What a difference a decade can make. Detroit, Michigan was vacant of any bike lanes just 10 years ago, today there are plans for nearly 200 miles worth of marked biking lanes for cyclists.
WDET explained that the bike lanes which were “dreamed up, designed, approved, painted and protected is the work of citizens, community advocates, bicyclists, city officials and engineers,” are just getting started. “There’s a lot of stuff on the drawing board,” said Mike Darga, Senior Project Engineer at Giffels Webster Engineering.
In the southwest area of Detroit, the handful of bike lanes have now expanded to a larger network of pathways as roads are beginning to be maintained or improved, according to Teresa Zajac, VP at the Southwest Detroit Business Association. “The city of Detroit began looking at bike lanes as the asset that they are and can be, and so as they renovate different roads throughout the city of Detroit, including southwest Detroit, they’ve added bike lanes,” Zajac explained.
This network of bike paths does not solely serve the purpose of recreation. According to the latest U.S Census, about 25% of Detroit households do not have access to a car, so many are turning to bicycles as a way to get to their workplace or local food store. “Most of the people I would say that we deal with are using bikes more so for transportation. They're trying to get to the store or trying to get to work. We have some recreation riders but they’re mostly riding their bike because they’ve got to get somewhere,” Alex Allen, CEO of the Candler Park Conservancy, stated.
There is still a lot of work to be done, including figuring out how to build pathways for Detroit neighborhoods that don’t have any. “The next step is really to get the various public agencies that are responsible for the roadways and the sidewalks including the city and in our case the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to agree and buy into that same vision,” Tom Goddeeris, Executive Director of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation stated.
While out enjoying a bicycle ride, riders should be conscious of cars and traffic signals to avoid any dangerous accidents. Bicyclists are encouraged to wear a helmet during their ride to protect themselves against any type of severe head injuries. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident while riding their bicycle, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling bicycle collisions and will fight to help you identify and receive any benefit you may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.