Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

Veronica Davis to talk transportation in Detroit

Friday, October 19th, 2012

This Thursday, October 25th at 6pm is a special, free community gathering at the Gleaner’s Community Food Bank (2131 Beaufait) presented by the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative (DFFC).

The event is called Active Living in Detroit and the guest speaker is Veronica Davis from Washington, DC – a professional transportation engineer, non-motorized planner, and recent honoree of President Obama’s Champions of Change program. There’s more information about Ms. Davis on the Whitehouse web site.

Many people do not recognize the role that equitable and
accessible multi modal transportation options play in their
everyday lives. Transportation planning and choices have
the ability to impact socioeconomic conditions, personal
health and overall quality of life. I seek to help others
understand that the role of transportation cannot be
underestimated.

There will also be updates on our the DFFC’s overall and two priority active living efforts: Complete Streets and building more trails, greenways, and bike lanes.

We hope you can attend and share this with other who share our similar interests in making Detroit a healthier, more active community.

Detroit Riverfront Community Meeting Highlights

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

There was a huge turnout at last night’s Detroit Riverfront Community meeting. The large crowd eagerly applauded both the finished and planned projects along the Detroit Riverfront.

Some of the more popular topics were the extension of the Dequindre Cut and the “dream” of connecting the RiverWalk with historic Fort Wayne.

2013 is going to be a busy year for RiverWalk improvements, including:

  • Mt. Elliott Park – Under construction now; Completed by 2014. LEED certified design
  • Civic Center area – Improved lighting, wayfinding and security are planned for the older riverfront section from Joe Louis to the Port Authority.
  • Watermark/Chene East & West – Two new segments will be built on both sides of Chene Park.
  • Coast Guard – The segment just west of the RiverPlace is owned by the Coast Guard. Plans are underway to extend the RiverWalk across this property toward Chene Park.
  • UniRoyal site – The biggest missing piece on the east; Western third (43 acres) being remediated now
  • Gabriel Richard Park – Getting a green parking lot and new path to the river.
  • Globe Trading Building – DNR is turning into a Discovery Center with indoor climbing wall, archery, and kayak simulator; scheduled to open in 2013
  • Dequindre Cut North – Construction to being, extending the Cut to Mack Avenue with bike lane extension to Hamtramck; Also includes connetions to Midtown and Eastern Market; It should be completed by 2014.
One other very exciting bit of news. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is starting to make improvements on the RiverWalk West, running from Joe Louis Arena to Riverside Park (about 2 miles), just past the Ambassador Bridge. They will begin by improving the old Free Press publishing site, adding three new pathways to the river, lighting and security, while repairing the riverfront path and guardrails.

In case you missed the meeting, it is on-line. You may want to skip the intro and jump to the 5 minute mark.

Video streaming by Ustream

More on the Governor’s Detroit bike ride

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Below are a few more updates from Governor Rick Synder’s bike ride on the Dequindre Cut.

First, his office has posted this entry on the Reinventing Michigan blog, including a video of the Governor’s speech celebrating the ground breaking for the Globe Trading Building project (See below).

Next, the Detroit Free Press ran a Caption This contest. The photo is of the Governor snapping on his helmet. The best entries will be printed in Sunday’s paper.

And finally, as we mentioned earlier, we had the Governor’s ear while riding up the Cut. We mentioned how Detroit is one of the most bike friendly cities in the U.S.. Apparently that stuck in the Governor’s mind because he repeated it during a WJR radio show just two days later.

From Mlive:

To mark the project’s birth on Saturday, he slapped on a helmet and went biking along the Dequindre Cut, and said people remarked about how Detroit is one of the best cities in the country for biking.

We’ll take credit for that.

Dequindre Cut west? A Corktown to RiverWalk trail

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

There are rail lines heading east from the Michigan Central Station. They slope below ground and enter the Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, which connects with Windsor.

There used to be rail lines next to and on top of this tunnel. Their absence opens the door for a greenway not unlike the Dequindre Cut.

While this greenspace is above the rail tunnel, it’s still below the roads it crosses: Rosa Parks, Lafayette, and Fort Street. And that’s the charm of this concept. One could get on the trail and get right on to the river. It would be somewhat short bike superhighway.

Here’s what makes this idea even sweeter. Canadian Pacific wants to add a third rail tunnel paralleling the existing pair. (The existing tunnels aren’t tall enough to accommodate double-stacked rail cars.) If that project goes through, Canadian Pacific might be willing to help with the greenway’s construction.

What do you think?

Keep in mind that the West RiverWalk hasn’t been constructed yet, but it will be in the coming years.

 

Governor Rick Snyder: Bikes the talk in Detroit

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

At yesterday’s groundbreaking, George Jackson of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation spoke of his appreciation for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “He walks the talk.” Jackson said.

This day would be different.

As the governor noted later, today he would bike the talk — on the Dequindre Cut from Milliken State Park to Eastern Market — on a bike rented from the Wheelhouse Detroit.

I had the opportunity to give a Detroit Greenways button to the Governor, which he prompted pin to his jacket. We also discussed the Dequindre Cut and biking in Detroit. He asked if there were other places to ride in the city and if there was a bike map. I noted that we’re working on some maps now and that Detroit is among the nation’s most bike friendly due to the overbuilt road network.

I also spoke with him about the New International Trade Crossing. I asked if he would work with us to make sure the constructed bridge includes the paved shoulders (for bicyclists) and sidewalk that are in the approved current design — and encourage the Canadians to do the same. He sounded quite positive and asked me to contact his office with the details.

Milliken Park expansion

Governor Snyder was in Detroit for the groundbreaking of the Globe Trading Building. This historic structure will become the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center.

“The Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center project is an exciting next step in fulfilling a vision for Detroit’s Riverfront and serves as a shining example of what city and state, public and private partnerships and collaboration can achieve,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This is what place making is all about. And the project will help generate additional economic development and neighborhood revitalization that are core to Detroit’s and Michigan’s comeback.”

“The goal of everyone involved in this venture is to create a downtown destination where people living in or visiting an urban area can experience the adventure and excitement of Michigan’s great outdoors, gain confidence in participating in outdoor recreation activities, and understand more about protecting our state’s unique natural resources,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “We feel the Globe Building project provides the right hub for outdoor experiences and fits that niche perfectly.”

This is going to be a tremendous asset at the intersection of two great greenways: the Dequindre Cut and Detroit RiverWalk.

During the 2011 RiverDays event, someone asked me when the city was going to tear down that old brick building. I promptly responded and told him about the DNR’s plans to revitalize it. They didn’t believe me. I recalled that transaction as the Governor spoke yesterday.

From the Detroit News:

“I want everyone to remember what that looks like today,” said Snyder during a press conference at Milliken State Park, gesturing across the street to the abandoned warehouse. “So when we come back and see what it looks like, we can see what the power of working together can do and the opportunity to reinvent Michigan and the opportunity to reinvent Detroit.”

The Free Press also published this article on the event and building.