Pedestrians - Beware Of Detroit's Deadliest Areas!

Detroit is a city full of history and rich culture. Over the years, the Motor City has faced numerous trials and setbacks, but today there is a newfound excitement in Detroit. People are making their way back and investments are being made to revitalize the city. While Detroit is in the midst of a major comeback, some serious problems need to be addressed in order to continue the city’s upward development. One of the issues currently at the forefront is pedestrian safety.

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From 2010-1016, Detroit had the, “highest per-capita pedestrian death rate… in the nation for large cities,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The Michigan Law Firm, PC discussed this alarming statistic earlier this month. Of the 139 square miles that make up Detroit, some areas pose a greater threat to pedestrians than others. Specifically, the Detroit Free Press identified three areas that have historically been more dangerous for pedestrians, including Gratiot, the west side of the city near 7 mile, 6 mile, and Greenfield, and Downtown Detroit.

In the Gratiot area, 8 pedestrians lost their lives within the, “half-mile stretch of Gratiot Avenue between Greiner Street and East 7 Mile Road.” Out of the 8 victims, 3 were women and 5 were men. The youngest to die in a pedestrian car crash on Gratiot was 14 years old and the oldest was 82 years old. The 5 men killed were between 21 and 60 years of age.

On the west side of Detroit, a total of 13 pedestrian fatalities took place approximately around, “West 7 Mile Road, Ferguson Street, Florence Street, and Lauder Street.” Over half of the lives lost in this “hot spot” were women. The male and female pedestrian car crash fatality victims  were between the ages of 25 and 71.

Not surprisingly, Downtown Detroit has been dangerous for bicyclists in addition to pedestrians. In a period of 8 years, 7 pedestrian fatalities occurred within, “ the heart of the city on Woodward just north of Campus Martius.” Once again there was a wide age range amongst the pedestrians killed, with the the oldest, and also the only female, pedestrian killed being 90 years old, and the youngest pedestrian killed being a 21 year old male.

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In order to understand and prevent future pedestrian car accidents, it’s essential to recognize the similarities that these pedestrian fatalities share. First, alcohol did not a play a role in any of the 28 pedestrian accident fatalities, which means that the very serious problem of drunk driving did not contribute to these Detroit pedestrian deaths. Additionally, 22 out of the 28 pedestrian deaths, or more than 75% of the pedestrian fatalities, took place during nighttime hours when the city was dark. The fact that so many pedestrian car crash deaths happened in the dark leads to the theory that pedestrian fatalities are being caused by low visibility in Detroit streets, and not due to driver negligence by drunk driving or drugged driving. These pedestrian car accidents may have actually been accidents, that the at fault drivers couldn’t prevent. Although Detroit has added 60,000 street lamps over the past few years, it appears that more lighting needs to be installed, particularly at these three deadly Detroit locations, to prevent pedestrian car accidents. Lastly, 18 out of the 28 pedestrian car accident fatalities occurred at a non-intersection location. This means that the existing crosswalks are not helping shield the high pedestrian death rate, and city officials must focus on implementing safer pedestrian infrastructure.

Many Detroiters walk or ride their bikes to get around the city on a daily basis. These pedestrians should be able to get to their destinations safely and conveniently, without having to take risks that could result in a fatal car accident. As Detroit comes back stronger than ever, the city’s residents and tourists need to feel safe. Lowering the pedestrian death rate is one step towards a safer and more prosperous Detroit.

While the pedestrian death rate in Detroit is particularly high, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere and at anytime. Drivers should remain alert when behind the wheel and actively scan the road for pedestrians, as well as any traffic obstacles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands how difficult dealing with pedestrian car accident lawsuits can be without even factoring in the severity of recovering from pedestrian car accidents injuries. Our experienced accident attorneys handle serious injury cases throughout the State of Michigan and can help victims of pedestrian accidents recover any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Detroit's New MoGo Bike Share Program

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Detroit, Michigan is working diligently to expand its reputation beyond being the Motor City. Not only is the Q-Line up and running to the public, but now a bike share program, MoGo, has been added to the Detroit transportation roster. Sponsored by Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan, MoGo has 430 bikes in 43 stations found in 10 Detroit locations such as the Eastern Market, Woodbridge, the New Center area, Lafayette Park, Southwest Detroit, the Riverwalk, Clark Park, and of course in Downtown. MoGo lists reasons to get behind the bike-share initiative, by saying that it saves money, saves time, is fun, and is green. Not only can people travel throughout the city, while enjoying a more scenic route, getting exercise, and reducing their carbon footprint, but the bike-share program also helps those who are rushing to and from bus stops, the Q-Line, and other transit stops.

