Archive for the ‘On-road bicycling’ Category

GREEN plan for Detroit’s East Riverfront

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

After about 18 months of planning and community engagement, the GREEN plan was revealed, a plan for greenways throughout the Detroit’s lower eastside.

The GREEN Task Force, a coalition of Detroit-based non-profit groups, presents to you a vision and a realistic plan for creating a network of greenways on Detroit’s greater riverfront east. Just as greenways serve many functions – from recreational venues to economic linkages between neighborhoods – this report also aims at many goals. This plan serves as a catalyst for:

    • Economic development
    • A tool for bringing communities together
    • A way of defining a new future for Detroit’s greater riverfront east

Modeshift covered this story a couple weeks ago.

“It’s evident things like greenways and bike lanes are good for community development,” [Villages CDC executive director Brian] Hurttienne says. “Otherwise we wouldn’t spend the money we do.”

“Greenways provide much more than ways to get somewhere without a car,” says Maggie DeSantis, chair of the GREEN Task Force and board member of the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative. “Greenways improve health and safety by creating recreational venues, beautifying neighborhoods, creating nodes of economic development, and by connecting neighborhoods and residents to each other, and to the broader city.”

Since the unveiling, the GREEN task force has been presenting this plan to many different groups and exploring funding options.

And some of the routes are closer to implementation than others.

  • The city has initial plans to add bike lanes to this segment of Kercheval next year.
  • The East Jefferson Corridor Collaborative continues their efforts for bike lanes on E. Jefferson. They are focusing on the roadway between Belle Isle’s bridge and Indian Village. They have a few different design options, two of which are physically-separated bike lanes, also known as cycletracks. They are currently doing a traffic study to ensure the required road diet would not be a roadblock.

The project furthest from implementation is likely the Detroit RiverWalk extension to Alter Road. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is focusing on completing the eastern portion of the existing RiverWalk before shifting resources to the western portion between Joe Louis Arena and Riverside Park/Ambassador Bridge.

City of Birmingham seeks volunteers

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Forwarding information from Birmingham’s Planning Director, Jana Ecker. It would be great seeing some strong candidates on this committee:

The City of Birmingham is in the process of soliciting proposals to create a Multi-Modal Transportation Plan for the City. The City desires to immediately assemble an informal Multi-Modal Advisory Committee to assist in this effort. The City Commission would like the Advisory Committee to be composed of representatives from the following areas:

1. Advisory Parking Committee Member (1)
2. Bicycle Representative (1) (Birmingham resident or business owner, or frequent cyclist in Birmingham)
3. Millennial Generation Representative (Birmingham resident born between 1980 and 1999) (1)
4. Pedestrian Representative (1) (resident or business owner in Birmingham)
5. Physically Handicapped Pedestrian Representative (1) (resident or business owner in Birmingham)
6. Planning Board Member (1)
7. Principle Shopping District Board Member (1)
8. Senior Citizen Representative (1) (Birmingham resident or business owner over the age of 65)
9. Traffic & Safety Board (1)
10. Transit Rider Representative (1) (resident or business owner in Birmingham, or frequent transit system user in Birmingham)

The Advisory Committee will serve as a “sounding board” for the City and the selected consulting firm throughout the creation of the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan.

The first task of the Advisory Committee will be to assist City staff in reviewing the consultant proposals received by the City; these proposals are due to the City by 5:00pm EST on June 29th. In addition, the selected consulting firm is required to facilitate at least two (2) public workshops and Advisory Committee members would be expected to participate in these workshops. Additionally, the firm that is selected to complete the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan will meet with the Advisory Committee a total of six (6) times while developing the plan. It is anticipated that the length of service for the Advisory Committee would be approximately 6 – 9 months.

You are receiving this email as you have either expressed an interest in participated in the multi-modal plan, or you have been identified as a candidate that may be interested and qualified in filling one of the above positions. If you are interested in serving on this Advisory Committee, please respond to this email and include the category/ies for which you may qualify. Once I have filled all positions, each member of the Advisory Committee will be sent a roster for the committee, and a kick off meeting will be held to introduce the Advisory Committee to the scope of the project and to establish a meeting schedule. It is anticipated that the kick off meeting will be held PRIOR to receipt of the proposals from consultants.

If you know of others that may be interested in volunteering for this project, please feel free to forward this email to them. Thank you in advance for your interest in making the City of Birmingham a great place to live, work and play!

Jana Ecker
Planning Director
City of Birmingham

Detroit’s aggressive plan for more bike lanes

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Huffington Post ran this articlelast week that shows the city of Detroit’s commitment to being “very aggressive” in adding bike lanes.

[Department of Public Works Director Ron] Brundidge said Detroit is aggressively building bike lanes to promote a healthy lifestyle and to encourage environmentally conscious behavior. “We just feel it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to have our citizens have the option and ability to get out there and bike,” Brundidge said.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

The If you look at the city map provided by the article, you might ask these questions why the City didn’t add bike lanes…

On East Jefferson? There are already a couple other bike lane and streetscape projects planned for this road through the East Jefferson Corridor Collaborative. Stay tuned.

