Posts Tagged ‘Woodward’

Detroit light rail comments due today

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Curb running trains and tracks aren't safe for bicyclists on Woodward

The city of Detroit is collecting comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed light rail project on Woodward. Those comments are due today, March 14th.

The DEIS is large, technical, and not always fun to read. It does provide three alternatives. One difference between the three is where the tracks would be located on Woodward south of Grand Boulevard: in the center or at the curbs.

We agree with the DEIS assessment that the curb-running alignment would have a negative impact on bicycling. For that and other reasons, we support Alternative A1 with median running light rail for the entire route.

This amazing video from Transport Michigan also supports median running. This video has gone viral as we’ve received it from a number of different sources.

Some other thoughts we had:

  • Adding a two-way cycle track on the east side of Woodward that connected Ferndale’s existing Hilton bike lanes to the proposed park and ride just north of the State Fairgrounds.
  • Adding bike lanes or cycle tracks on Woodward from McNichols to Eight Mile. Woodward is unnecessarily wide and could be road dieted.
  • Adding sharrows where bike lanes cannot be added.
  • Improve the parallel streets for bicycling (Second, Third, Brush, John R) by adding bike lanes/sharrows and by making them two-way for their entire length.
  • Allowing bikes to roll on to the trains.
  • Having bike parking (preferably covered) at the transit stations.
  • Consider future implementation of a public bike sharing system located at the transit stops.

To make comments, send an email to woodwardlightrail@detroitmi.gov.


Detroit Light Rail hearings on February 12th

Friday, January 28th, 2011

A proposed streetcar/bicycle design from Seattle

Below is the DDOT announcement about public hearings on the planned Woodward light rail project.

Why is light rail important to Detroit cyclists?

First, a well-designed light rail system will lets you easily take your bike on board and provides bike parking at the transit stops. The system can actually encourage more people to ride. Biking increases the light rail’s effective reach into the neighborhoods. The light rail is not going to take you to places like Hamtramck, Eastern Market, Cortktown, Mexicantown, or Ferndale — but those could be easily biked to.

Second, this project is an opportunity to get light rail on Wooward and make it a Complete Street. Can we improve biking in a way that works well with the new light rail?

Mia Birk from Alta Planning has been involved in streetcar/bicycle facility design for a some time and recently wrote an article called “Bikes & Streetcars – Let’s be Best Friends!.”

Both streetcar and bicycle transportation are highly effective, sustainable solutions with multiple benefits. Bicycling leverages enormous health and environmental benefits, while streetcar leverages development. Both use space efficiently and forward economic progress. Together, they signify the dawn of a powerful new era of transportation efficiency.

And one thing’s for sure: designing streetcar lines without serious consideration of bicyclists will cost more in the long run, as it’s always harder to fix things than doing them well in the first place.

That bolded text is perhaps the key point.  Let’s make sure things are done well from the beginning and save money.

And let’s be best friends!

More details on the public meetings

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Woodward to get light rail and “bike paths”?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The Varsity News is reporting on a transportation symposium held at the University of Detroit-Mercy last week.

The symposium included a discussion on the proposed light rail project currently being planned for Woodward. It is hoped that ground will be broken on the first phase of this project by late next year.

According to the article, one person raised concerns about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

[Board president of M1 Rail, Matt] Cullen said the system “will be very pedestrian friendly.”

The rail line will have stops at major sites, such as stadiums, colleges and the New Center area. It will create more foot traffic, and there will also be a bike bath.

“It allows you to explore further,” Cullen said.

We wonder if he meant bike lanes on Woodward. Others have asked for them and rumor is they are feasible.

If this is the case, it’s a big improvement over what Cullen told us last winter. He said bikes might be pushed off Woodward.

Light Rail Community Workshops

And speaking on the light rail project, DDOT is hosting community workshops next week.

Here are the details:

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Detroit Light Rail comments

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Today is the last day to submit comments to DDOT on the proposed Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit project. Comments should be emailed to woodwardlightrail@detroitmi.gov.

The scoping booklet is on-line and presents a number of different options. One key issue with cyclists is the track alignment: curb-running versus median-running.

Curb-running makes bike lanes difficult to impossible. Do you really want to ride near the trains, their tracks, and their stations?

The best answer is median-running. In the scoping booklet, that is Design Option A. It would be great if many cyclists requested that option in their comments.

Transport Michigan also has some great thoughts and comments regarding this project and cycling.

Link: Additional information on Detroit’s light rail project

Woodward Light Rail meeting

Monday, August 9th, 2010

DDOT and the Federal Transit Authority are hosting the initial public meeting for the Woodward Light Rail project this Saturday. The meeting purpose is “discuss the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Woodward Avenue (M-1) Light Rail Project from Downtown Detroit to Eight Mile Road (M-102).”

The EIS will consider impacts to bicyclists using Woodward — which is key. Light rail tracks along the curb are not always the best choice for bicyclists.

Earlier discussions were to not have biking on Woodward, at least below Grand Boulevard. It was suggested cyclists could use some streets paralleling Woodward. That overlooks the fact that people want to ?ride to destinations on Woodward.

Not accommodating bicycles on Woodward might just give Detroit’s Critical Mass something to protest.

Meeting Details

When: Saturday, August 14, 2010. Attend from 11am to 1pm or 5pm to 7pm.

Where: Considine Light Rock Family Life Center Auditorium (8904 Woodward Avenue, Detroit)