The executive director of MoGo, Lisa Nuszkowski told The Detroit News that, “They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that’s the case, then it takes a city to launch a bike share, that’s for sure. Bike share can transform the campus community, and it will transform community health as well.”

The Detroit News also mentions that, "Garry Bulluck, deputy chief of Mobility Innovations for Mayor Mike Duggan, said MoGo, the QLine and improved transit in the city are the building blocks of a transportation network that is going to be world class. “It’s an opportunity just not for people to access different parts of downtown Detroit, but also to increase physical fitness. ... This is about people’s lives.""

How Does MoGo Work?

Since MoGo has bike stations spread out all over the city as far as Southwest Detroit and North End, riders have easy access to a bike station near them. Then, renters can go to, to see how many bikes are available and how many bike docks are open. MoGo also uses two apps, Transit App and Cyclefinder.

As far as handling the bike return properly, riders will know if the bike is properly docked by waiting to see if the light on the dock turns green. For those who wish to ride as a group, 4 bikes can be rented and removed at a time. Bikes are available to rent 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year, if weather permits it.

How Much Does MoGo Cost?

For those bicyclists who plan to use a bike on-and-off throughout a day, daily passes are available for $8. There are also monthly passes ($18), annual passes ($80), and access passes ($5) for registered members of state benefit programs. These passes allow for unlimited 30 minute rides for their respective duration. It is important to note that any ride is limited to 30 minutes, unless extra time is needed, in which case riders will incur an additional $4 for every extra 30 minutes, or $2 with any of the passes. In case a bike is lost or stolen, renters will have to pay a $1,200 fee.

For a limited time, MoGo is offering a Founders Pass ($100) that includes a MoGo Founders T-shirt, four Daily Passes to give to friends and family, and the opportunity to ride in their launch event, in addition to an annual pass.

Bicycle Safety

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The MoGo bicycle was manufactured in New York, and is reddish in color with black seats, relaxed handlebars, a basket, plastic protected fenders, and lights. At this time however, bike helmets and other safety equipment do not come equipped with the MoGo bikes, and nor are they handicap accessible. MoGo is waiting on additional grants so that helmets, hand bikes, and tandems will be available for the public at-large. MoGo users and bike riders in general are asked to be careful while out during anytime of day, but especially at night. So, until MoGo implements safety features, it's important for MoGo renters, to wear reflective and protective gear while riding and to be mindful of other bike riders and motorists on the road. This is actually a good rule of thumb for any bicylist and not just MoGo renters, as taking such safety precautions can help bicyclists avoid getting into car collisions and bicycle accidents.  

MoGo Bike share is an awesome addition to the revitalization of Detroit. Hopefully, with the bike share program in use, added tourism and fitness excursions will further help the health and economy of Detroit. With the soon to be flourishing bicycle scene in Detroit however, it is important for motor vehicle operators and bicycle riders alike to be extra mindful of road safety in order to avoid serious injuries from bicycle car accidents. If you or someone you know have been injured in a bicycle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

The Motor City Embraces More Bicycle Paths

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

How to Ride Your Bike In Michigan

Bicycling can serve many purposes: recreation, a way to save money, and can even be beneficial to the environment. Whatever the reason, riders should be aware of the rules and expectations that come with being on the road. Laws regarding bicyclists vary from state to state, and knowing Michigan state law can help protect bicyclists and drivers who share a road. 

Biking In The Streets 

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Bicyclists riding at a normal speed of traffic are expected to ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the road, under Michigan law. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule: 

  • When passing another bicycle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction. 
  • When preparing to turn left. 
  • When conditions make the right hand edge of the roadway unsafe for the rider. 

Biking on Sidewalks 

Bikes may be ridden on the sidewalks in Michigan, but riders must remember to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and are required to give some type of audible signal to let them know they are going to be passed. 

How to Signal A Turn  

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When riding a bike, cyclists are required to signal with their arms. By doing so, they can ensure that drivers know that they are about to turn. 

  • A left turn by extending their arm horizontally. 
  • A right turn by extending their left arm vertically. 
  • A stop or decrease in speed by extending their arm downward. 
  • Signal 100 feet - 200 feet before you are about to turn, so that drivers are aware of your intended action and have adequate time to react appropriately. 

