Posts Tagged ‘Hines Drive’

Fordson Island: A key greenway connection

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The Detroit News is reporting about an initial clean up of Fordson Island in the Rouge River.

As noted in the article, the island is part of greenway connection between Hines Drive/Rouge Gateway and the Southwest Detroit Greenlink/Corktown.

A conceptual master plan from 2002 shows the Rouge Gateway continuing to follow the Rouge downstream. Currently the Gateway trail ends at Michigan Avenue, but with this plan it would extend southeast to the Fort Street bridge over the river. Fordson Island is directly upstream from that bridge.

And  as we mentioned a couple years ago, the Marathon Oil Company, the island’s primary land owner, wants to donate it for public greenspace. And that pledge to donate the land meant a proposed change to the master plans. That change is to shift the trail from the east river bank to the west and have the trail go across the island.

This connection could really spur economic development — even if it only connects those hungry cyclists on Hines Drive with the awesome Southwest Detroit taquerias.

Metro Detroit Bike Shorts

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

MTGA at Detroit RiverDays

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance had a booth at the Detroit RiverDays event this past weekend. ?It was a great opportunity to discuss greenways, bike lanes, and Complete Streets ?in Detroit. The most popular question? “How do I get to the Dequindre Cut.” The MTGA booth was staffed with help from the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, Villages CDC, and Southwest Detroit Business Association.

Conner Creek Greenways Update

Model D has an article about the recently complete bike lanes added to St. Jean, which add another mile to the Conner Creek Greenway. This Greenway is on Detroit’s east side and will be 9 miles when completed. It will run from the Detroit River to Eight Mile near Van Dyke.

Going Green in Warren

The city of Warren is also looking at how to continue the Conner Creek Greenway north of Eight Mile. Different on-road routes are being evaluated.

In addition, Todd Scott and Nancy Krupiarz of MTGA are featured this month on the city’s Going Green program on Warren cable television. The half-hour segment discusses biking, Complete Streets, and much more.

Serious Summer Leisure Rides

Last week the Metro Times continued their love affair with cycling by creating a fine list of places to ride throughout Metro Detroit. It does include Hines Drive and their summertime closures to motor vehicles. This is a great time for cyclists to take over the street. Happening since the Eighties, this type of car free event (called a Ciclovia) is now gaining in popularity across the U.S..

Detroit-area Trail projects seek Trust Fund dollars

Sunday, November 29th, 2009
Chairperson Pollack advised that at this time the estimates of funds available for
acquisition is $25.7 million and development $9.7 million.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) board meets on December 2nd to make their funding recommendations for park development and acquisition projects across the state.

According to Chairperson Lana Pollack, there is an estimated $25.7 million available for land acquisition and $9.7 million for development.

Not all projects will get funded as there is over $59 million in land acquisition requests and nearly $26 million in development requests.

To help determine what gets funded, all of the land acquisition and development projects have been ranked.

Here are some trail projects of interest to Metro Detroit bicyclists and other trail users.

Dequindre Cut and RiverWalk connection

09-149. William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor-Detroit East Riverwalk-Parks and Recreation Division. This is to complete the riverwalk trail to link Dequindre Cut. $500,000 request.

This is for phase III development at Milliken State Park. It would continue the RiverWalk eastward from the new lowlands area, past the grassy mound, near the old dry dock, and to the Dequindre Trail.

This project scored very well and is likely to receive funding.

Note that the cities such as Detroit and Hamtramck do not have approved recreation master plans on file with the DNR — a requirement for receiving Trust Fund grants. While the city of Detroit has a recreation plan, it has not been endorsed by city council and therefore does not meet the DNR requirements. Efforts are underway to help get the recreation plan through city council in early 2010.

Michigan Airline Trail

For some unknown reason, this land acquisition request is not included in the final project list. It should be. A presentation on the project was given at the October Trust Fund meeting.

