Posts Tagged ‘Huron Valley Trail’

Brief Bike News from around Metro Detroit

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Kathy Wendler of the Southwest Detroit Business Association addresses the ribbon cutting crowd

Kathy Wendler of the Southwest Detroit Business Association addresses the ribbon cutting crowd

Bagley Bridge in Mexicantown

The ribbon cutting for the I-75 Gateway Project was Monday.

Northbound and southbound I-75 are now open. However, the Bagley bike and pedestrian bridge is not.

MDOT announced that the ramps will be completed in a later construction phase. According to the Detroit News, it won’t open until November.

Metro Detroit Trails

The Detroit News recently published an interactive map showing shared-use trails in Metro Detroit. It really shows how these trails are starting to connect into a larger regionwide network — a process largely led by the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

Draft Trailway Master Plan

The Spinal Column is reporting the completion of a draft master plan for the Huron Valley Trail extension eastward from Wixom to M-5.

The Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Trailway Management Council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on July 30 in the Commerce Township Hall to receive public comment on a proposed master plan for the Michigan Airline Railroad corridor.

The trailway council, made up of representatives of three communities that seek to acquire stretches of the railroad running through their jurisdiction, is expected to adopt the master plan at the July 30 meeting.

This plan was paid for by a $5,250 donation from the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

Wixom gets on board with new trail group

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

There is some great news in the Spinal Column about Wixom officially joining Commere Township and Walled Lake to purchase a portion of the Coe railroad.

As we’ve reported prior, this would connect the Huron Valley Trail with the West Bloomfield Trail (and their planned extension), while creating 8 miles new miles rail-trail.

The communities have formally created a trailways alliance called the Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Trailway Management Council. Each municipality appointed one voting member to act in its best interests. Wixom City Manager Mike Dornan will represent Wixom, with Assistant City Manager Tony Nowicki serving as an alternate.

According to Nowicki, the formation of the trailway council is the first step toward acquiring railroad corridor property that spans from Haggerty Road to the western city limits of Wixom. That stretch is considered part of a missing link in a cross-county trail traversing the county limits and connecting into a cross-state corridor connecting one side of the state to the other.

“The council’s powers are limited to the acquisition and maintenance (of the rail corridor land), and for the purchase of railway right of way,” Nowicki said. “It doesn’t have the authority to levy any type of taxes.

Nowicki is currently preparing grant applications to seek funding to acquire the rail corridor.

Read the entire article

Lyon Township Trail Update

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

There’s been a significant update since our report last week on Lyon Township’s plans for re-routing the Huron Valley Trail along a road with driveways.

As we noted, the DNR was not going to allow driveways across the trail and that killed the deal.

Very recently the Township met with the DNR to discuss a framework for a new, more trail-friendly proposal. And though that proposal has not yet been made, some of the ideas discussed include:

  • Keeping the trail on the original railroad right-of-way
  • Allowing the Township’s ring road to cross the trail with a redesigned crossing that emphasizes safety

And because trail users are conceding this new road crossing, some additional trail improvements are expected in return. Those may include:

  • Additional connections to local schools, parks, local businesses
  • Lighting
  • A trail head/staging area
  • Eliminating or consolidating driveways near the Grand River trail crossing which make it messy
  • Working with the DNR to have a trail bridge over Pontiac Trail

Overall, the theme of these possible benefits are safety and more connections — and protecting the public investment in this trail.

We should know more once Township comes back with an updated proposal, but it seems as though things are moving in a better direction for trail users.

Lyon Township: Still trying to ruin a good trail

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ringroadThe Huron Valley Trail provides a connection between South Lyon to Wixom. People use the trail because it’s away from cars, it’s green and just a great place to get away.

Lyon Township is trying to change that.

They want to re-route the rail-trail just south of I-96 and east of Milford Road. Rather than run straight through some greenspace, they want to increase their sprawl and build a big ring road.

Under the latest plan, the trail would be routed along this busy ring road. They also want to allow active driveways across the trail, which means it would no longer meet AASHTO guidelines — something that is required by township ordinance.

The DNR is saying “no”. They own the trail property. It was purchased and developed with taxpayer dollars as a recreational facility. They are defending this public investment and rightly so.

Another defender is Fred Dore, long time supporter and rider of this trail. He’s leading the grassroots effort to protect the trail from “being besieged by commercial development interests that may forever damage its utility, safety and natural beauty.”

He’s urging trail users to contact the DNR and Lyon Township officials to prevent this damaging trail reroute.

Link: Fred Dore’s letter to the DNR Director

The sad part about this is Lyon Township officials are claiming this is preventing growth. Southeast Michigan is not growing. Lyon Township is only getting larger because some other community is shrinking.

This is just another example of how the lack of regional planning hurts Metro Detroit’s long term economic health.

It’s just sprawl. And it’s certainly no justification for damaging our public investment in trails.

Metro Detroit Trail Updates

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

m-5-path-cross-sectionStimulus Funding for the I-275 Bike Path

If you haven’t already contacted your legislator about this, please do so. Reports are coming in about legislators on the west side of the state trying to get this worthy project removed from MDOT’s stimulus funding list. Although nothing is official yet, it may have already been significantly downsized.

I-275/M-5 Path Extension

As we noted earlier, there are plans to extend the I-275 bike path north along the M-5 corridor. Initial plans for the segment between 13 Mile and 14 Mile are on-line.

If you missed the recent public meeting on this project, you can still send your comments to the Wade-Trim project manager, Jamie Brown.

Huron Valley Trail Extension

The Spinal Column is reporting that local officials are continuing to meet to discuss an eastward extension of the Huron Valley Trail. This extension would connect the trail with a planned extension of the West Bloomfield Trail.

Wixom City Manager J. Michael Dornan said … CW3 officials used last week’s meeting to discuss applying for grants to purchase the former Coe Railroad property in three of the communities.

B. Allen Brown, president and CEO of Railmark Holdings, Inc., who owns the railroad, has entered into negotiations to sell the railroad property. West Bloomfield, Walled Lake, Wixom, and Commerce Township officials are discussing the viability of collectively purchasing the 8.08 miles of rail corridor to complete the Huron Valley Trail and West Bloomfield Trail.

Chuck Montange of Montoff Transportation, LLC, known for buying up railroads and converting them into trail systems, is the acting intermediary in the talks. The transaction must be handled by a transportation company. Montange has paid for an appraisal and made arrangements with both Brown and a bank.

This is great news for a key east-west connector that would also tie into the M-5/I-275 bike path.