Posts Tagged ‘Melanie Piana’

Women leaders in the Detroit bicycle movement

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Detroit’s ever-growing bicycle scene is largely due to women leadership.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, SDBA, Midtown Detroit, Wheelhouse Detroit, Fender Bender, DECC, MTGA, Criterium Detroit City, etc.

And that influence continues to grow.

Detroit Je T’aime published a story on Fender Bender called, Detroit’s Real Bike Chix.

Sarah Sidelko goes by the nickname “Sidewalk” – in matters of transportation justice, she’s the boss. Sarah has been living in Detroit for 10 years – out of which she spent 7 years without a car. That inspired her to create Fender Bender, a bike shop exclusively dedicated to women, queer and transgender folks.

“It’s about creating a safe space where we can have free conversations. We use bike mechanics to think about ourselves”, says Sidewalk.

The article also mentions Fender Bender’s successful SOUP pitch which earned them $514 – a story also covered in Model D.

Fender Bender Detroit will use the SOUP grant funds towards funding the July and September Fender Bender Detroit bike mechanic training course. This six week series of bicycle mechanic training classes comprehensively covers bicycle maintenance and repair skills for each function, system, and component of the bicycle. We learn, understand, and demonstrate the anatomy of the bicycle, tools used in repair processes, and repair skills.

Skirts and Wheels

Melanie Piana has been very busy on the other side of Detroit’s north border. She led efforts to pass Ferndale’s Complete Streets ordinance. She’s now starting a woman-focused group as mentioned on Mode Shift.

Forget the Lycra, Spandex and jerseys. Bring your skirts, heels and other “normal” clothes to this new monthly Ferndale bicycling gathering for women.

Inspired by the website, the new Metro Detroit event is organized by Melanie Piana, mayor pro tem in Ferndale.

“We need to educate people that cycling can be a very normal part of your life, and that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on clothing and gear to do it,” she says. “Cycling is a very normal, everyday activity and in Michigan and other places it’s something viewed as a fad or a hobby, not something you do as a very normal daily activity to get around and do daily things like going to the grocery store or pharmacy.”

The Ferndale Patch also covered this story.


Back within the City, MASH magazine had their first ride last Saturday.

This RIDE was created to encourage YOUNG WOMEN (and men) IN DETROIT to BIKE!

Their next ride is June 16th.

Ferndale adopts Complete Streets ordinance

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Last night, city councilwoman Melanie Piana’s tweeted, “Tonight, Ferndale city council unanimously adopted a Complete Streets ordinance.”

Congratulations, Ferndale!

They join Berkley and Novi as the three Oakland County communities with Complete Streets ordinances or resolutions.

Ferndale Complete Streets and Bicycle Commuting 101

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Another exciting bicycling event in Ferndale:



Douglas Christie
Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission – Chair

Ferndale Complete Streets and Bicycle Commuting 101

Please join avid bicyclist and Ferndale City Council Member, Melanie Piana when she speaks about what the State & National Complete Streets Coalition is, and how the City of Ferndale is looking to become a leader in building roadways that move people not just automobiles. Plus Continental Bike Shop will be doing a “bicycle commuting 101” workshop…and afterwards feel free to join us on a mini bicycle commute around Ferndale!

The Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission’s Green Tuesday seminars are aimed at providing Ferndale residents with the information they need to become even better stewards of the environment. The seminars will be held the second Tuesday of the month at the Kulick Community Center in Ferndale (1201 Livernois St.) from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The seminars are FREE and open to the public (you need not be a Ferndale resident to attend).

WHAT: Ferndale Green Tuesday Seminar: Ferndale Complete Streets and Bicycle Commuting 101

WHO: Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, Continental Bike Shop and guest speaker – Ferndale City Council Member Melanie Piana

WHEN: Tuesday, August 10th from 6:30pm-8:00pm + bicycle ride to immediately follow – a light and helmet is required

WHERE: Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois St., Ferndale, MI

Ferndale city council elections: Yes and No

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Many city council seats are up for election this November 3rd. This is a great opportunity to elect people to a decision making body that can a city more bike and pedestrian friendly.

There are two seats being decided in Ferndale. And among the four candidates running, two are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to supporting biking.

No for Gagne

Tom Gagne, the self-proclaimed “most argumentative” candidate, is someone cyclists won’t want on Council.

Gagne wants to increase development on Hilton. He’s been quoted in the Daily Tribune saying”

What are we going to do about Hilton Road? It’s a thing of beauty that lives in the shadow of Woodward. I’d like to let developers know that bike lanes on Hilton Road aren’t permanent.

Hilton Road underwent a road diet, which took it from four lanes to three with bike lanes added. Road diets reduce crashes and excessive speeding (and noise), while making it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

And the Hilton road diet doesn’t displace motor vehicle traffic. Hilton near Nine Mile has a daily vehicle count of around 7,000. The vehicle counts on Hilton could more than double and the current lane configuration would not be a problem.

Clearly Gagne is uninformed about the benefits of the Hilton road diet. There is no justification for suggesting their removal.

But perhaps what’s more troublesome is he’s equating development only with motor vehicle travel. Wouldn’t it be better if Hilton development catered to the neighborhood? Imagine if the Hilton were lined with more businesses and destinations that residents could bike or walk to and spend their dollars locally?

Melanie Piana for Ferndale City CouncilYes for Piana

Melanie Piana is also running for a seat on the Ferndale City Council.

Her priorities include supporting “pedestrian [and] bicycle friendly… improvements to build our community.”

Her Facebook page includes the photo on the right.

According to Piana, “I commute to work by bike on weather friendly days. It’s easy when the office is only a mile away.”

And in speaking with Piana, it’s clear she understands the value in building safe bicycling and walking communities.

She’s also endorsed by the Eccentric.