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More Funding for Detroit Bike Infrastructure

Bike Route Road Sign

Improvements to the Beltline Greenway, Iron Belle Trail, and Dorais Playfield will great for Detroit Bicyclists

The Detroit bicycle community just got some good news: additional improvements to biking infrastructure are underway. Two days ago, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 7 of 2015, which bike-routeallocates $2 million from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to buy property that will help complete the current gaps in the new Iron Belle Trail. The trail, named earlier this year, will run from Detroit’s Belle Isle Park to Ironwood in the western part of the Upper Peninsula. The idea for the trail was proposed by the Governor in 2012, and will consist of a 1,259 mile hiking route and a 774 mile bicycling route.

Specifically, money will be spent on completing the Beltline Greenway, one of the gaps in the Iron Belle Trail. Since part of the land needed is currently owned by private property owners, negotiations are necessary regarding purchasing the land to complete the project. Of course, once the land is acquired, additional time and funding will be needed to design, build, and maintain the area, but getting the land will be a great start.

Detroit will also receive two grants of $300,000 each, benefiting both the Coleman Young Playground and the Dorais Playfield. As mentioned by the Detroit Greenways Coalition:

“[D]evelopment to improve Dorais Playfied by renovating it into an area with year-round attractions. In winter, recreation will include a sledding hill, cross-country, skiing, and snowshoeing [sic], while during the warmer months the area will offer recreation such as cross-country running, hiking trail, and biking trail.”

Investment in this type of infrastructure is exactly what Detroit needs, and is exciting news for the Detroit biking community. As we mentioned in an earlier post, there are a number of bike frame builders that call the Motor City “home”: Motorless City Bicycle Company, Detroit Bicycle Company, Shinola, and 313 Bicycle Works, and Detroit Bikes, to name a few. In addition, Slow Roll Detroit, the largest recurring bike ride in Michigan (and maybe the world!) has become a national model of what bikes can do for a community.

The upcoming improvements to the bicycle infrastructure in the form of completing the Iron Belle Trail and investing in a bike trail in Dorais Playfield, adds to the vibrant movement to revitalize the city, developing areas where everyone can gather to exercise, play, and meet their neighbors and friends.