Posts Tagged ‘Huron Valley Trail’

Commerce rail-trail section gets critical funding

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Three is a charm for the Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom rail-trail.

After two previous rejections, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recommended they receive a $3,755,400 grant to acquire the now-abandoned rail corridor which runs between the West Bloomfield Trail and the Huron Valley Trail in Wixom.

This near 33 acres provides a critical connection between the two trails mentions, but especially in the context of the Great Lake to Lake Trail which connects St. Clair to Lake Michigan. This new trail would also connect with the planned M-5 Trail which is a northern?extension?to the I-275 Metro Trail.

The funding also includes acquisition of the?Walled Lake Train Depot which would be used as a historic stopping point along the route.

Other projects in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties were recommended:

  • City of Dearborn (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $268,900 to develop a new bridge across the Huron River on the Camp Dearborn non-motorized trail with a fishing pier and canoe launch.
  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 for improvements to Jayne-Lasky Playfield, including development of walking trails, relocation of a soccer field, renovations to two softball diamonds, landscaping improvements and site amenities.
  • City of Detroit (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 for improvements to Lipke Playfield, including relocation of a football field, conversion of open space, horseshoe courts, renovation of a softball diamond, walking trails, landscaping and site amenities.
  • Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $94,000 for improvements to Kensington Metropark to include a pond overlook, replace a seawall, walks and railing, group seating area, interpretive signage, viewing scopes and accessibility to pond dipping programs.
  • City of Inkster (Wayne County) is recommended to receive $300,000 to construct a trail within the Lower Rouge Parkway System.
  • City of Lathrup Village (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $50,000 to replace playground equipment at Goldengate Park.
  • Oakland Township (Oakland County) is recommended to receive $300,000 to develop a paved trail, boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, interpretive/directional signage and fishing access on the Paint Creek Trail/Polly Ann Trail south connector.
  • Southeast Michigan Eco-Region Consolidation is recommended to receive $1,475,000 for the acquisition of critical in-holdings within existing boundaries in state parks and recreation areas, state game areas, state harbors and Natural Rivers areas.

 

MDOT seeks input on a Huron Valley Trail detour

Friday, October 8th, 2010

There is a bridge that carries I-96 traffic over the Huron Valley Trail just east of Milford Road. As part of a larger freeway construction project, MDOT wants to replace the bridge with a low maintenance box culvert. (The Huron Valley Trail currently passes under Kensington Road in a box culvert at Island Lake State Recreation Area.)

When MDOT initially asked the Huron Valley Trail committee about creating a detour, they declined. It appears some minds have changed.

MDOT is now hosting a public meeting to discuss having a trail detour.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is making improvements in your community. The Huron Valley Trail is expected to be closed under the railroad bridge in the Spring of 2011 & we need your help. On October 13, 2010, stop by anytime between 3pm-7pm to share your ideas and be a part of the planning process.

We’ll be at the Lyon Township Municipal Center, 58000 Grand River Ave about½ mile west of Milford Rd.

See you there!

For more information, call Sue Datta at (248) 483-5135.

It seems to us that this might be a good time to put bike lanes on Milford Road.

Also, if you want to stay on top of issues like this, there is a new Friends of the Huron Valley Trail email list.

Cycling loses a major friend in Jeff Potter

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Metro Detroit bicyclists and trail users have just lost a good friend as Oakland County Commissioner Jeff Potter (R-South Lyon) passed away this morning.

Jeff was a former mayor in South Lyon and very involved in the Huron Valley Trail (which connects South Lyon, Island Lake State Recreation Area, Kensington Metropark, and Wixom.)

This spring Jeff had shared with me a letter of support he’d written for the trail grant to expand the Huron Valley Trail over to West Bloomfield. One would be hard pressed to write a better letter of support. And in retrospect, it really shows Jeff’s thorough understanding of trails and their benefits from both a user and municipal perspective.

A favorite quote is, “…bike paths are not simply a resource for a small minority of bicycling enthusiasts and long distance riders, recognizable by their specialized gear (and physiques to match) but a valid transportation resource, and also a way to give our communities back to us from the dominance of the automobile and the outsize features which support it.”

