Posts Tagged ‘DDOT’

Detroit Bike Shorts

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Bikes on Buses

All SMART buses and about half of DDOT buses now have bicycle racks. DDOT expects all of their buses to have racks by the first quarter of 2011.

Weren’t they talking about possibly three-bike racks? Yes, but we were told there was an apparent design problem with those racks. When loaded, they blocked the bus left headlight. Not good. DDOT is also looking at funding bike racks near their transit stops.

DDOT’s Bikes on Buses brochure is on-line (PDF).

Lighting the viaduct

Model D is reporting on an effort by 100 Points of Light to light the W. Vernor viaduct at the Michigan Central Station.

Armed with a grant from Kresge Community Arts, the group — comprised of siblings Mary Beth and Patrick Carolan and Robert Reese — propose a series of solatubes paired with chandeliers inspired by those once found in the depot that are powered by light stored in solar panels. Eventually, excess power generated would be sold back to the grid, creating the possibility that the concept becomes not only self-sustaining, but profitable.

Over the next few months, 100 Points of Light will focus on cleaning up the underpass and replacing existing bulbs with high-efficiency LEDs while planning for installation gets underway.

A better lit viaduct will be very welcomed by cyclists. The darkness makes it difficult to see road hazard. Also, it’s difficult knowing how well motorists can see cyclists there. More light would be great.

The lack of light is one reason why the W. Vernor bike lanes (to be installed next year) end before going under the viaduct.

RiverWalk progress

A DNRE official was on the Craig Fahle show discussing the cleanup of the Uniroyal site. This site is on the Detroit River between two completed sections of the RiverWalk: Gabriel Richard Park and Mt. Elliot Park. Site cleanup could begin as early as next spring. This is a necessary step before this critical RiverWalk segment can be constructed.

And this Sunday the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is leading a free guided tour of the RiverWalk from 10am until 11am at the Rivard Plaza. There are more details on their Facebook page. They are asking attendees to RSVP by tomorrow by sending an email to

Reaching our goals together

There was a Greens Streets and Highways Conference in Denver this week. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote about it on his blog, including this quote:

We have the tools, and are developing even more tools, to make sure that transportation doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Highway advocates, environmentalists, car owners, truckers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and preservationists can all reach their goals–together.

No more excuses for Metro Detroit road agencies.

We need leaders who find solutions to problems rather than continuing to find problems with solutions.

Woodward to get light rail and “bike paths”?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The Varsity News is reporting on a transportation symposium held at the University of Detroit-Mercy last week.

The symposium included a discussion on the proposed light rail project currently being planned for Woodward. It is hoped that ground will be broken on the first phase of this project by late next year.

According to the article, one person raised concerns about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

[Board president of M1 Rail, Matt] Cullen said the system “will be very pedestrian friendly.”

The rail line will have stops at major sites, such as stadiums, colleges and the New Center area. It will create more foot traffic, and there will also be a bike bath.

“It allows you to explore further,” Cullen said.

We wonder if he meant bike lanes on Woodward. Others have asked for them and rumor is they are feasible.

If this is the case, it’s a big improvement over what Cullen told us last winter. He said bikes might be pushed off Woodward.

Light Rail Community Workshops

And speaking on the light rail project, DDOT is hosting community workshops next week.

Here are the details:


Woodward Light Rail meeting

Monday, August 9th, 2010

DDOT and the Federal Transit Authority are hosting the initial public meeting for the Woodward Light Rail project this Saturday. The meeting purpose is “discuss the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Woodward Avenue (M-1) Light Rail Project from Downtown Detroit to Eight Mile Road (M-102).”

The EIS will consider impacts to bicyclists using Woodward — which is key. Light rail tracks along the curb are not always the best choice for bicyclists.

Earlier discussions were to not have biking on Woodward, at least below Grand Boulevard. It was suggested cyclists could use some streets paralleling Woodward. That overlooks the fact that people want to ?ride to destinations on Woodward.

Not accommodating bicycles on Woodward might just give Detroit’s Critical Mass something to protest.

Meeting Details

When: Saturday, August 14, 2010. Attend from 11am to 1pm or 5pm to 7pm.

Where: Considine Light Rock Family Life Center Auditorium (8904 Woodward Avenue, Detroit)

More Detroit progress: Bus racks and the Cut

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

A couple recent items popped up on the July 27th Detroit City Council agenda that area cyclists might be interested in. Though we’re not certain that they passed, it’s likely they did since they were successfully reported out of committee.

First, a contact to purchase bus bike racks was before council.

Brown, reso. autho. Contract No. 2824443 – 20% State Funding; 80% Federal Funding – To Provide Bus Bicycle Racks, Spare Parts and Associated Hardware – RFQ #33730 Sportworks Northwest, Inc., 15540 Wood-Red Road N.E., Bldg #A-200, Woodinville, WA 98072 – Contract Period: August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2013, with Two (2), One (1) Year Renewal Options – Items (2) Unit Price: $38.00/each to $546.00/each. Lowest Total Bid – Estimated Cost: $353,999.36/Three Years – TRANSPORTATION

DDOT has said they would get bus bike racks on their existing fleet. They’re new buses already have them.

Second, and we’ve mentioned this already, but a grant application for extending the Dequindre Cut was approved by council committee.

Brown, reso. autho. Endorsing the Application to MDNRE Right of Way Acquisition. (DPW intends to submit an application to MDNRE for an amount of $500,000.00 to acquire the Right-of-Way (ROW) needed for the construction of Dequindre Cut, Phase II Project.) (REPORTED OUT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY STANDING COMMITTEE 07-26-10) WAIVER OF RECONSIDERATION

This grant request would be for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which this year is flush with money. That means it’s very likely the Dequindre Cut grant will be approved. This grant is only to acquire the right-of-way. Additional funds will be required to improve existing bridges over the Cut and to build the trail itself.

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.