09-170. Michigan Airline Railway Acquisition

Ms. Kathleen Cassidy, Administrator for the Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Management Council made a presentation in support of 09-170, Michigan Airline Railway Acquisition. The project is for the acquisition of 5.45 miles of railroad right-of-way for a trail that would traverse Commerce Township and the cities of Walled Lake and Wixom. These communities have formed an intergovernmental trails management council for the purpose of acquisition and development of this trail. There is great support for the project, with over 100 letters of support being received from citizens, politicians, adjacent communities and trail enthusiasts.

When completed, the proposed trail will connect with the Huron Valley and West Bloomfield Trails. The trail is within a mile of eight elementary, two middle and two high schools. In addition it adjoins to the downtown areas of Walled Lake and Wixom.

All three communities have pledged to operate and maintain their portions of the trail through their parks and recreation budgets. There is a willing seller.

The trail is part of the cross-state Michigan Airline Trailway and is one of the nine missing links in this trail.

Ms. Nancy Krupiarz, Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance, made a presentation in support of 09-170, Michigan Airline Railway Acquisition. This is a critical connection for the Michigan Airline Trail. It is located in a heavily populated area. She outlined where the trail would be located via a map.

Mr. Charters asked how much was being requested for this acquisition. Ms. Krupiarz responded the council is asking for $4,222,700 from the MNRTF.

Ms. Krupiarz advised the Board that a grant has recently been received from the Kresge Foundation to close some of the other gaps in the trail (five gaps).

Ms. Krupiarz also mentioned the I-275 Pathway, 40 miles that will connect halfway to the middle of the critical link. These 40 miles of trail go south to Monroe.

Hines Drive trail extension in Northville Township

This is a significant request and larger than the typical $4 million ceiling. That means it could be funded in phases. It does score high on the list and could be funded.

Below are notes from a presentation given to the MNRTF board in October.


Doctor drives head on into cyclist on Hines

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Click on Detroit is reporting that a doctor after working a 24 hour shift, got into her car, and hit an experienced cyclist on Hines Drive.

Police said the female driver crashed head on into a 60-year-old man riding his bicycle with a group of friends. The impact left a large dent in the hood of the car. The cyclist was seriously hurt and is being treated at University of Michigan Hospital.

As of Friday night, no decision had been made whether or not the driver would be charged.

Click on Detroit also has video coverage of the crash.

It would be interesting to hear the eyewitness accounts from the others cycling in the group.

Apparently only Click on Detroit has covered this story so far.

Hines: Bike Path vs. On-Road

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

We recently received an email from an active cyclist in California.  Their relatives in Southeast Michigan could not understand why Hines Drive bicyclists were on the road shoulder instead of the parallel bike path.  She wondered if we could provide an answer.

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To an experienced cyclist, the reasons seem quite apparent.  Riding on the Hines Drive’s wide paved shoulder is:

  • Faster and more direct
  • Much safer at the intersections
  • Free of pedestrians (which you must yield to on the bike path)
  • Better lit at night
  • Plowed of snow and ice in the winter
  • Less flooded after a rain
  • Has less debris (e.g. rocks) that can cause flat tires

Besides, the road lanes are wide, the paved shoulders are generous, and the speed limit is low.  And due to the lack of commercial/residential access along the road, it is absolutely an ideal place to ride a bike.

If motorists can’t safely share this roadway with cyclists then they probably shouldn’t be driving.

Coincidentally in 2004 I was asked a similar question while giving testimony before the House Transportation Committee in Lansing.  Hines Drive passed through one of the committee member’s districts.

We should also mention that Edward Hines, whom the road is named after, was Chief Consul of the League of American Wheelmen in Michigan (forerunner of the League of American Bicyclists), as well as a major “Good Roads” advocate.  Hines invented the double-yellow center line, pioneered snowplowing roads, and created the first mile of concrete pavement.  Hines is just another famous Michigan bicyclist that all road users can thank.