On any of the other spoke roads? All of the other spoke roads (e.g. Grand River, Gratiot) are state roads. It’s up to MDOT to add bike lanes to them.

On Outer Drive? That’s a Wayne County Road. The City did add State Fair, which is an extension off E. Outer Drive.

Connecting Corktown to the RiverWalk via the Sixth Street bridge? The south end of that bridge is on private property. It would be a little trickier getting that connection improved for bicycling, though it’s not all that bad today.

On Second Avenue north of Grand Boulevard? The optimal solution would be to convert Second back to two-way just like it is being done this year south of the Boulevard. These conversions are expensive because the traffic signals need to be replaced as they only face in three directions.

How certain is all this? It’s not 100%. Some of these bike lanes require state grant funding that is very likely but not for certain.

Most of the bike lanes are being added through the city’s regular re-striping program. Those white lines don’t last forever and need to get repainted. Next year Detroit’s going to put down the paint a little differently.

With all the budget cuts planned, some might ask why there’s a priority on adding bike lanes in Detroit now. However, the funding for this is for transportation purposes only and it can’t be spent on police or fire. The Michigan Constitution actually prevents road funding from being spent on non-transportation items.

The exciting news is that if this does all get completed as expected, Detroit will have the most extensive bike lane network among all cities in Michigan and among nearly all U.S. cities. If we don’t win a Cup, World Series, or Super Bowl by next year, at least we’ll have that to brag about.

New Detroit bike lanes for 2012

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

There are bike lanes planned for the city of Detroit that are expected to be completed this year. Here’s a run down of those projects.

Midtown bike lanes

The below projects all tie together to create on consistent north-south bike route from Cass Tech to New Center. Though not a bike lane, phase II construction of the Midtown Loop will begin this year, extending the pathway south on John R and on Canfield from John R to Cass. The segment along Cass is now phase III.

Second Avenue from Grand Boulevard to Palmer – The street is being returned to two-way travel with bike lanes added for most of it. There is insufficient road width north of the railroad underpass so sharrows will be used.

Anthony Wayne Drive from Palmer to Warren – Bike lanes will be added.

Third Avenue from Warren to Ledyard – This segment will become all two-way with bike lanes.

Cass Park – All of the streets surrounding the park will receive bike lanes.

Conner Creek Greenway

Another phase of this eastside greenway is being constructed this year. This time the portion between 6 Mile and 8 Mile is the focus. E. Outer Drive and Conner Avenue below the Milbank Greenway (which is just north of E. Outer Drive) will get bike lanes.

Trumbull Enhancements

Bike lanes will be added to Trumbull from Warren Avenue north to about Holden. We haven’t seen the drawings, but that’s what we’ve heard. The City has said they would look into continuing the Trumbull bike lanes from Warren south to MLK though there is no timeframe for that.

Safety Improvement Projects

These are the safety projects we’d mentioned earlier. There is one additional public meeting to discuss safety improvements to West Chicago from Spinozza (Rouge Park) just about to Livernois. That meeting is Monday, February 20th from 5pm to 7pm at the Don Bosco Hall, 19321 W. Chicago. We’re told the plans for W. Chicago include bike lanes but we don’t know to what extent yet. We do know they make a great east-west connection to Rouge Park which has great roads, pathways, and trails for biking. Spinozza also connects with W. Outer Drive, another great Detroit biking road.

Dix Road from Waterman/W. Vernor to Woodmere – This is basically an extension of the existing bike lanes on W. Vernor which provides a connection with the pathway in Patton Park.

Central from W. Vernor to McGraw – Only portions of the Central will get bike lanes. At times the road is too narrow so sharrows will be used instead. Central become an even more critical biking route after the Detroit International Freight Transfer Project (DIFT) closes nearby Lonyo Road. Central is also part of the proposed Inner Circle Greenway route that encircles the city.

E. Seven Mile from I-75 to Gratiot is also a safety improvement project but there was insufficient room to add bike lanes. However, like the roads mentioned above, the designs are such that they encourage motorists to drive more prudently.

Birmingham to consider road diet and bike lanes

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

As we’ve mentioned before, Birmingham is really starting to get more involved in improving biking and walking opportunities.

One of there latest efforts is to improve Maple Road between Eton and Woodward. This is a main gateway to their downtown and the road isn’t too pretty. It’s mostly a four lane road that allows on-street parking except between 7am and 9am and 4pm and 6pm.

The road carries significant vehicle traffic mostly during rush hour and road that very few would feel comfortable biking on.

We’ve heard that many of the houses along this stretch are rentals, which is probably an reflection on the unwelcoming street.

A proposed alternative is a road diet, taking it to three lanes with bike lanes. The current lane design would be maintained at the intersections to facilitate more traffic flow. Traffic models determined that 30% of the vehicle traffic would use other roads if this were to happen and travel delays would not be that much worse. While motorists might wait more at the Adams crossing, the Woodward crossing would operate with less delay.

If you are interested in supporting this, please attend this upcoming public meeting on February 13th. The details are below the fold.

Adding bike lanes to this section of Maple would connect the popular Eton Road cycling route to downtown Birmingham. It would also connect the transit center and Troy’s shopping district to downtown Birmingham as well.