Posts Tagged ‘Michigan Ave’

MDOT grants announced for trails and streetscaping

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

MDOT has announced the latest round of Transportation Enhancement funding.

Here are the grantees from the three Metro Detroit counties.

Macomb County

The city of New Baltimore will make streetscape improvements to its historic downtown on Washington Street from Green Street to Front Street. The project will include streetlights, trees, planters, bike racks, street furniture, and staining the existing sidewalk. The project budget is $486,110, including $340,277 in federal TE funds and $145,833 from the city.

Oakland County

The Road Commission for Oakland County, in partnership with West Bloomfield Township, will construct a multi-use trail along an abandoned rail line from Arrowhead Road to Haggerty Road. The trail will be an extension of the West Bloomfield Trail, which connects to the Clinton River Trail. The project includes trail surfacing, roadway crossings, benches, trash receptacles, and trail shoulder restoration with native plant materials. The project budget is $1,111,692, including $611,431 in federal TE funds and $500,261 from West Bloomfield Township Parks and Recreation.

Wayne County

MDOT, in partnership with the city of Detroit and the Greening of Detroit, will install streetscape amenities along US-12 (Michigan Avenue) between 14th Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard. The work includes replacing the concrete sidewalks and adding brick pavers, tree planters, bike loops and trash receptacles. When the project is complete, the Greening of Detroit will place trees in the planters. The project budget is $407,351, including $325,881 in federal TE funds, $71,286 from MDOT and $10,184 from the city.

Both streetscape projects include bike racks.

What’s not on the list is the grant request for Trumbull in Detroit. As we’d last heard, this was a request to reconstruct Trumbull from Warren to W. Grand Boulevard, including adding bike lanes.

Another project that is expected to get funded soon is the next portion of the Conner Creek Greenway from the Mt. Olivet Cemetery to Eight Mile. It includes a combination of bikes lanes on E. Outer Drive/Conner, sidewalks, and bike routes.

As you may recall, Transportation Enhancements has been threatened to be cut in Washington DC. Now is as good a time as ever to contract your Congress member and remind them of the value in these transportation dollars.

Light rail, BRT and bicycles in Detroit

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It’s challenging keeping abreast of the recent announcements for the off-again, on-again light rail and now bus rapid transit (BRT) projects in Detroit.

The latest proposal is to build the M1-Rail’s 3-mile light rail on Woodward with BRT on Michigan, Woodward, and Gratiot.

Woodward Avenue

According M-Live, the M1-Rail group has “90 days to develop a plan to incorporate their 3.4 mile light rail line into the BRT system. Just how that will work on a practical level is something to be decided in the planning process, according to Bing spokesman Stephen Serkaian.”

Are we back to the curb-side versus center-running debate? Not sure.

Both the light rail and BRTs will all but certainly share a dedicated right-of-way and some stations. As wide as Woodward is, MDOT’s not going to dedicate four lanes to transit.

And in order for both projects to move most quickly while using federal dollars, they’ll likely use the DDOT light rail study which favored center running for most of the route. That coincides with a statement from the Mayor’s office that “Any light-rail studies to date can be applied to advance the approval and construction of rapid bus.”

Following the DDOT study would be fairly ideal for cyclists who want to continue riding safely on Woodward.

However, M-Live adds, “experts say the possibility of BRT ending in New Center is a real one.” That would make it easier to put light rail on the curbs, which would be?a terrible scenario for cyclists.

Michigan and Gration Avenues

For these roads, there are definitely more questions than answers at this point.

How will the BRT affect:

  • the new Corktown bike lanes?
  • the planned sharrows on Gratiot in Detroit?
  • the Woodward Avenue non-motorized planning north of Eight Mile?

We may not have answers to these for some time, especially since Woodward will likely be the first dip in the BRT waters.

We do know that BRT will be on state trunk lines and MDOT is committed to building Complete Streets.

Metro Times looks at Detroit cycling

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

The Metro Times continues to do a tremendous job covering the cycling scene in Detroit. They get it.

This week they added another great article to their resume called Two-wheel revolutions: New options for nomotorized traffic on the way in Detroit.

The articles stitches together stories on the Strategic Framework, Greater Riverfront East¬†project, Tour de Troit, Complete Streets, and this info on MDOT’s new bike lanes.

Along Michigan Avenue west of downtown, bike lanes should be painted by November as a “trial,” says¬†Matt Chynoweth, a development engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Detroit Transportation Service Center.

“We’re going to evaluate for a year and if we have a spike in pedestrian accidents out there then we may have to evaluate it and take it out,” he says.

Bike lanes are an easy way to increase safety by helping motorists realize cyclists are nearby. And some planners say they could be introduced all over the city for little more than the cost of the paint.

Chynoweth will be at the Corktown Residents’ Council meeting will be Tuesday, October 5 at 6:30pm to discuss these new bike lanes. The meeting is being held at the Most Holy Trinity School at 1229 Labrosse in Detroit.

More on GREEN

Sandi Svoboda also blogged about the Greater Riverfront East Environmental Network (GREEN) last week. This project has the potential to transform Detroit’s lower east from the Dequindre Cut to the Pointes: greenways, road diets, bike lanes, and much more.

One of the big focuses is extended the Detroit RiverWalk east to Detroit’s border. Given the marina district, it could be crazy expensive to develop the route along the river’s edge, so the routing may be creative.

Making Michigan Avenue a Complete Street

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

The Let’s Save Michigan web site has a great video of Phil Cooley talking about making Michigan Avenue a Complete Street in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.

We received this video with an accompanying email, which included the following:

Michigan’s local economies are struggling. Listen to the perspective of one small business owner in Detroit explain the biggest obstacle his business is currently facing — it may surprise you:

The exciting news is that Michigan is poised to overcome these obstacles right now. Creating more livable communities where businesses can thrive does not have to take the money or resources Michigan is lacking — it just takes some smart planning.

When planners and engineers design neighborhood streets with bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transportation in mind, the need for complex intersections is reduced and infrastructure costs can be cut by as much as 35 to 40 percent.

Even property values have been proven to get a boost from Complete Streets. Studies show that the value of homes in walk-able communities is $4,000 to $34,000 more than the same homes in regular neighborhoods.

This section of Michigan Avenue is being repaved with federal stimulus funding. MTGA and other organizations are working with MDOT to get bike lanes added. It seems MDOT would like to add the lanes but may be constrained by Michigan state law regarding trunklines. We’re hoping to have that resolved before the road lines are painted.

Cleveland: raising the bike advocacy bar

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The recent Cleveland protests over the Ohio Department of Transportation ignoring cycling certain echoes recent experiences with MDOT. From their Fort Street project to a Michigan Avenue repaving to the I-94 expansion, MDOT is ignoring Detroit’s non-motorized transportation master plan — a topic on the agenda for the next MDOT Metro Region non-motorized meeting in March.

But back to Cleveland, their protest has a cool video and song. Maybe that’s what we need to better get our basic message out.

We don’t need non-credible excuses or a willingness to listen. We need a consistent commitment to make Detroit a better place to walk and bike.