While his support letter is long, it’s worth reading. It’s shown below in its entirety.

Rest in peace, Jeff Potter. We’ll miss you and continue to carry that torch.

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“Thank the driver as you are crossing the roadway”

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Some fancy solar powered crosswalk signs (the “Enhancer”) with lights, flashing beacons, and a pleasant spoken instructions have recently been installed in Lyon Township where the Huron Valley Trail crosses both a newly constructed road as well as Grand River.

They’re expensive, obnoxious, and as far as we can tell, somewhat ineffective.

As for the obnoxiousness, here are the instructions.

“Hello. You’ve activated the crosswalk signal.

“Wait for traffic to stop before you cross.

“To show traffic you want to cross, place one foot near the curb line.

“And remember to thank the driver as you are crossing the roadway.”

Why are pedestrians and cyclists instructed to thank motorists just for following state and low crosswalk laws? Shouldn’t that be a basic expectation?

In this case, their ineffectiveness may stem from their poor location outside of the driver’s view. This is especially the case on Grand River. Once the trees leaf out, it’s uncertain how much of the sign will even be visible. With Grand River being rebuilt, Lyon Township and the Road Commission for Oakland County have an opportunity to make this crossing safe through bump outs, a refuge island, improved street lighting and zebra striping.

It should also be noted that these signs were installed on the wrong side of the trail. They should be on the right not the left. Their location is being changed.

If we’re not mistaken, these were installed in the fall. Already a driver has taken one out. It’s being replaced.

And finally, while testing them on Grand River, a van never slowed when the sign was activated and we were trying to cross. It appeared they were texting.

Maybe we should thank those drivers that aren’t driving while distracted, too.

Metro Detroit Trail Updates

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Arsonist burns bridge on Polly Ann Trail

BikeFitness.net is reporting that arsonists set fire to a trail bridge just north of Clarkson Road in Orion Township.

The arson occurred early this morning. There was still fire retardant foam on the trail and over the creek leading to a pond. There’s no way the bridge can be repaired. It was an old railroad trestle that had just been given a new surface. It will need to be to be taken completely out and replaced. That sure isn’t going to happen any time soon.

There is a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and/or conviction of those responsible.

For photos and additional information, visit the BikeFitness.net web site.

I-275 Metro Trail work to begin

First, the I-275 Bike Path now has a new name: the I-275 Metro Trail. Since the trail is not just for biking, this makes sense. It’s also (mostly) within MDOT’s Metro Region.

HometownLife (via Erie Hiker) has an article on the I-275 Metro Trail reconstruction efforts.

MDOT is in the process of advertising for a contractor for the $4 million project and, according to MDOT project manager Gorette Yung, expects to have one chosen by October. She said work is expected to begin in the spring and by complete by fall 2010.

Since this is using stimulus funding, this project has a hard deadline.

In addition to  this work, MDOT is continuing to make progress on the M-5 Metro Trail between 13 Mile and 14 Mile. It’s expected that this trail will go out to bid this fall with construction beginning in spring of 2010.

Rail-Trail expansion keeps moving forward

The Spinal Column has reported on the recent progress with the Huron Valley Trail expansion.

The Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Trailway Management Council has approved a regional master plan for the Michigan Airline Railroad Corridor that stretches through those communities, and has set out to obtain grants that would cover the cost of acquiring the railroad corridor property.

This trail segment will be critical in that it completes a missing section of the cross-state Michigan Airline Trail. It’ll also connect with Phase II of the M-5 Metro Trail which runs between 14 Mile and Maple and is scheduled to be developed in 2010-2011.

Fixing up the Macomb Orchard Trail

There’s a pretty loose and rocky section of the Macomb Orchard Trail that makes biking less than enjoyable. The good news is a 6-inch layer of fines will be layered on top next spring. This new layer should firm up the trail. The same solution was used on a loose section of the Paint Creek Trail many years ago.