Posts Tagged ‘I-275’

Detroit Trails on Facebook

Monday, June 15th, 2009

bandThe Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has an active page on Facebook.

Their Dequindre Cut trail opening photo gallery is full of great shots, including this one to the right. It certainly shows Detroit knows how to open a trail will style and enthusiasm.

But there are other Detroit trail- or bike-related groups on Facebook, including these:

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, dduffield@lmb.org)

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.

Our Economic Stimulus Bike Projects

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

img_1255The first round of Metro Detroit’s transportation stimulus checks are in the mail and some are for major bike projects.

This funding is mostly from 3% transportation enhancements sub-allocation, which is $25.4 million for all of Michigan.

I-275 Bike Path (MDOT)

The original $10 million request to recontruct the bike path was reduced to two requests. The first is for $4 million. The second is for $5 million and will only be available if Michigan can recover unused road funds from other states.

Clinton River Trail Bridge (Pontiac)

This bridge at Telegraph and Orchard Lake Road has been long awaited. It will connect the two developed rail-trail segments on both sides of Telegraph. The funding amount is $2.1 million.

Midtown Loop (Detroit)

This $2.3 million in funding is going towards Phase I of the Midtown Loop, a 2-mile walking and (casual) biking loop through Wayne State and cultural center. It’s expected that this stimulus money will push previously secured funding into the second phase and possibly help fund the connector between this project and the Dequindre Cut.

Streetscaping

These projects are aimed at making a road more pedestrian and bicyclist friendly. For example, the Woodward project includes “sidewalks, tree planting, street lights, trash receptacles, bike racks.”

  • Woodward in Detroit between I-94 and Euclid (MDOT)
  • Monroe and Brush Streets in Greektown, Detroit
  • Michigan Avenue in Detroit between Cass and Woodward
  • Shelby Street in Detroit between State and Griswold

Transit-Related Projects

Both DDOT and SMART are receiving funds to improve/build bus shelters and related amenities. We’ll contact both to determine whether these projects include bike racks. DDOT has been pursuing bike racks for their bus shelters as well as their buses.

Other Detroit Road Work

We checked and none of MDOT’s Detroit stimulus road work coincides with the city’s non-motorized plan. However MDOT is replacing some bridge decks over I-96 which may coincide with the plan.

Wayne County is receiving funds to reconstruct sections of 7 Mile and Fenkel Roads. Both should have bike lanes. We will contact both Wayne County and the city officials to make sure this is known.

The city of Detroit is receiving over $14.4 million for major street repair. Once we learn which roads those involve we’ll cross check them with the non-motorized plan to see if they are scheduled for bike lanes.

This should clearly show the value of having non-motorized plans in place for cities.

All of MDOT’s Metro Region stimulus projects are available on-line. SEMCOG also has a list of all accepted project requests within their seven-county area.

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.

Help the I-275 Bike Path get Stimulus Funding

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

If your state senator is on this list, it would be extra valuable for you to contact them regarding the below message. They are members of a new senate committee that will be reviewing the stimulus spending:

  • Ron JELINEK (R-Three Oaks)
  • Jud GILBERT (R-Algonac)
  • John PAPPAGEORGE (R-Troy)
  • Roger KAHN (R-Saginaw)
  • Mark JANSEN (R-Gaines Twp.)
  • Mickey SWITALSKI (D-Roseville)
  • Deb CHERRY (D-Burton)
  • Irma CLARK-COLEMAN (D-Detroit)

From Nancy Krupiarz:

As some of you know, the I-275 Pathway was listed on the MDOT list for federal stimulus dollars. Now that the federal stimulus package has passed, MDOT is wrestling with priorities. The Pathway does rise to the top in terms of priorities. However, there are already constituent letters to legislators from readers who have seen the Pathway on the list and have declared it a waste of money.

Since the final approval of projects will probably end up going through the legislature somehow someway, it is important that the legislators especially with districts along the pathway hear plenty of support from their constituents for this project. This would help a lot in getting these dollars on the ground on the Pathway. So, please contact your state Senator and Representative today. Let them know that:

  • This is a major nonmotorized artery for Southeast Michigan, a 43+ mile trail linking up 3 counties and 14 communities. The trail will eventually link up to trails at both the north and south terminus and at several junctures along the way, including Huron Valley Trail, Hines Drive, Canton Township Trails and the Monroe trails.
  • This trail is used for commuting to work and school, for recreation, and also serves as a greenbelt along the freeway that is valuable for aesthetics and wildlife habitat.
  • It is needed as a framework for active living. As Richard Jackson from the US Center for Disease Control, has said, “It is dishonest to tell our citizens to walk, jog, or bicycle when there is no safe or welcoming place to pursue these life-saving activities.”
  • The communities all along the way will be enhanced as they make nonmotorized linkages to this trail. Bikeable/walkable communities are noted as one of the top desired features listed by those seeking homes according the National Association of Homebuilders.

If you don’t know who your legislator is, you can go to http://www.michiganlegislature.org and click on Legislators on the left sidebar. At the bottom of that page, click on Find your representative and Find your senator and fill in your county and zip code and you will get all the information you need.

Thanks for giving your support to the I-275 Pathway!

Nancy Krupiarz
Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance