Posts Tagged ‘Southwest Detroit’

Motor vehicle parking restrictions in Southwest Detroit

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The below alert from the Southwest Detroit Business Association is being passed along to show the size and comprehensive network of bike lanes that are being installed throughout Southwest Detroit:

There will be no parking today (Thursday, August 11. 2011) along the following streets to allow for the construction of the bike lanes:

  • 14th St / Train Station to Bagley
  • W. Grand / Toledo to Vernor
  • MLK Blvd / Rosa Parks to 14thLawton to the East
  • Washash to Rosa Parks
  • Vernor E. All
  • Vernor W. All
  • Rosa Parks/Bagley (southbound)
  • I-75 to Elm St
  • Layfayette / Brooklyn to 10th St
  • 10th to Trumbull
  • Bagley / Rosa Parks to 14th St.

Construction will begin at 8:00 AM and should be completed as soon as possible. A police enforced parking ban will be in effect during this time. When constructed is completed, the parking ban will be lifted. Please make the appropriate arrangements to prevent your vehicles from being ticketed and facilitate the construction of the bike lanes.

This project is part of the Southwest Detroit Greenway that will follow West Vernor from Patton Park into Mexicantown and Corktown. The construction of these bike routes is a great investment in Southwest Detroit, enjoy them!

New bikes lanes in Corktown and Southwest Detroit

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Have you seen the new bike lanes and bike routes being installed throughout Corktown, Mexicantown, and along West Vernor in Southwest Detroit?

This is not a new project. It started about seven or so years ago with the Greater Corktown Development Corporation and a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The goal was to make the area more walkable and bikeable while connecting it to the future West RiverWalk.

But much has changed since then. Greater Corktown went through financial issues forcing them to hand off the project to the Southwest Business Development Association (SDBA). In taking over the project, the SDBA expanded it to include bike lanes along most of West Vernor, connecting it with their existing trail through Patton Park.

The project design also changed over time, shifting from having some off-road paths to simply bike lanes and bike routes. The latter are being employed on roads that are too narrow for bike lanes.

In the meantime, the wildly successful Tour de Troit has generated additional funds for the project to keep pushing it forward.

Safety Grants

There’s one other piece. The city of Detroit applied for an MDOT grant to improve safety along a portion of West Vernor from Livernois to Waterman. As a result, the city is adding bike lanes along that one mile of Vernor. They’re also adding lighting beneath the viaduct just west of Livernois.

When completed, there will be 24 miles of new bike lanes and 11 miles of signed bike routes.

Building on this success, the city recently applied for seven safety grants and received six. The city is looking to add bike lanes to all six projects in 2012, which includes roads such as Central and West Chicago.

Bike parking, directional signs, and more

And there are additional projects which complement this work.

There are new bike racks being installed throughout the area by a handful of different groups. Have you seen the new cool bike racks at Clark Park? They’re across the street from Cafe con Leche.

Also, the SDBA is also looking at wayfinding — signs and maps that help guide bicyclists through the area. For example, a sign might provide bicyclists with direction and mileage on how to get to specific destinations like downtown, the RiverWalk, Roosevelt Park, and Patton Park. The posted mileage also reminds those who don’t bike just how close some places are — and that perhaps bicycling between them is easier than they may have thought.

This wayfinding project is looking to develop designs that can be used across the city, which would help keep signs more consistent.

Adventure Cycling should have their first of two maps completed this year for their Underground Railroad Bicycle Route through Detroit. That route has been located on West Vernor to take advantage of these bike lanes.

Now wouldn’t it be great if the West Vernor bike lanes could get you to the Rouge Gateway Trail and Hines Drive in Dearborn?

Downriver Highriders and Kid Rock

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Kid Rock’s video for “Roll On” features numerous Detroit landmarks, cars, and a whole like of bicycles.

This weekend while on the RiverWalk I met the the cyclists who were featured in the video. They’re from the Downriver Highriders and hail from Southwest Detroit, River Rouge, Ecorse and other downriver communities. (It also looks like some Eastside Riders might be in the video too.)

They were quick to note that they ride everywhere.

