Posts Tagged ‘Highland Park’

Bad local biking ordinances become enforceable in 2018

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017


The state legislature recently enacted bills that raise speed limits in Michigan and decrease penalties for doing so. That wasn’t smart but that’s not all.

Many Michigan cities have bad local bicycling laws. We’ve documented them both here and here, though some may have been removed since these articles were written. Now fortunately nearly none of these are enforceable since current state law (MCL 257.606┬áSection 4) requires local authorities to post these local bicycle ordinances on signs.

That requirement goes away on January 5th, 2018.

Why? Because the that speeding bill we mentioned earlier incorrectly amended 257.606. It removed items from Section (1) and failed to update Section (4) which referenced those items. It appears to only affect the enforcement of local bicycle ordinances (posted signs are no longer required) and truck routes (posted signs are now required.)

The Detroit Greenways Coalition worked with Detroit City Council to remove its outdated local ordinances. Other cities have not. We expect the Coalition will help get this state law corrected. It would also be a good opportunity to remove local authorities from requiring bicycle registrations and licenses — and fees.

Not that you will, but you can potentially get tickets for the following bicycle violations starting January 5th: (more…)

Woodward Complete Streets planning comes to Detroit & Highland Park

Monday, June 17th, 2013

A Complete Streets planning project along the entire length of Woodward — River to Pontiac — has been setting up visiting parts of M1. For the next three days it will be focusing on Woodward from Jefferson to McNichols.

You can drop in to their pop-up offices at 2990 Grand Boulevard in the New Center from now until Wednesday at 7pm.

There are also a three free special events planned for tomorrow, June 18th:

  • 9am — A walkability audit starting at 2990 Grand Boulevard. If you’ve never been on a Dan Burden walkability audit, you don’t want to miss this. It will give you a newfound common-sense perspective on what works and what doesn’t in the walking environment.
  • 4pm — A second walkability audit starts at the old Ford Admin building on Woodward just north of the Model T Plaza.
  • 6pm — A biking audit start at the Hub of Detroit, 3535 Cass. Bring a bike we’ll tour Woodward discussing how to improve it for all cyclists.

There’s more information on the Transform website.

Detroit Complete Streets: Updates and meeting tomorrow

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Speak up for Complete Streets

We’re asking people to attend tomorrow’s (7 pm, Wednesday, June 27th) Mayor’s Community Meeting at city hall to speak in favor of a Complete Streets ordinance in Detroit. An ordinance has been drafted and is being reviewed by the Law Department. The Department of Public Works is opposed to an ordinance, while others are in support.

The Mayor’s office holds much sway in determining how this will play out. We hope to encourage the Mayor to support the ordinance. This meeting is one opportunity to do that.

Mode Shift published this article with more details:

Bring your friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues and moms, dads, sisters and brothers to come tell officials why a bikeable, walkable, transit- and disabled-friendly city is crucial to the progress and revitalization of Detroit!

We plan on arriving a bit early in order to get on the list to give public comments.

If you cannot attend and want to show your support, you can submit a letter of support. A sample letter with information on where to send it are available here.


There’s been much discussion over public lighting in Detroit and Highland Park. Both cities have removed or are removing more lights. Many lights are no longer work due to their outdated design, equipment, and scrappers.

It’s been reported that 40% percent of Detroit’s 88,000 streetlights are broken. Highland Park just removed nearly 70% of their streetlights.

What we’ve learned through community workshops across Detroit is that public lighting is a key reason why people don’t walk or bike more.

Woodward Avenue

Woodward could get a bit safer for biking and walking.

From the Birmingham Patch:

The Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to support its efforts to develop a Complete Streets master plan for Woodward Avenue.

The grant is from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and complements the $752,880 grant that was previously awarded by the Federal Highway Administration for the initiative.

The association, an economic and community development organization based in Royal Oak, plans to develop a “Complete Streets” master plan that will transform the 27-mile corridor – from the Detroit River to Pontiac – into a complete, compatible and integrated roadway.

Certainly Woodward looks different across its 27 miles. Those differences will call for different Complete Street solutions.

We’re just excited that this discussion is underway.

Bike lanes in Highland Park?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

The city of Highland Park is currently updating their recreation master plan.

Surprisingly enough, their 1999 plan “promotes the implementation of bike lanes throughout the city in an effort to promote both a linked park and school system as well as non-motorized traffic” (according to the city’s master plan.) We’re trying to find a copy of the original 1999 plan which supposedly have greater details.

Even still, we do have proposed bike lane map, which is fairly good. Our only thoughts are:

  • McNichols needs bike lanes. They are specified in the Detroit plan.
  • It’s too bad there’s no clear continuing route for Glendale over to Oakland, which is a fairly minor issue.
  • We’re not sure why Midland was chosen rather than continuing on Puritan.
  • It might be wise adding a connection between Second and Third at the southern city boundary. That would tie together the two Detroit routes. McNichols would tied them together on the northern boundary.
  • The railroad should be highlighted as a future shared-use pathway called the Inner Circle Greenway.

What is odd about the city’s master plan is they recommend a single bike lane on the east side of Hamilton. That is not a safe or proper design.

Of course, none of this has been implemented to date. Highland Park has been through some tumultuous times of late. Still, these plans certainly open the door for the future.

Highland Park Police, bicycles, and state law

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Highland Park, MichiganYesterday, the below letter was sent to the Highland Park Chief of Police, Theodore G. Cadwell II:

Dear Chief Cadwell,

I am writing to express concern that some of the Highland Park police officers may not be familiar with state law and bicycling.

Last night I was riding home from the Detroit Fireworks along Woodward Avenue through Highland Park.

At 11:11pm, I passed a Highland Park squad car at a traffic stop on northbound Woodward near Church. The police officer yelled “Sidewalk” to me. Apparently he expected me to ride on the sidewalk rather than the road. However, under state law, I have the same access to the road as any motorist (though I must stay to the right.)

According to MCL 257.657:

Each person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped or operating a low-speed vehicle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to the provisions of this chapter which by their nature do not have application.

I would also note that bicycling on a sidewalk is far more dangerous than bicycling on a road. There have been numerous studies which have come to that conclusion.

Also, last month the Secretary of Transportation posted the article, Bicycling is only healthy when you ride safely. In the article he said, “Motorists should recognize that bicyclists have a right to ride on the roadway” and “bicyclists should ride on the roadway, rather than on sidewalks.”

I will drop off some booklets called “What Every Bicyclists Must Know” at the police station. They were printed in partnership with MDOT and help explain bicycle laws in the state of Michigan.