Posts Tagged ‘MTGA’

Complete Streets community workshop in Detroit

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The Detroit Health and Wellness Promotion Department along with the Detroit Complete Streets Coalition are hosting a community workshop on March 31st from 6pm until 8pm. It will be held at the Gaelic League on Michigan Avenue in Corktown.

This workshop is on Complete Streets and how they can improve walking, biking, and public transportation in Detroit. Richard Wooten from MSU-Extension will give an overview of Complete Streets, what they look like and how they benefit everyone.

Slows BBQ is catering this event.

Please RSVP by Friday, March 25th, 2011 by emailing Myra at or 313.870.0637.

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance has also created a Detroit-specific Complete Streets page. It discusses the benefits of having Complete Streets in Detroit and provides some basic steps you can take to show your support.

Brief presentation on Detroit bike/walk progress

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Yes, Detroit now has more miles of bike lanes than all the other communities in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties combined.

This was part of a presentation given at the 2010 Oakland County Trails Summit this fall. That presentation is available with audio at the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance web site.

Neil Billetdeaux from JJR also presented at the Summit on the Dequindre Cut and other Detroit projects. A PDF of his presentation is available as well.

Secretary LaHood touts U.S. Bicycle Routes

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

U.S. Bicycle Routes planned for Michigan

The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has posted this on his blog yesterday:

If you’re traveling by car or airplane this 4th of July weekend and would rather be packing your luggage onto your bike, you may be interested in the US Bicycle Route System.

Well that’s got my attention, Mr. Secretary.

You’ve probably heard me compare where our high-speed and intercity passenger rail system is today with where America stood 54 years ago when President Eisenhower began implementing the US Interstate Highway network. But America also has a national interstate network of bicycle routes in a similar state of initial development.

For more than 20 years, not much happened. But in 2003, AASHTO revived the USBRS with a Task Force on US Bicycle Routes. The Task Force includes state transportation agency staff, Federal Highway Administration employees, and bicycling organizations. One group, Adventure Cycling Association, began providing staff support to the project in 2005 and developed a map called the National Corridor Plan.

As a side note, the original national corridor plan had no routes to Detroit. MTGA worked with Adventure Cycling to remedy that by modifying some existing routes and adding new ones. The result? The plans for Bicycle Routes 25, 30, and 36 now run through Detroit.

Beyond Detroit, Michiganders need to thank Scott Anderson, MTGA, and MDOT for really pushing hard to get U.S. Bicycle Route 20 across the mitten. Despite the heavy competition from other states, this might be the first new U.S. Bicycle Route in decades.

In Michigan USBRS 20 is underway, with USBRS 35 soon to follow. The people of Michigan are excited to be leading the way on America’s interstate bikeway system.

As Scott Anderson, state coordinator for the bicycle route, said, “We went county to county, community to community, to talk with each one and got enormous support. We even had cities and towns that weren’t on the route pushing to get included.”

Anderson and Michigan’s communities also see the business and employment possibilities the USBRS offers: “We see an economic opportunity here. We’re hoping to promote tourism and there are a lot of bicycle tourists out there.”

And the Secretary wraps up his blog saying:

The USBRS will generate economic activity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a healthier America. And because bicycle infrastructure is relatively inexpensive, the USBRS can achieve these benefits cost-effectively. It’s a win for states, a win for local communities, and a win for America.

Have a great July 4th weekend.

Detroit Riverfront Conservancy CEO wins award

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The Detroit Free Press has some nice behind-the-scenes coverage of Faye Alexander Nelson, CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy — the group responsible for the Detroit RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut.

Nelson speaks with pride and pleasure as she points out various attractions — the RiverWalk’s patio-pretty pavement dotted with parks, pavilions, play spaces and gardens; docking space for boats at Michigan’s first urban state park, and a paved trail that officially opened Thursday that allows people to go by foot, bike or Rollerblade from near the river to the Dequindre Cut, a former railroad track transformed into a nonmotorized trail.

It’s fitting that Nelson is at the helm of that bridge-to-bridge development. People who know her say she is indeed a bridge builder, uniting a diverse group of people behind the $300-million-plus project that is an undeniable bright spot in the issues-saddled city of Detroit.

“She has been a forceful and integral part of transforming Detroit’s riverfront into something spectacular,” said Hugh McDiarmid Jr., spokesman for the Michigan Environmental Council, which awarded Nelson the William and Helen Milliken Award for Distinguished Service on Wednesday.

And speaking of the RiverWalk, it’s home once again to the 2010 Detroit River Days event, which begins this Friday and runs through Sunday. River Days includes the Green Path (presented by Bank of America), which is numerous of environmental groups at Milliken State Park. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA) has a booth where you can get the latest information on Detroit biking and walking news. You will also be able to register your support for a Complete Streets policy in the city of Detroit.

And River Days wraps up with one of the world’s largest fireworks displays at 10:06pm on Monday. Afterwards, vehicular traffic is at a standstill which means it’s a perfect to bike to. It seems many more Detroiters are biking to the fireworks each year, not only because it’s fun, but because it’s faster.

MTGA gets grant to make Detroit Bike Friendly

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Yesterday the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA) was awarded a $15,000 grant from REI and Bikes Belong. The grant is to help MTGA and the city of Detroit earn Bicycle Friendly Community recognition from the League of  American Bicyclists. As part of the award, the League is also providing technical support.

MTGA was one of only five groups to receive this award, which was announced at the National Bike Summit yesterday in Washington DC.

As we’ve noted earlier, the Bicycle Friendly Community evaluation isn’t well suited for shrinking cities like Detroit, which also rely heavily on public-private partnerships. This should be an excellent opportunity to work with the League on making the application better fit Detroit.