Posts Tagged ‘Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink’

City of Detroit bike project updates

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink

The Greater Corktown Development Corporation spearheaded this Greenlink plan that would make Detroit’s Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods some of the most bike friendly places in Michigan. Among other bike facilities, the plans include about 20 miles of bike lanes. The Tour-de-Troit has been raising money for this project for some time as well.

However, the Greater Corktown Development Corporation has suffered financial issues as reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, but the project is moving forward.

To continue work on the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink project to connect those communities to Detroit’s west riverfront, Greater Corktown has secured an agreement from Southwest Detroit Business Association to serve as the new fiduciary for the greenlink, a project it’s worked on for over five years.

SDBA is working with Greater Corktown, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan to combine as one project the greenlink, the Southwest Detroit/East Dearborn Greenway it’s been shepherding, and other walkway and bike path work the city has planned for west Vernor, said Kathleen Wendler, president of the business association.

“I like to think of it as SDBA adopting the infant we took care of for some time but are currently unable to raise,” said Kavanaugh, a freelance writer and co-owner of Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop.

Yesterday at Councilmember Ken Cockrel’s Green Task Force, Detroit Traffic Engineering said they still hope this project can begin by the end of this construction season. Detroit’s W. Vernor project (from Waterman to Lansing Street) is expected to be done this year — which also includes bike lanes and improvements to that unlit (and nearly unpaved!) railroad underpass west of Livernois.

Once these three projects are completed, there will be bike lanes all along W. Vernor. This will greatly improve access to the amazing restaurants and bakeries in Southwest Detroit — an unbeatable fueling station for cyclists.

Villages CDC Planning & Bike Ambassadors

Model D is reporting on a recent grant awarded to the Villages CDC which include non-motorized planning.

The Villages CDC has been awarded $215,000 from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for greenways and bike lane planning and design. The money will also be used for community outreach and construction documents. Villages board member Kim Clayson hopes to complete this pre-development phase by February of next year.

While details are yet to be worked out, The Villages hopes to link its community up with other existing and planned greenways in Detroit, including the Dequindre Cut, Detroit RiverWalk and Conner Creek Greenway. Partners will include the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Creekside CDC, Jefferson East Business Association and Gleaners, since the agency is preliminarily planning a connection from its food bank to the Riverwalk.

Regarding the Gleaner’s Food Bank, they too received a grant for a feasibility study. That study will look at converting the abandoned railroad east of Beaufait into a trail. That railroad property runs from the Uniroyal site on the Detroit River (just west of the bridge) to Gratiot. This potential trail would also connect with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and their Earthworks Farm.

The Villages CDC grant is also funding the development of a bike ambassador strategy for Detroit. The Active Transportation Alliance out of Chicago will be working with local stakeholders to develop this strategy based upon their successful program in Chicago: Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors.

Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors work toward the following objectives:

  • to increase the number of trips made by bicycle
  • to reduce the number of bicycle-related injuries
  • to help all users – bike riders, motorists, and pedestrians – better share roads and off-street trails.

To accomplish these goals, the Ambassadors appear at events throughout Chicago to reach as many Chicagoans as possible with bicycle safety education. Ambassadors talk face-to-face with Chicagoans and give presentations to kids, teens, and adults by participating in community events.

There are also Junior Ambassadors who “work with the Bicycling Ambassadors to deliver bicycle safety messages to their peers.”

There would certainly be many benefits having a similar program in Detroit, and thankfully the Villages CDC and the Community Foundation are planting that seed.

Nine Detroit Projects to Watch in 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Here are nine bike- or trail-related Detroit projects scheduled for design, construction and/or completion in 2010.

9. Bus racks on DDOT buses

SMART buses already have racks and DDOT says their fleet should have them by the spring — or so we’ve been told.

8. Milliken State Park

Okay, technically this was opened in December, but given the weather, not many may know about this RiverWalk connection. One key is it brings the RiverWalk trail much closer to the Dequindre Cut. The DNR has already received some funding to continue the pathway around the large grassy mound.

7. Dequindre Cut Trail Extension

Construction is underway on this trail extension which connects the existing Dequindre Cut to Atwater and Milliken State Park. Construction should be completed by the fall.

6. Bagley Street Pedestrian Bridge

This critical non-motorized bridge over I-75 reconnects Bagley Street in Mexicantown. While the bridge appears complete, the ramps were not the last we’d seen them. We expect the construction to be completed early in 2010.

5. Anthony Wayne Drive/Third Avenue

Anthony Wayne Drive through the Wayne State Campus is being reconfigured to add more on-street parking and bike lanes.

4. Second Avenue

New Center Council is looking at reconfiguring Second Avenue between Grand Boulevard and the Wayne State Campus. It’s expected that the new configuration will become two-way with either bike lanes or shared-lanes.

3. Conner Creek Greenway

Two miles of this greenway are already completed near the city airport. More segments should be constructed this summer, including bike lanes along St. Jean between Mack and Jeffererson. Clairpointe from Jefferson to Maheras Gentry Park will also get bike lanes. A third segment along the Mt. Olivet cemetery and continuing north to Eight Mile is becoming ready to go as well.

2. Midtown Loop (Phase I)

Construction of the first mile of this new greenway should begin this spring along Kirby and John R. Phase II will complete the rectangular route along Canfield and Cass.

1. Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink

Construction is expected to begin this year. The end product will be 16 miles of bikes routes and bike lanes throughout the Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods.


The city of Detroit currently has about 7 miles of bike lanes, nearly all of which are on Belle Isle. That number should break 40 miles by the end of the year.

There are two other MDOT road projects that should have bike lanes but MDOT is providing flimsey excuses to not do so. Advocates are still pushing MDOT on those and if MDOT does the right thing, Detroit would surpass Ann Arbor’s bike lane mileage.

HEP Announces Detroit Greenway Mini-Grants

Friday, December 18th, 2009

HEP Detroit Greenway Mini-grants

From the Healthy Environments Partnership:

Do you have an idea for how to create a more beautiful and physically active environment in your community?

For example, have you ever wanted to plant a community garden, create artwork along a greenway, or host a walk & talk program in your neighborhood to bring policy makers out where residents could share local concerns?

If so, the Greenway Mini-grants can help make it happen!

Mini-grants of up to $1000 are being awarded to community groups developing sustainable projects and activities that 1) engage community residents, 2) build local ownership of the greenways, and 3) create social and physical environments conducive to active living and heart health.

Mini-grants will be awarded to Detroiters working to achieve these goals through creative community-based projects along the Conner Creek Greenway, Brightmoor’s Lyndon Greenway, or the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenway.

For more information about applying for a mini-grant contact: Deedee Varick, Health Educator, 734-615-3956, deedry@umich.edu

Mini-grant application and guidelines available at: www.hepdetroit.org (click on Community Activities)

Application deadline: February 15, 2010

Links: Mini-grant Flyer & Mini-Grant Application