Posts Tagged ‘economic stimulus’

Metro Detroit Trail Updates for August 2010

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Clinton River Trail: Bridge Groundbreaking

MDOT and the city of Pontiac are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the new trail bridge over Telegraph. The ceremony is August 12th at 10AM on the eastern edge of the bridge near Old Telegraph.

This bridge will connect two important pieces of the Clinton River Trail that are currently very difficult to connect using surface streets. A rendering of the bridge is shown on the right. This project is being funded primarily with ARRA (a.k.a. stimulus) money. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is also contributing.

This still leaves one major gap in the Clinton River Trail for Pontiac: from Bagley Street west of Downtown to the Auburn Hills border at Opdyke.

We are clearly ignoring the trail’s improper signed routing of the Clinton River Trail through Downtown Pontiac on sidewalks. Yes, a newly signed bicycle route on sidewalks.

We’re not sure how such obvious mistake could have been funded by MDOT given the AASHTO bicycle guidelines clear instructions against it — especially within a central business district. It’s unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Macomb Orchard Trail: More Asphalt

The Detroit News is reporting that nine more miles of the Macomb Orchard Trail will be paved.

Officials recently authorized the county to seek a low-interest loan to pay for paving those parts of the trail.

“We’ve already submitted our application and it’s being reviewed,” said Bob Hoepfner, the county’s chief highway engineer. “Hopefully we’ll know if it’s approved in about a month. We’d like to get it paved this year if we can.”

There were many complaints about the existing pea gravel surface, so this is certainly good news for cyclists and pedestrians.

Milford Village: Seeking Sidepaths

Another Oakland County government with its DDA was looking to build a side paths for bicyclists (calling them “safety” paths) in spite of the AASHTO bicycle guidelines against it. This sidepath would include 18 intersections in less than one-third of a mile: 2 sidewalks, 3 roads, and 13 residential driveways.

“We asked how can we do this economically,” [Village Manager Arthur] Shufflebarger said. “The DDA went through the options, and said this one was the least expensive.”

They apparently didn’t go through the AASHTO bicycle design guidelines for options. The least expensive option would be an safe, on-road connection.

That said, the?sidepath project was stopped within the same month due to other reasons.

I-275 Metro Trail: Open House

MDOT is scheduling another 5.5 miles of trail reconstruction along I-275 for next spring. This includes rehabilitating “six bridges and two boardwalks, install a pedestrian signal at Ecorse Road and upgrade signs.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open house-style meeting to provide an overview on the 2011 construction work on the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the bike path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and I-94. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details and provide feedback regarding this project.

The open house is August 10th, from 5pm until 7pm at the Fellows Creek Golf Club (2936 South Lotz Road in Canton.)

Detroit gets Complete Streets grant

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Recently, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) received ARRA (economic stimulus) funding for Michigan to support local efforts to pass Complete Streets policies.

The purpose of this grant opportunity is to fund local health departments and one of their communities that are ready to work on passing a local Complete Streets ordinance. This is to support Michigan in having safer and connected communities in Michigan, increase assess to daily physical activity for transportation and recreation, and increase the physical activity levels in Michigan to reduce chronic disease and obesity in communities.

Grants up to $12,000 were available to five Michigan communities this year and another five next year.

The Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion (DHWP) applied for this funding. We learned this week that Detroit was among the five chosen.

There are many grant requirements, including passing a Complete Streets ordinance by January 31, 2011.

DWHP also applied for Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) funding through the Centers for Disease Control — also available through ARRA.

In Detroit’s application, much of that funding would go towards obesity prevention through building “Healthy Zone” neighborhoods which included active living and transportation. Unfortunately, Detroit was not chosen.

Nonetheless, it’s great to see another city department recognizing the need for better biking and walking in Detroit.

Clinton River Trail bridge ready for construction

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

The Oakland Press has an article on the new pedestrian/bike bridge over Telegraph Road just north of Orchard Lake. This is a critical missing piece of the Clinton River Trail and will be very welcomed as there are no safe alternatives given the area’s poor road designs.

Bids were expected Thursday on the project with construction starting in late May and early June.

The bridge should be completed by Nov. 15, according to officials.

Mayor Leon Jukowski said the bridge would provide a safe place for people to enjoy the natural beauty of the parks and river trail.

“It’s a great opportunity for the city and it will connect us with our neighboring communities,” he said.

This project is being paid for through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) also know as the stimulus funding.

More Metro Detroit trail news

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Yes, there is a street named Greenway in DetroitThe Detroit News recently covered trails developments both Downriver and in Macomb County.

One interesting quote from Macomb County highlights the importances of biking and walking infrastructure investments as a means for attracting new companies and jobs.

Steve Cassin, the county’s director of planning and economic development, said surveys have shown that the top two factors for industry looking to locate a new operation include the availability of work force and quality of life. Greenways and outdoor offerings, he said, are a major factor in quality of life considerations.

I-275 Metro Trail

We’d mentioned earlier that the I-275 bike path (now called the I-275 Metro Trail) received $4 million in stimulus funding for reconstruct the trail from Michigan Avenue to Hines Drive. However, it did not get any round two stimulus funding.

However, bids for MDOT’s stimulus projects have been coming about 10% lower than anticipated. That has freed up additional money that MDOT will use to reconstruct the I-275 Metro Trail from Michigan Avenue south to Sibley Road, where it will connect with the Willow Metropark.

This is great news and a critical connection.

Detroit Trails

Some trail projects in the city of Detroit also received stimulus funding.

The biggest project is Phase I of the Midtown Loop. This project will transform the sidewalks on Kirby and John R into more of a RiverWalk design — wide paths with benches, art, and more. It also includes bike storage. The project has gone out to bid and construction is expected to begin in this spring.

Another project is a resurfacing project on St. Jean from Jefferson to Mack Avenue. Once resurfaced, St. Jean will have bike lanes and become another completed segment of the Conner Creek Greenway. This project has been awarded and construction should begin this spring as well.

No Round 2 for State Transportation Stimulus Funding

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Early on some states were saying they may not use the transportation stimulus funding. A mechanism was in place to divide that unused state funding to other states that could use it, like Michigan. It was looking like 15 states might not make the deadline.

As it turns out, all of the states did. Their money will not funnel back to Michigan.

This is unfortunate because some projects were on the list to receive this second round of funding. A second I-275 Metro Trail (formerly known as the I-275 bike path) project was one of them, as was the Conner Creek Greenway in Detroit.