By the end of September, Detroit cyclists will have 16 miles of new bike lanes to traverse; part of a growing network that will connect the three neighborhoods of Southwest Detroit, Corktown and Mexicantown.
“Linking Corktown, Mexicantown and Southwest Detroit will provide Detroiters and visitors with convenient, safe access to three of the city’s most historic and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Scott Clein, executive vice president at Giffels-Webster Engineers, which designed the bike lane system.
Giffels-Webster, with the support of the Greater Corktown Development Corporation and the Southwest Detroit Business Association, designed the Corktown-Mexicantown-Southwest Detroit Greenlink and secured funding for the initiative. 80 percent of the $500,000 cost to complete the project was provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation through the agency’s Transportation Enhancement Activity Program.
The expansive network of bike lanes uses West Vernor as a main artery. Says Clein, “West Vernor will connect Patton Park on the City’s west edge, to West Grand Boulevard and continue to 20th Street. These connections will then feed a series of on-street bike lanes throughout Corktown and Mexicantown.”
Giffels-Webster’s engineers are also the designers behind the City of Detroit’sNon-Motorized Transportation Master Plan. The Corktown-Mexicantown-Southwest Detroit Greenlink is the first major project of the master plan to be created, which will eventually integrate more than 400 miles of bike lanes throughout the city.
“The next areas that we would like to target are the Woodbridge neighborhood and the remainder of Midtown,” Clein says. “In doing so we would connect the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink to the whole of Midtown and New Center and, by extension, to Eastern Market and the Dequindre Cut.” Look for portions of Third Avenue and Second Avenue to be converted from one-way to two-way streets, with on-site bike lanes added on the perimeters.
By Ashley Woods, ModelDMedia