Posts Tagged ‘Conner Creek Greenway’

Detroit greenways ready for expansion

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Detroit RiverWalk

More sections of the RiverWalk should be under construction come next spring. That includes segments on both sides of Chene Park and the critical connection between Mt. Elliott Park and Gabriel Richard Park at the foot of the bridge to Belle Isle.

Mt. Elliott park is getting a new universal recreation play structure that includes a super cool water feature.

Gabriel Richard Park is getting a parking lot.

And the grassy land just north of the Wheelhouse Detroit is getting a children’s playground.

It’s not too late to buy tickets for the Shimmer on the River event, a fundraiser for the RiverWalk.

Today’s Crain’s Detroit Business has an article which includes more details on this exciting news.

Dequindre Cut

The Dequindre Cut rail corridor north of Gratiot is not only active but privately owned. The city of Detroit has been negotiating with the owner to acquire the property while allowing them to keep their rails, which are mostly used to railcar storage. The city is getting closer to finalizing the deal.

Once purchased, the trail will switch over to the west side of the Cut at Gratiot and continue north to Mack. The rails will remain on the east side of the Cut and will be fenced off. There will also be trail connection into Eastern Market near Wilkins and near the Greening of Detroit’s urban agriculture demonstration area.

The city will likely apply for significant grant funding this fall to build this extension, as well as complete some Eastern Market streetscaping, build a bike/walk connection to the Midtown Loop, add bikes lanes to Hamtramck, and repair the bridges over the Cut.

Midtown Loop

The last we knew, construction for Phase II of the Midtown Loop will begin this fall. That includes the sections along Canfield and Cass.

Conner Creek Greenway

The next segment to be built will run from Eight Mile to McNichols along Conner Avenue. It includes new sidewalk, bike lanes and bike route signs. That won’t likely begin until next year.

Ribbon cut on new section of Conner Creek Greenway

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Another section of the Conner Creek Greenway was opened yesterday in Detroit on Arbor Day — a holiday for tree planting created by a J. Sterling Morton, a Michigan Wolverine from Monroe, Michigan.

The event at Maheras Gentry Park began with a parade, music, and a long line of kids from the Detroit Merit Charter Academy. The kids were dressed in frog costumes they had made earlier. The frog theme was a nod to the parks historic condition as marshland. It was an amazing site to see.

Following the parade, remarks were made by those who helped make this greenway possible (i.e. the funders): Karla Hall of the DTE Energy Foundation, Tony Kratofil of MDOT, and Tom Woiwode from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

During his remarks, Kratofil announced MDOT’s commitment to funding the next portion of the Conner Creek Greenway. That portion is along Conner Avenue from McNichols to Eight Mile. That project includes a new section of sidewalks, bike lanes, bike routes, and some landscape improvements.

Wayne County Commissioners Tim Killeen and Bernard Parker also presented a resolution from the commission as well.

The new sections of greenway had been mostly completed late last year. That included bike lanes from Jefferson to Maheras Gentry Park along Clairpointe and a shared-use path from the park entrance to the existing paths near the river. The bike lanes on St. Jean built earlier last year were also part of the opening celebration.

Crain’s Detroit Business and Model D has media coverage prior to the event, while TV20 News has post-event coverage.

Conner Creek Greenway: new bike lanes and path

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Below are some photos taken this week of the new Conner Creek Greenway segment from Jefferson Avenue to the Detroit River at Mahera Gentry Park.

This 1.3 mile segment includes four different types of bicycle facilities! We have photos of each type.

Photo 1: Starting at Jefferson and heading south, there is a short stretch of shared, signed-roadway. It is signed as such.

Photo 2: The bike lanes begin.

Photo 3: Bayview Yacht Club needed occasional special events parking along Clairpointe about four times a year. There wasn’t enough roadway width for bike lanes and dedicated parking, so only the latter was constructed. However, since there are very rarely any cars parked here, it becomes a wide de facto bike lane. The road is signed as a bike route, too. This is a clever win-win solution that’s been used successfully in Chicago.

Photo 4: This is where approximately 2,000 (?) feet of shared-use path winds through Maheras Gentry Park and ends along the Detroit River.

Metro Detroit trail construction updates

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Conner Creek construction in Maheras Gentry Park

Conner Creek Greenway (Detroit)

The greenway segment from Jefferson to the Detroit River (at Mahera Gentry Park) should be completed this week. Most of this route is bike lanes, but there is also a new pathway through the park.

