Posts Tagged ‘Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink’

Motor vehicle parking restrictions in Southwest Detroit

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The below alert from the Southwest Detroit Business Association is being passed along to show the size and comprehensive network of bike lanes that are being installed throughout Southwest Detroit:

There will be no parking today (Thursday, August 11. 2011) along the following streets to allow for the construction of the bike lanes:

  • 14th St / Train Station to Bagley
  • W. Grand / Toledo to Vernor
  • MLK Blvd / Rosa Parks to 14thLawton to the East
  • Washash to Rosa Parks
  • Vernor E. All
  • Vernor W. All
  • Rosa Parks/Bagley (southbound)
  • I-75 to Elm St
  • Layfayette / Brooklyn to 10th St
  • 10th to Trumbull
  • Bagley / Rosa Parks to 14th St.

Construction will begin at 8:00 AM and should be completed as soon as possible. A police enforced parking ban will be in effect during this time. When constructed is completed, the parking ban will be lifted. Please make the appropriate arrangements to prevent your vehicles from being ticketed and facilitate the construction of the bike lanes.

This project is part of the Southwest Detroit Greenway that will follow West Vernor from Patton Park into Mexicantown and Corktown. The construction of these bike routes is a great investment in Southwest Detroit, enjoy them!

New bikes lanes in Corktown and Southwest Detroit

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Have you seen the new bike lanes and bike routes being installed throughout Corktown, Mexicantown, and along West Vernor in Southwest Detroit?

This is not a new project. It started about seven or so years ago with the Greater Corktown Development Corporation and a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The goal was to make the area more walkable and bikeable while connecting it to the future West RiverWalk.

But much has changed since then. Greater Corktown went through financial issues forcing them to hand off the project to the Southwest Business Development Association (SDBA). In taking over the project, the SDBA expanded it to include bike lanes along most of West Vernor, connecting it with their existing trail through Patton Park.

The project design also changed over time, shifting from having some off-road paths to simply bike lanes and bike routes. The latter are being employed on roads that are too narrow for bike lanes.

In the meantime, the wildly successful Tour de Troit has generated additional funds for the project to keep pushing it forward.

Safety Grants

There’s one other piece. The city of Detroit applied for an MDOT grant to improve safety along a portion of West Vernor from Livernois to Waterman. As a result, the city is adding bike lanes along that one mile of Vernor. They’re also adding lighting beneath the viaduct just west of Livernois.

When completed, there will be 24 miles of new bike lanes and 11 miles of signed bike routes.

Building on this success, the city recently applied for seven safety grants and received six. The city is looking to add bike lanes to all six projects in 2012, which includes roads such as Central and West Chicago.

Bike parking, directional signs, and more

And there are additional projects which complement this work.

There are new bike racks being installed throughout the area by a handful of different groups. Have you seen the new cool bike racks at Clark Park? They’re across the street from Cafe con Leche.

Also, the SDBA is also looking at wayfinding — signs and maps that help guide bicyclists through the area. For example, a sign might provide bicyclists with direction and mileage on how to get to specific destinations like downtown, the RiverWalk, Roosevelt Park, and Patton Park. The posted mileage also reminds those who don’t bike just how close some places are — and that perhaps bicycling between them is easier than they may have thought.

This wayfinding project is looking to develop designs that can be used across the city, which would help keep signs more consistent.

Adventure Cycling should have their first of two maps completed this year for their Underground Railroad Bicycle Route through Detroit. That route has been located on West Vernor to take advantage of these bike lanes.

Now wouldn’t it be great if the West Vernor bike lanes could get you to the Rouge Gateway Trail and Hines Drive in Dearborn?

Grace Lee Boggs: Building a quality city

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Longtime Detroiter and activist Grace Lee Boggs was at the West Willis block party last Saturday. She was there to celebrate the success of West Willis and the community that has been built around the Avalon Bakery.

She also signed copies of her new book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century.

In speaking briefly with Ms. Boggs, I complimented her on an article she’d written a few years ago, A (Nearly) Carfree Society is Possible.

A lot of people are angry these days about the high price of gas. But one hundred years from now our posterity may bless this period when soaring gas prices finally forced Americans to bike or take public transportation to work and to start dreaming of neighborhood stores within walking distance.

We have a choice: between a city that is friendlier to cars or a city that is friendlier to people, especially children.