Safely Parking Your Bike 

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Bike theft has become a huge problem for riders. In fact, according to City Lab, over half of all active cyclists have had their bike stolen. Most occurrences take place in heavy populated places downtown area of a city where the act of stealing a bike blends in with the crowd. It is important to always lock your bike to a secure, visible location, which makes it tough for a thief to pick up and walk away with your bike. 

While only 1% of all transportation in the United States is via a bicycle, the frequency of bicycle-related accidents is alarming. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 900 bicyclists were killed in the United States in 2013 with an additional 494,000 emergency room visits due to bicycling-related injuries. While riding a bike with a helmet is not currently required under Michigan law, bicyclists are highly encouraged to take the necessary safety precaution to prevent potential head injuries. 

If you or somebody you know has been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Car drivers have a tendency to neglect bicyclists' right of way. Don't let automobiles bully you. Our attorneys are experienced in handling bicycle-related collisions, and will get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Most Common Bicycle-Automobile Fatality Accidents

Although not as common as auto accidents involving only motor vehicles, accidents do occur between automobiles and bicycles. These accidents are very dangerous due to the lack of protection while riding a bicycle and the raw power and force cars posses. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2013 alone almost 750 bicyclists were killed in car crashes. In that same year, about 48,000 bicyclists were injured in crashes. These numbers are slightly up from 2001, but not radically different, showing that these statistics are staying somewhat stagnant over time. 

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The 4 Types of Bicycle Crash Scenarios

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are four typical bicycle crash scenarios which involve automobiles.

  1. The first is an accident in which the car and the bicyclist are travelling the same way on the same roadway, and the automobile strikes the cyclist.
    • This type of crash accounts for 9% of crashes, but a staggering 45% of deaths to bicyclists.
  2. The second scenario is when a car is travelling down one street and a bicyclist is travelling down a perpendicular street, and without seeing the cyclist, the driver makes a turn or pulls through the intersection, thereby striking the cyclist. 
    • This scenario accounts for 29% of crashes and 22% of deaths.
  3. The third scenario is when a bicyclist is riding against traffic and is struck by a vehicle going the other way.
    • This type of accident accounts for 3% of crashes and 6% of deaths.
  4. The last scenario is when a driver pulls out across traffic, to turn, and a bicyclist is travelling down a perpendicular road from the driver, unseen by the driver, and is struck by the vehicle.
    • This scenario accounts for 22% of crashes and 2% of deaths.

Although these scenarios are the most common, they only account for 63% of crashes and 75% of deaths, leaving a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the variety of accidents bicyclists may be involved in. It is always very important for drivers to pay special attention to the road for bicyclists, because collisions involving automobiles and bicycles are often fatal.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident or has been struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents accidents, including those involving bicylces. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

$21 Million Project Connects 20 Miles Of Detroit, Michigan Pathways

Detroit, Michigan has shown a lot of growth this Spring, with many projects coming to a close and and many starting anew. A project that is finishing up right now is one that is connecting 20 miles of walking, running, and bicycling paths through the city of Detroit. According to CBS Detroit, these paths cost about $21 million and were started in 2012. This project began due to funding from the city and the state, and from donations from groups like the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The McGregor Fund, and the Kresge Foundation. A staple of this project is the Dequindre Cut Greenway, a path that is just over a mile long.

The new pathways and connector pathways now connect areas like Wayne State, Eastern Market, and Hamtramck. The main push for these pathways is to make Detroit a biker friendly city, which many believe in turn will make Detroit a family friendly city. Many city groups on both sides of the Detroit River hope that with the construction of the Gordy Howe International Bridge, which is scheduled to open in 2020, will allow bike paths to extend from Windsor, Canada to Detroit, which would be a unique, international connection.

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A bike friendly city is very important for automobile drivers as well. Allowing bikers to get around without riding on roadways makes bicycling far safer and allows for drivers to focus on other traffic impediments. Bicycle crashes are often fatal, so this is a big win for cycling enthusiasts. This move will also hopefully inspire a new breed of Detroiters to start riding their bicycles to run errands, go to work, and for leisure, thereby keeping cars off the road. Fewer cars on the road makes driving safer for those on the road, and keeps down on traffic. The city of Detroit keeps investing in projects such as this and is seeing both short term and long term benefits, so many hope these projects will continue within the city limits.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto or bicycle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in helping bicyclists who have been hit by cars, identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to, under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.