Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Woodward Complete Streets planning comes to Detroit & Highland Park

Monday, June 17th, 2013

A Complete Streets planning project along the entire length of Woodward — River to Pontiac — has been setting up visiting parts of M1. For the next three days it will be focusing on Woodward from Jefferson to McNichols.

You can drop in to their pop-up offices at 2990 Grand Boulevard in the New Center from now until Wednesday at 7pm.

There are also a three free special events planned for tomorrow, June 18th:

  • 9am — A walkability audit starting at 2990 Grand Boulevard. If you’ve never been on a Dan Burden walkability audit, you don’t want to miss this. It will give you a newfound common-sense perspective on what works and what doesn’t in the walking environment.
  • 4pm — A second walkability audit starts at the old Ford Admin building on Woodward just north of the Model T Plaza.
  • 6pm — A biking audit start at the Hub of Detroit, 3535 Cass. Bring a bike we’ll tour Woodward discussing how to improve it for all cyclists.

There’s more information on the Transform website.

Woodward Complete Streets meeting on April 17th

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Woodward Complete Streets flyerThe Woodward Complete Streets planning project has been underway for months, but now it’s time to engage with residents and stakeholders.

To accomplish this, a series of five 3-day open houses are being announced along Woodward. The first is April 17th through the 19th with a focus on Woodward from McNichols (6 Mile Road) north through Ferndale.

The meeting location is the St. James Catholic Church at 241 Pearson Street at Woodward in Ferndale.

A special focus group meeting for cyclists is scheduled for April 17th at noon. Yes, lunch will be provided. This is your best bet to giving feedback on how to make Woodward more bicycle friendly.

If you can’t make this meeting, there are drop in hours:

  • April 17th from 9am until 5pm
  • April 18th from 12pm until 8pm
  • April 19th from 9am until 3pm

There’s also a walking audit with Dan Burden. We’ve been on many of his tours that are full of common sense traffic solutions. He strongly recommend you consider attending one of these.

More information is available on this Woodward Complete Streets flyer.

Birmingham surveys biking and walking interest

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Rebounding after a very public Complete Streets battle over Maple Road, the city of Birmingham is developing a transit and non-motorized transportation plan not unlike what other cities have done in Detroit, Royal Oak, and Novi.

A public survey was used to collect information for the plan. The Birmingham Patch reported the results.

Overall, the survey found that most of the responses were similar to those found in similar communities across the U.S. People want better to bike and walk more.

However, we’re not sure there’s much value in some survey answers. For instance, the survey asks people to evaluate bicycle facilities that don’t exist in the community or even Metro Detroit. How comfortable are you riding in a cycletrack? We’re not sure we could have answered that until we’d spent some time riding them in Montreal earlier this year.

We’d rather see cities just build bike facilities according to best practices and available funding. Best practices include designing the safest option that best meets the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s basically what’s done for motorized transportation planning.

As an example, a survey of local community residents probably would not have shown much support for the Dequindre Cut before it was built. People vehemently said there would not go into that ditch. It took conceptual drawings, community Q & A meetings, and just building it to change minds. Now the community is asking when it will be extended.

It’s challenging for people to evaluate something they’ve never seen or used, or at least not seen in their community. It takes visionary leaders to absorb the community needs and build the best practices infrastructure to meet them.

Moving forward

This planning effort really shows how Birmingham moving in a positive direction for those who walk and bike. We’re excited to see where it takes them.

Among the communities in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties, Detroit is still at the top for their non-motorized efforts and lengthening their lead on the other cities. With its citywide bike network and improved bike parking, Ferndale is in second. Novi and Royal Oak are stepping up. Birmingham, Warren, Pontiac and Dearborn are making moves — and don’t count out Berkley.

Also, the new Woodward Complete Streets project will help knit many of these efforts together. It’ll be interesting to see where we are a few years down the road — or cycletrack.

Take the Birmingham bike/walk/transit survey

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Press release from the city of Birmingham. Note that the survey is intended for everyone, not just Birmingham residents:

The City of Birmingham is in the initial stages of preparing a multi-modal transportation plan for the City. The plan will help to improve the balance between all modes of transportation, with the goal of making foot, bike and transit travel easier and safer. To help guide the project, a survey has been prepared that will be used to help identify travel patterns, preferred types of improvements and desired project outcomes. The survey takes approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete. To access the survey please click on the following web link:

Alternatively, paper version of the survey may be obtained at the City Clerk’s office (located on the first floor) and the Planning Department (located on the second floor) at City Hall or the Baldwin Public Library. Completed paper surveys may be returned to the same locations or faxed to 734‐668-8820.

The web survey will close Sunday, November 4th at 11:00 p.m.

The results of the survey will be posted on the project webpage and be presented to the City Commission on November 12th.

Future public input opportunities for the project include: a Visioning Workshop on Thursday, January 17th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and two Preliminary Plan Open House sessions on Thursday, February 28th from 3:00 to 5:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Visioning Workshop and the Preliminary Plan Open Houses
will be held at the Baldwin Public Library.

For more information on the project please contact:

Susanna Weckerle
Assistant City Planner
Birmingham, Michigan
(248) 530-1846

Or visit the project webpage at

Your time and insights are most appreciated.

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.