Clinton River Trail

The new  bridge over Telegraph Road in Pontiac will be completed this spring when they are able to pour the bridge’s concrete surface. It will remain closed until then.

Macomb Orchard Trail

The County expects that one closed bridge to be repaired this winter while the remainder of the trail is paved in the spring.

I-275 Metro Trail

MDOT construction and re-construction projects continue to move further along this pathway. From the north to the south:

  • MDOT expects to build the trail between 14 Mile and Maple next year.
  • The segment between 13 Mile and 14 Mile is nearly done. While the pathway is open, some landscaping work remains and won’t be completed until spring.
  • MDOT and Novi will be developing the connection from 13 Mile Road to the I-275 Metro Trail at Meadowbrook.
  • The trail maintenance from Meadowbrook to Hines Drive is completed and the trail is open.
  • Construction on the segment from Hines Drive to Michigan Avenue continues. MDOT expects the trail to open next month.
  • Construction is also underway from Michigan Avenue to I-94. That should be completed by October 2011.
  • From I-94 to Sibley Road, MDOT is replacing 6 bridges. They do not have funding yet to improve the trail surface.
  • There are no funded reconstruction projects yet for the I-275 path once it gets to Monroe County. That is actually in a different MDOT region. Monroe is very much interested in seeing this trail continued into Downtown Monroe, the Raisin River battlefield (War of 1812), and Sterling State Park.

Detroit biking in the news

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Just catching up on some Detroit biking stories in the news on World Car Free Day

Critical Mass Detroit

Last month, Real Detroit Weekly had some coverage on Detroit’s Critical Mass ride.

Biking in from the suburbs may not be an easy task, but once you make it down to Detroit you realize how friendly the city can be on two wheels. Every last Friday of the month, an ever-growing group of bikers take back the streets for a little ride called Critical Mass.

This first paragraph highlights one major point. Detroit’s Critical Mass ride is fun and is becoming hugely popular — but it’s not about taking back the streets. Detroit bicyclists already have it quite good on the streets.

If this Critical Mass were about making a statement for cyclists rights, it would be in the suburbs during rush hour. It would be in Rochester Hills, Canton, and Sterling Heights.

The ride is more like a mini-Tour de Troit without the food and T-shirt — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Conner Creek Greenway Update

Model D has a brief greenway construction update from Detroit’s east side.

The Riverfront Terminus of the Conner Creek Greenway is currently being built. This segment follows Clairpointe from Jefferson south to Maheras Gentry Park and includes bike lanes and landscaping along Clairpointe and a new trail and landscaping on the west side of the park. Construction is slated to be complete by end of October.

This summer, another segment of the greenway, one mile of bike lanes along St. Jean between Jefferson and Mack, was completed. The next stretch will run alongside Mt. Olivet Cemetery on Conner. The entire trail system is slated to be complete in 2013.

Motor City Road Diets

The Free Press has been publishing excerpts from John Gallagher’s new book, Reimagining Detroit. Gallagher discusses road diets and how they can lead to more bike lanes and improved pedestrian safety.

We almost never focus on the wide-open spaces of our main streets. Making Woodward, Jefferson, Gratiot, and the other spoke streets nine lanes wide (three lanes for traffic in each direction, one in the middle for turning, and a lane along either curb for parking) may have made sense in the 1950s when the city boasted a population near two million people.

But with Detroit’s population less than half its 1950s-era peak, these main streets now are absurdly overbuilt for the amount of traffic they carry.

Pedestrians, particularly seniors or parents with children in tow, find it all but impossible to cross one of these nine-line gulfs before the light changes. By narrowing the streets from three traffic lanes in each direction to two — by putting many of Detroit’s streets on a road diet — the city could make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

Since the 1950’s, Detroit’s urban freeway network also pulled many cars off these main roads as well, hence the great biking conditions.

Biking: a central theme

The Hamilton Spectator reported on this year’s Ontario Bike Summit. Jeff Olson from Alta Planning gave a little plug for Detroit.

A biking ‘guru’ who helped transform Portland into a cycling oasis has offered his expertise to Hamilton, a city he believes has “progressive potential.”

Jeff Olson, partner at Alta Planning and Design and a speaker at yesterday’s Ontario Bike Summit 2010 in Burlington, said a number of U.S. cities are using bicycles as a central theme in their shift from manufacturing hubs to modern urban centres. Included in that list are Buffalo, Dayton, Detroit and Cleveland.

Olson did some consulting on Detroit greenways last year and was truly awestruck by the biking potential.