Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’

TAP grants fund local bicycle and trail projects

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The current Federal Transportation bill made many changes to how we fund non-motorized projects. One major change was the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) functionally replaced the old Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. The bill also required MDOT to share that TAP funding to groups like SEMCOG that would make grants within their seven county region.

At the national level, this sharing was considered a “win”. In Michigan, MDOT did a fair job with TE funding, so this may be a negative since it adds complexity and requires advocates to monitor two separate granting programs.

Either way, the first round of SEMCOG TAP grant funding has been announced — a total of $6.3 million in grants:

  • City of New Baltimore, Connection to the County Line Rd. Path, $183,016
  • City of Monroe, North Dixie Highway Median, $80,000
  • City of Auburn Hills, Opdyke Pathway Gaps, $267,475
  • City of Auburn Hills, Downtown Riverwalk Squirrel Ct Improvements, $194,589
  • City of Ferndale, Livernois Complete Street, $118,094.40
  • City of Ferndale, West Nine Mile Streetscape Improvement (Livernois to Pinecrest) Phase IV, $590,134
  • City of Novi, Metro Connector Trail, $741,200
  • City of Rochester, Safety Crossing, $99,970
  • St. Clair County Road Commission, Bridge to Bay Trail on Desmond Landing, $211,339
  • City of Port Huron, Bridge to Bay trail – 10th Street to Military Street, $250,614
  • Ypsilanti Twp (Road Commission for Washtenaw County), Grove Road trail reconstruction, $763,000
  • City of Allen Park, Ecorse Road Streetscape, $626,883
  • City of Dearborn, Proposed Rouge River Greenway Extension Project- UM Dearborn Connection, $242,830
  • City of Dearborn, Rouge River Gateway Trail Extension Phase I, $302,000
  • City of Detroit, West Vernor / Woodmere to Clark Streetscape, $1,000,000
  • City of Detroit, Congress Streetscape, $636,310

Our favorite? bike shop morphett vale will provide bike lanes and more to improve the cycling connection between Ferndale (at 9 Mile) and Detroit. The city of Detroit is also looking at improvements to Livernois south of Eight Mile. When completed, this will provide a nice route between the University District/Sherwood Forest neighborhoods and downtown Ferndale.

We also like Dearborn’s extension of the Rouge Gateway Trail from Andiamo’s Restaurant and westward. Ending in a restaurant parking lot on a busy Michigan Avenue is far from ideal. Continuing the trail to the nearby neighborhood and park is a great idea.

Many of the other projects are wide sidewalks and sidepaths along roads. With the exception of Novi’s project (which connects two MDOT trails), it’s disappointing to see these projects funded from a limited source. We think the cities should pay for sidewalks and sidepaths, especially since in so many cases they less safe and more costly than other options.

Detroit public bike share study seeks feedback

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Toronto bike shareThe Detroit Public Bike Share study is well underway. Data gathering is underway, and as part of that, the consultants are asking where you might want to see bike share stations within the Greater Downtown Detroit area. Please visit their web site, and provide your feedback.

If you prefer, you may give your input at the following locations:

  • D:Hive Welcome Center (1253 Woodward)
  • Detroit Public Library – Main Branch lobby (5201 Woodward)
  • Detroit Public Library – Elmwood Branch (550 Chene)
  • Detroit Public Library – Bowen Branch (3648 W. Vernor)

The study has two components. First is to determine the feasibility of such a system. Will there be enough users based on the density of destinations, the bicycle infrastructure, and more. Bike shares work best in urban areas where the distances between destinations isn’t too far.

The second part of the study is to develop a business plan. That plan will estimate the costs of building and operating the system, makes suggestions as to who might run it, determine a cost structure and more. This information will be based on what other cities are successfully doing, but tweaked with the feedback we’ve given them.

For example, New York City is being paid to install their bike share system. That’s because selling advertising on the system generated significant funding in New York, unlike most other U.S. cities including Detroit. We’ll likely have to rely on federal transportation dollars to buy the system and rely on sponsorship and membership to keep it running.

One area we’ve highlighted from the start is equity. In order to rent a bike, one needs to put a deposit on it typically with a credit or debit card. We’ve asked for options on how those without these cards or who might not be able to afford the membership fee could use the system. Some systems had partnered with local banks and social service providers to solve these issues. Or, it may make more sense to simply increase bike ownership rather than adapt the system. The bottom line is increasing bicycle transportation access for the entire community and there is no one solution.

An often asked question is won’t the bikes get stolen. That was a concern early on. One vendor noted that they’ve only had one bike stolen nationwide. Basically, these bikes aren’t racing machines. They’re very unique looking. It would be much easier for someone to steal a privately owned bike rather than one of these.

For more updates, follow @DetBikeShare on Twitter.

Exciting January bike events in Detroit

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

CAID Anti-Auto ShowAh, the old days when it was rare to find others to ride with in the winter in Detroit… If you were lucky you might find another couple diehards riding a Critical Mass.

Those days are over and now colder months are getting their share of bike-related events.

Last weekend was The Hub’s 24-hour bike ride fundraiser event.

CAID Anti-Auto Show

Starting January 12th this this interesting Contemporary Aid Institute of Detroit (CAID) event at 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard:

The Fourth Annual North American International Anti-Auto Show opens to the public on January 13, with a private formal charity Gala Preview on Friday, January 12 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., and open to the public from 9 – midnight.

Tickets to the future-themed Gala include sneak peeks at this year’s rollouts, drinks and hors d’oevres, entertainment, and a chance to say you attended the hippest party of the brutal winter. Last year’s guests are still talking about car karaoke, so this is an event not to be missed!

Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 313-898-4ART.

The preview event on the 12th helps support CAID’s Community Bikes Project:

CAID Bikes Project is run by CAID Board Member Professor Nic Tobier from the University of Michigan. Students at Detroit Community High in Brightmore will build bamboo bicycle trailers and utility tricycles (among them a pedi cab, a recycling business and a landscape/gardening vehicle)!

There’s also this intriguing video about the event.

MLK Ride

On January 21st is the inaugural and free Martin Luther King Jr. group ride.

Join Tour de Troit and Detroit City Council Member Ken Cockrel, Jr. in a cycling celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This will be a free ride. Families are encouraged. The ride will begin and end at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on the Campus of Wayne State University.

The route is approximately 10 miles and will take in the length of the 1963 March to Freedom and several historical sites relevant to King and other local activists that were integral to the March and and the impact of the I Have a Dream speech delivered at Cobo Arena afterwards.

Registration is FREE, but required.

Bicycle Bicycle!

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center is opening their Bicycle Bicycle! art show on January 23rd. They are still seeking submissions!

The Huffington Post wrote this article about this event:

Katherine Maurer, curator of the gallery, said the increasing popularity of bikes in the city inspired the show.

“Bike lanes are cropping up, new companies are designing and manufacturing bicycles, while at the same time organizations that have been involved with bicycles for years continue to do their work,” Maurer told The Huffington Post in an email. She added that Detroit’s upcoming annual auto show also played a role because of the dialogue it generates around transportation and vehicles.

“In January so much of the city is all about cars, cars, cars and while given our history I certainly think that is valid,” she said, “it is important to remember that cars are not the only mode of transport that power the city and the people in it.”

Correct, cars are not the only more of transport — even during January in Detroit.

Greenway job opportunity on Detroit’s Eastside

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

From the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative:

Job Title: Executive Director

Reports to: Chairperson or Appointed Representative, Board of Directors

Job Term: One-year contractual engagement. Full-time work schedule will include a set of core hours, but will require accommodations for some evenings and weekends.

Job Scope: Manage the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative and direct the planning, design, construction, programming, and general operations of the Conner Creek Greenway and related greenways with a goal of developing a linked network of greenways to connect people and places on Detroit’s Eastside.

Required Qualifications:
o Minimum Bachelor’s degree, preferred Master’s degree, in planning, natural resources, public policy, health or other related field.
o Familiarity with greenway operations including design, construction, programming, maintenance and fundraising
o Excellent project management and organizational skills
o Demonstrated ability to manage staff or interns
o Demonstrated experience fundraising and managing organizational and programmatic budgets
o Excellent communication and interpersonal skills both verbal and written
o Proven ability to take initiative and work independently
o Experience with computer software including Microsoft Office Suite and social media including Constant Contact and Facebook

Desired Qualifications:
o Resident of Detroit
o Familiarity with Detroit’s Eastside

Key Responsibilities
o Serve as chief executive officer of the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative overseeing financial and administrative work
o Conduct and manage fundraising efforts
o Manage Conner Creek Greenway Operations including design, construction, programming and maintenance
o Coordinate greenway operations with partners such as City of Detroit, Greening of Detroit, Detroit Greenways Coalition, etc.
o Support development of related greenways such as the Elmwood Connector and Belt Line Greenway
o Support city-wide greenway efforts through the Detroit Greenways Coalition, Food & Fitness Initiative and GREEN Task Force
o Coordinate events to promote awareness and use of the greenway as needed
o Oversee Farm to Head Start Program
o Monitor Earn-A-Bike Program
o Work with community partners, community organizations and residents to support clean, safe and well-used greenway(s)
o Provide regular reporting, program analysis, budget updates and course correction to the Board of Directors as needed.

Contract range – $45,000-$60,000 commensurate with experience. Contractor is responsible for covering his or her own benefits.

How To Apply
Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative is an equal opportunity employer. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, resume and three (3) references to:

Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
4401 Conner Street
Detroit, Michigan 48215-2201

Please submit resumes by January 18, 2013

Revised 12/12/12

Greater Grace Temple giving away 150 bikes

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Once again Greater Grace Temple is really stepping forward to help get more Detroit kids on bikes. With the help of Happy’s Pizza, Detroit Lion Joique Bell, and Tigers mascot PAWS, they’re giving away 150 bicycles “to children from financially struggling families.”

The bicycle giveaway is this Sunday after church service. The families in need have already been selected.

This giveaway has done on for many years now. Greater Grace Temple has given out over 2,500 bicycles.

“For many people, one of their fondest childhood memories was receiving a brand new bicycle on Christmas morning,” says Greater Grace Temple’s Senior Pastor Bishop Charles H. Ellis III. “We want to do something to help those families that have been hit hard by this economy.”

Last year Greater Grace Temple also hosted a walking audit with the Michigan AARP and Dan Burden. They’re not only giving away bikes, but supportive of making the neighborhood a better place to walk and bike.