Posts Tagged ‘Van Dyke’

Trail Connections between Detroit and Warren

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

UM study on trails and biking University of Michigan urban planning graduate students are completing a couple studies in conjunction with the Eight Mile Boulevard Association and Macomb County Planning.

One study examined how to improve non-motorized transportation along Eight Mile. Different solutions were proposed for portions of Eight Mile due to its changing density, traffic speeds, and service levels. Some suggestions included bike lanes, bike parking, improved crossings, and more. With Eight Mile being reconstructed in upcoming years, it’s hoped that some of these suggestions could be integrated with those efforts.

The second study was to connect Detroit’s Conner Creek Greenway to Warren’s Red Run Rec Center. There were two suggested routes, either or both could be implemented. The first crossed east of the Eight Mile/Van Dyke (V-8) intersection and continued north along MacArthur Boulevard and the ITC power line corridor. The other route included on-road bike lanes along Van Dyke, which like Eight Mile will be reconstructed in the near future.

Both routes look good. ?The ITC route offered more greenspace, while the Van Dyke route provide better business access. Also, the Van Dyke route isn’t too far from Sherwood Avenue which provides excellent access between Warren, Centerline, and Detroit. That makes it a tad bit redundant.

The study’s proposed Eight Mile crossing does not include a pedestrian bridge for many of the reasons we cited earlier. MDOT agreed. And there was one additional reason not to build a large steel raised bridge over Eight Mile. It would have to run just under the high-power lines which run down the center boulevard. Doh!

The alternative provides a highly-visible signalized crossing, which really seems to make the most sense for both pedestrians and cyclists. The group proposed a HAWK signalized crossing, which would require some changes to Michigan’s current road laws.

The importance of this cross-county trail link is immense from both the non-motorized and political perspectives. Starting from the Detroit River, one could eventually take the Connor Creek Greenway north to Warren, along the proposed Red Run trail into Madison Heights or Sterling Heights, with connections to the Metro Parkway and Clinton River pathway.