Detroit is becoming more “bike-friendly” following the addition of safer bicycle lanes on Jefferson Avenue and with plans in the works to make other streets more bikeable and useable for people of all ages and abilities.
“Detroit is the leader from a large city perspective in trying to implement these sort of improvements and this type of (complete street) philosophy,” says Scott Clein, president of Giffels Webster, the firm that consulted on the project as well as one in Ferndale. “(The cities) have been really fantastic in embracing it and trying to find a way to work it into their standard procedure and allowing the community to have firms like ours help and provide design and push the envelope a little bit.”
His company has also just completed adding bike lanes as the city undergoes maintenance programs. For example, when East Jefferson Avenue at Detroit’s border near Grosse Pointe Park was undergoing construction to add in landscaped center islands, Clein’s firm worked with the city to add in protected bike lanes, some of the first in the state.
“We’ve moved the parking so that the bike lane is between the parking (area) and the pedestrian as opposed to between the parking and the traveling vehicle,” Clein says. “There’s a physical protection.”
He says the firm has also helped add bike lanes and streetscape work in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood, Southwest Detroit, and in the Corktown neighborhood. Clein says the firm’s next goal is to help connect the city’s downtown to Eastern Market, Midtown, and Lafayette Park, making Detroit a city that can be completely bikeable.