While at first glance, her new book doesn’t spend much time specifically on transportation, it does talk about the Motor City.

Detroit is a city of Hope rather than a city of Despair. The thousands of vacant lots and abandoned houses provide not only the space to begin anew but also the incentive to create innovative ways of making a living — ways that nurture our productive, cooperative, and caring selves.

In a similar manner, Detroit’s often abandoned streets are an opportunity to start anew, to design them as Complete Streets and to foster other transportation modes beyond just the car.

And we’re heading in that direction.

The construction of the comprehensive Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink bike project this year will serve as a good blueprint for other Detroit neighborhoods. It should shed light on what is possible in this city.

Detroit bike shorts: Updates from around the city

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Google Bike Directions

If you use Google Maps to get a bike route between Detroit and Windsor, it will give you directions to use the Tunnel. Of course the Tunnel is not open to cyclists so we alerted Google and they are in the process of correcting that.

Southwest Detroit

We recently heard from the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) that construction on the Corktown/Mexicantown/West Vernor Greenlinks are on schedule and are close to moving to bid. “Construction is still scheduled for this spring/summer.”

Also on the Southwest side of Detroit, Model D is reporting on a planned Beard Park expansion led by the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI). The plans call for a pump track. We helped connect Miss Cory Coffey — a BMX World Champion now living in Detroit — with this project. Beard Park is located north of W. Fort Street and a couple blocks east of Woodmere.

Detroit to Muskegon bike route

The League of Michigan Bicyclists has compiled input from cyclists to create a bicycle route from Detroit to Musekgon. The PDF route is on-line and it is very large at 27 megabytes.

RiverWalk’s Faye Nelson

Detroit Riverfront Conservancy President Faye Nelson received the 24th Soul and Spirit Humanitarian Award from Judge Damon Keith. Nelson also recently recognized by Grio as a History Maker in the Making for her RiverWalk efforts. “Nelson’s work has brought over $100 million to the area and renewed interest in the once-struggling neighborhood, becoming not just a beautification project, but a rallying point for the community.”

Reimagining Livernois

A Free Press editorial discusses the planning efforts to revitalize Livernois Avenue in Northwest Detroit.

Urban Land Institute’s Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use gathered in northwest Detroit. The urban planners, developers, city managers and architects spent four days generating ideas to turn the Livernois corridor — from 6 Mile to St. Martins, north of 7 Mile — into a thriving urban main street that could meet the retail and entertainment needs of one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. Similar Urban Land Institute efforts will take place this year in Charlotte, Sacramento and Houston.

One of the group’s conclusions is to make the street more bike friendly with traffic calming and bike paths. The relatively new boulevard, while improving pedestrian and vehicle safety, does limit the options for on-road bike facilities. There may not be enough room for bike lanes. Sharrows would be an alternative. And while sharrows may not make the road comfortable for less experienced cyclists, it should be possible to make the parallel residential streets more bike friendly.

Ordonez bikes

As many Red Wings have done, Detroit Tiger Magglio Ordonez now includes biking, including mountain biking in his training regimen.

[Alex] Avila noted how Ordonez would occasionally be a few minutes late for the workouts, only to have a pretty good excuse.

“We’d say, ‘Where have you been,'” Avila said. “‘Oh, I was riding my bike 15 miles.'”

Ordonez’s workout regimen drew attention last year, when his program was compared to that of a football player. But he also got into bicycle riding, especially mountain bikes.

It looks like the Tigers are at home for the 2011 Tour de Troit weekend… You in, Maggio?

Mexicantown public planning session tonight

Monday, November 8th, 2010

From the Detroit News

By early next summer, the Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink project will add bike lanes and routes all across the area. It’s likely that these neighborhoods will have a higher density of bike facilities than any other in Michigan.

But there’s more than just biking planned for this area.

Tonight from 4pm until 7pm is a public open house:

Come share with us a Community Vision for a 20 Block Area of Vernor and Bagley in and around the Mexicantown Mercado. Over 100 stakeholders came together to strategize on the Redevelopment of this Vital Area.

Design Boards will be on display for your review and comments.

Sponsored by: Southwest Housing and Detroit Collaborative Design Center, University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.

Today’s Detroit News has an article with additional details.

One good question is how will this area’s planned redevelopment enhance and take advantage of the new biking facilities? We’ll know more tonight.