Posts Tagged ‘Inner Circle Greenway’

New Detroit bike lanes for 2012

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

There are bike lanes planned for the city of Detroit that are expected to be completed this year. Here’s a run down of those projects.

Midtown bike lanes

The below projects all tie together to create on consistent north-south bike route from Cass Tech to New Center. Though not a bike lane, phase II construction of the Midtown Loop will begin this year, extending the pathway south on John R and on Canfield from John R to Cass. The segment along Cass is now phase III.

Second Avenue from Grand Boulevard to Palmer – The street is being returned to two-way travel with bike lanes added for most of it. There is insufficient road width north of the railroad underpass so sharrows will be used.

Anthony Wayne Drive from Palmer to Warren – Bike lanes will be added.

Third Avenue from Warren to Ledyard – This segment will become all two-way with bike lanes.

Cass Park – All of the streets surrounding the park will receive bike lanes.

Conner Creek Greenway

Another phase of this eastside greenway is being constructed this year. This time the portion between 6 Mile and 8 Mile is the focus. E. Outer Drive and Conner Avenue below the Milbank Greenway (which is just north of E. Outer Drive) will get bike lanes.

Trumbull Enhancements

Bike lanes will be added to Trumbull from Warren Avenue north to about Holden. We haven’t seen the drawings, but that’s what we’ve heard. The City has said they would look into continuing the Trumbull bike lanes from Warren south to MLK though there is no timeframe for that.

Safety Improvement Projects

These are the safety projects we’d mentioned earlier. There is one additional public meeting to discuss safety improvements to West Chicago from Spinozza (Rouge Park) just about to Livernois. That meeting is Monday, February 20th from 5pm to 7pm at the Don Bosco Hall, 19321 W. Chicago. We’re told the plans for W. Chicago include bike lanes but we don’t know to what extent yet. We do know they make a great east-west connection to Rouge Park which has great roads, pathways, and trails for biking. Spinozza also connects with W. Outer Drive, another great Detroit biking road.

Dix Road from Waterman/W. Vernor to Woodmere – This is basically an extension of the existing bike lanes on W. Vernor which provides a connection with the pathway in Patton Park.

Central from W. Vernor to McGraw – Only portions of the Central will get bike lanes. At times the road is too narrow so sharrows will be used instead. Central become an even more critical biking route after the Detroit International Freight Transfer Project (DIFT) closes nearby Lonyo Road. Central is also part of the proposed Inner Circle Greenway route that encircles the city.

E. Seven Mile from I-75 to Gratiot is also a safety improvement project but there was insufficient room to add bike lanes. However, like the roads mentioned above, the designs are such that they encourage motorists to drive more prudently.

Pontiac gets a TIGER II grant

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The U.S. DOT announced the 75 winning transportation projects for the $600 million in TIGER II funding.

There were 1,000 applications asking for a total of $19 billion, so this was very competitive.

The good news is the city of Pontiac received a planning grant.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today announced that the City of Flint will receive $1,570,233, Grand Traverse County will receive $395,000, and the City of Pontiac will receive $300,000 to promote economic development. The grants were announced as part of a joint funding collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The funding will boost local economic development by increasing access to affordable housing, redeveloping land, and investing in transportation infrastructure.

“This funding is critical to helping Flint, Grand Traverse County, and Pontiac create new jobs,” said Stabenow. “These grants will help our local communities increase access to affordable housing, redevelop land, and make important transportation improvements which will foster greater economic development.”

The City of Pontiac will use the TIGER II Planning Grant to help connect downtown, the Pontiac Transportation Center, regional trail system, and surrounding neighborhoods.

It’s important that bicycling advocates get involved in this planning process. Previous work with MDOT and Pontiac to extend the Clinton River Trail into downtown was poorly conceived. It signed a bicycle route on sidewalks in clear disregard of best practices and the AASHTO design guidelines.

Instead, they should be planning for Complete Streets, bike parking, and much more. We need to make sure they get that message.

The bad news is Detroit’s TIGER II grant application for the Inner Circle Greenway did not get funded. The request was on the high-side of $30 million and would have basically extended the Dequindre Cut around the city of Detroit. It included connections with Hamtramck and Highland Park. While portions would have used bike lanes, much of the route would be on an abandoned Conrail corridor.

But all hope for this project is not lost. MTGA is continuing discussions with the Conrail about converting this approximately 12-mile corridor into a trail. There are other funding sources that could pay for portions of this project, albeit in a more incremental fashion.

And there may be a TIGER III.

But it’s also a positive sign that in a city with so many infrastructure needs, they to chose to seek funding for this greenway project.

With the ongoing Complete Streets project, many miles of new greenways and bike lanes, the city has never been more in lockstep with the efforts of area non-profits to make Detroit more walkable and more bike friendly.

Trails, Baby, Trails!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The Detroit Free Press is reporting record sales for gas drilling rights on state-owned property.

Michigan oil and gas speculators bet the farm today on a newly developed natural gas field in the northern Lower Peninsula, paying well over $140 million for mineral rights at the halfway point of a record-breaking state auction.

The eye-popping auction results are a windfall for the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund, which gets about 90% of the proceeds to buy recreational and environmentally sensitive property.

The oil and gas rush was apparently touched off by a single, deep well that went into Missaukee County over the winter. The well, owned by a Colorado-based company, has generated intense speculation on a possible boom in the Utica shale formation that underlies much of the northern Lower Peninsula. Utica shale and other deep shale formations have been productive in other states, but never before developed in Michigan.

Whether this is windfall is a long term or a bust remains to be determined.

Nonetheless, this is great news for the Trust Fund which should be able to provide more grant funding for items such as land acquisition and trail development. For example, the Trust Fund has paid for much of Milliken State Park, the RiverWalk, and Dequindre Cut — often through the DNR.

And, there may be a Trust Fund request in the near future for the Inner Circle Greenway — a trail that would combine with others and wrap around the city.

Until recently, the city of Detroit was not eligible for these funds since City Council had not endorsed a new recreation plan. As we reported earlier, Council endorsed the recreation plan which opens the door to more grant funding in Detroit.