Posts Tagged ‘DRIC’

Biking Between Windsor and Detroit

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

detroit-riverBikes are not allowed on the Ambassador Bridge or in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.  They certainly aren’t allowed on the railroad tunnel beneath the Detroit River.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to talk the Truck Ferry operator into a ride.

Or you can take the Windsor Transit Tunnel Bus.  But, unlike all the other buses in the Windsor fleet, you aren’t allowed to use the bus bike rack.  You must disassemble your bike, put it in a bag, and carry it on the bus — not a practical solution.

Groups like Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) and MTGA are working to add a better option with the proposed new bridge over the Detroit River.  (The bridge is more properly called the Detroit River International Crossing or DRIC.)

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) says:

The new bridge over the Detroit River and the plaza will be engineered to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its Canadian counterpart (Customs and Border Services Agency) will determine whether this traffic is allowed.

That’s a great start.  MTGA and others have submitted comments in support of making the new bridge a practical non-motorized connection between Windsor and Detroit.

Imagine the boost to cycling tourism.  Imagine how valuable an international connection would be between two cities both developing bike and greenway networks.  Imagine the Tour d’Troit heading over to Windsor on a new bridge.

The FEIS also includes more good news:

Bike lanes will be added to both sides of Jefferson Avenue and Clark Street, linking the Rouge River Gateway Master Plan Trail and potentially the proposed West Riverfront Greenway. Non-motorized paths will be included in the buffer zone surrounding the plaza.

Some of our friends in Windsor are also pushing for this crossing as well.

In the meantime, efforts are underway to determine if and how the Transit Windsor Tunnel Bus could better accomodate bikes.

EDIT: There is a Yahoo! discussion group dedicated to this topic.