely be located or involve the Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut, both of which are managed by the Conservancy.

The second grant is $100,000 for the City of Detroit to begin planning a connection for “direct and safe” pedestrian access between the Dequindre Cut and Eastern Market.