Groups like the Highriders and Eastside Riders are quite a contrast from the typical cycling clubs found in the Metro Detroit suburbs. They’re not about racing or going fast or wearing leotards. They’re just about riding and having a good time, something that is more appealing to the general population.

It’s also why they’re in a Kid Rock video.

If you want to join the Highriders, they have a Facebook page with more information. The Eastside Riders Bike Club also have a Facebook page.

Southwest Detroit sustainability planning

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Detroit Free Press published an interesting story on a Lawrence Tech (LTU) project which looked at making Southwest Detroit energy self-sufficient.

That planning involved creating energy as well as reducing current usage by encouraging more energy efficient transportation. In other words, more public transit, more walkability, more greenways, and more bike lanes.

Other tactics suggested by the team include creating more public transit and more green infrastructure, like the planned extension of the RiverWalk west of downtown.

Still other aspects of the project include mapping sites where higher-density, mixed-used development might create a more walkable urban environment.

The LTU team is working with the Southwest Detroit Development Collaborative, a coalition of more than a dozen community nonprofit groups. Kathy Wendler, president of the Southwest Detroit Business Association, said the LTU project dovetails with other greening projects under way, like the bicycle lanes and energy-efficient street lights planned along West Vernor.

This project was funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. According to the article, previous grants ¬†“supported a bike-sharing program in Atlanta.”

Detroit bike shorts: Updates from around the city

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Google Bike Directions

If you use Google Maps to get a bike route between Detroit and Windsor, it will give you directions to use the Tunnel. Of course the Tunnel is not open to cyclists so we alerted Google and they are in the process of correcting that.

Southwest Detroit

We recently heard from the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) that construction on the Corktown/Mexicantown/West Vernor Greenlinks are on schedule and are close to moving to bid. “Construction is still scheduled for this spring/summer.”

Also on the Southwest side of Detroit, Model D is reporting on a planned Beard Park expansion led by the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI). The plans call for a pump track. We helped connect Miss Cory Coffey — a BMX World Champion now living in Detroit — with this project. Beard Park is located north of W. Fort Street and a couple blocks east of Woodmere.

Detroit to Muskegon bike route

The League of Michigan Bicyclists has compiled input from cyclists to create a bicycle route from Detroit to Musekgon. The PDF route is on-line and it is very large at 27 megabytes.

RiverWalk’s Faye Nelson

Detroit Riverfront Conservancy President Faye Nelson received the 24th Soul and Spirit Humanitarian Award from Judge Damon Keith. Nelson also recently recognized by Grio as a History Maker in the Making for her RiverWalk efforts. “Nelson’s work has brought over $100 million to the area and renewed interest in the once-struggling neighborhood, becoming not just a beautification project, but a rallying point for the community.”

Reimagining Livernois

A Free Press editorial discusses the planning efforts to revitalize Livernois Avenue in Northwest Detroit.

Urban Land Institute’s Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use gathered in northwest Detroit. The urban planners, developers, city managers and architects spent four days generating ideas to turn the Livernois corridor — from 6 Mile to St. Martins, north of 7 Mile — into a thriving urban main street that could meet the retail and entertainment needs of one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. Similar Urban Land Institute efforts will take place this year in Charlotte, Sacramento and Houston.

One of the group’s conclusions is to make the street more bike friendly with traffic calming and bike paths. The relatively new boulevard, while improving pedestrian and vehicle safety, does limit the options for on-road bike facilities. There may not be enough room for bike lanes. Sharrows would be an alternative. And while sharrows may not make the road comfortable for less experienced cyclists, it should be possible to make the parallel residential streets more bike friendly.

Ordonez bikes

As many Red Wings have done, Detroit Tiger Magglio Ordonez now includes biking, including mountain biking in his training regimen.

[Alex] Avila noted how Ordonez would occasionally be a few minutes late for the workouts, only to have a pretty good excuse.

“We’d say, ‘Where have you been,'” Avila said. “‘Oh, I was riding my bike 15 miles.'”

Ordonez’s workout regimen drew attention last year, when his program was compared to that of a football player. But he also got into bicycle riding, especially mountain bikes.

It looks like the Tigers are at home for the 2011 Tour de Troit weekend… You in, Maggio?