Posts Tagged ‘economic stimulus’

Royal Oak moves forward with non-motorized planning

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Last night the Royal Oak City Commission approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals which would include a non-motorized transportation master plan. That plan’s creation would eventually be funded through the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG) program — part of the economic stimulus package.

The City of Royal Oak is interested in receiving proposals for technical consultant services to assist the city to develop and/or implement a strategy for… the development of a non-motorized transportation plan to site and install infrastructure such as bicycle routes, lanes, pathways, and signed shared roadways, as well as sidewalks and pedestrian walkways.

UPDATE: “The submission deadline for proposals is Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. For more information, contact Doug Hedges or Joseph Murphy at (248) 246-3280.”?The proposal deadline is June 12th and the city expects to select the winning proposal(s) by sometime around June 25th.

This is a critical first step to improving the quality of travel for those who are providing their own motor.

And it’s great news for anyone who bikes, walks, or runs in Royal Oak.

Link: Royal Oak Request for Proposals

Make your city more bike friendly with Energy Block Grants

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

michigan_268974_7The excuse of not having money to make your community more bike friendly just got a whole lot weaker thanks to Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG).

This funding is another a portion of the overall economic stimulus package and it can fund bicycling planning, construction, and programming:

Entities may develop and implement programs to conserve energy used in transportation, including but not limited to:

  • Development of infrastructure such as bike lanes and pathways and pedestrian walkways;
  • State/locals/regional integrated planning activities (i.e. transportation, housing, environmental, energy,land use) with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled;
  • Incentive programs to reduce commutes by single occupancy vehicles;

Nearly $58 million will go to Michigan cities, townships, and counties that already receive block grant funding (see list below.) A minimum of just over $11 million will be awarded competitively among Michigan’s other communities.

The application deadline is June 25th, 2009. Any awarded funds must be obligated within 18 months.

Royal Oak, Novi and Detroit

Both of these cities are applying for EECBG funding to develop non-motorized transportation master plans. These plans would help both cities develop a strategy for making their cities more walkable and bikeable. (Troy is current going through this plannng.)

Detroit already has a non-motorized transportation plan, so we will be encouraging them so spend a portion of this funding on implementing the plan.

What Can You Do?

We are encouraging all cyclists to contact their local government and ask that they apply for EECBG funding to make their community more bike friendly.

If your city doesn’t have a non-motorized transportation plan (and nearly all don’t in Metro Detroit), EECBG funding can pay for one. This is a good starting point for cities looking to become more bike friendly. For cities like Royal Oak and Novi, these plans costs between $40K and $50K

As mentioned, some cities are automatically eligible for a specific amount of funding. Here’s a listing for eligible cities in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne County. For a complete listing, visit Michigan’s Recovery web site.


I-275 Bike Path: Getting Clean and Improved

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Some segments of the bike path are in such repair that they've been closed

Some segments of the bike path are in such repair that they've been closed

The 44-mile long I-275 Bike Path is getting some love.

For the next two Saturdays, the Friends of the I-275 Bike Path are hosting trail cleanup days. The details are below.

If you ever ride on the I-275 Pathway, now is the time to pitch in and get it in shape for the spring & summer riding season! The Friends of the I-275 Pathway are organizing cleanup dates the next two weekends.

The first is Saturday, April 18th, from 9 a.m. to noon. We’ll be gathering on the west side of the Duo-gard parking lot in Canton Twp. at 40442 Koppernick (just east of Haggerty).

The second is the following Saturday, April 25th, same time. We’ll meet up at the rest area on northbound I-275 north of Michigan Ave.

Power tools are not permitted, so bring brooms, rakes, shovels, pruners, tree-loppers, or any kind of hand tool to trim trees, cut back brush and pick up litter. Wear long sleeves and pants. Water and a light snack will be provided. In case of rain, the workdays will be pushed back to the following Sunday.

If you have any questions contact Dave Duffield (248-994-3074,

And as we mentioned earlier, this trail is receiving economic stimulus funding for some significant and much needed reconstruction. There’s $4 million to start with a possibility of getting another $5 million later.

Today Metromode ran an article with some additional details how what reconstruction will occur and where.

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to spend about $4 million rebuilding portions of the hiking/biking path along I-275 in Plymouth and Canton townships. The improvements will include new signage for the trail and bringing it up to Americans with Disability Act standards.

The I-275 Bike Path has suffered a lot of wear and tear since it was built in the 1970s. Its 44 miles stretching between Northville and Frenchtown Township have watched erosion, decay and mother nature wreak havoc on the trail, making some parts impassable.

Someday this trail is going to be the fundamental piece of a 200-mile trail beltway encircling Metro Detroit. With funding and volunteer help, we can make this a reality.

Metro Detroit Trails in the Media

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

During the past week, at least three different trails have been written about in the Metro Detroit newspapers, though most of the information has already been reported on this site.

Here are some excerpts:

From The Oakland Press

Portion of dinner train route will soon be a trail

A section of railroad used for a dinner train will become connected to a West Bloomfield trail system.

A $1.5 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund will pay for the project.

Plans call for the section of railroad between Arrowhead Road and Haggerty Road to be abandoned, the tracks removed and the trail connected to the west end of the West Bloomfield Trail, a 4.25-mile trail that winds through the township and which was once rail lines.

From The Oakland Press

Pontiac to use $2.1 million grant to build bridge

A $2.1 million stimulus grant has been awarded to the city of Pontiac to build a pedestrian bridge over Telegraph Road to link pathways along the Clinton River Trail, city officials announced Thursday.

The bridge, north of Orchard Lake Road and south of Voorheis, will connect the 16-mile trail that links the cities of Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills and Rochester.

Department of Public Works & Utilities Acting Director Allan Schneck said Pontiac has been the weak link in the line to connect trails from South Lyon all the way to Rochester Hills in Oakland County. Most of the trail has been connected except for the portion through Pontiac.

From the Detroit Free Press

Recreational path in Detroit to open May 14

The much-delayed Dequindre Cut Greenway, an urban recreational path connecting the east riverfront with the Eastern Market district, will finally open to the public on Thursday, May 14.

There will be a grand opening ceremony at 10 a.m. and activities and entertainment until 2 p.m., according to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that will maintain the Cut.

The 1.2-mile paved greenway was developed through a public, nonprofit and private partnership. It is part of a growing network of greenway paths developing around the city.

Royal Oak says “YES” to Improved Biking

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

At Monday’s City Commission meeting, our Bicycle Task Force recommended the City allocate $40K to hire a firm to develop a non-motorized transportation master plan for the city.

Interim city manager Don Johnson has budgeted that expenditure using stimulus funding from Energy Block Grants. The city has received $543,400 in such funding.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the purpose of these block grants are to:

  • reduce fossil fuel emissions in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and, to the maximum extent practicable, maximizes benefits for local and regional communities;
  • reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities; and
  • improve energy efficiency in the building sector, the transportation sector, and other appropriate sectors.

The DOE notes the following activities are eligible for funding:

  • Development of infrastructure such as bike lanes and pathways and pedestrian walkways;
  • State/locals/regional integrated planning activities (i.e. transportation, housing, environmental, energy, land use) with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled;

So, it’s clearly appropriate for Royal Oak to allocate a portion of these funds to plan for improved biking and walking within the city.

Thanks to the City Commission and staff for allowing this to move forward.

Also, during Monday’s meeting Commissioner Carlo Ginotti moved that this project continue to move forward. It was passed unanimously.