I’ve only visited Detroit once, half a lifetime ago. Even though it was so long ago, I can still remember some of the urban decay and the sense of desolation that permeated the city. Still, I like Detroit. It is home to America’s car culture, and it used to be a bastion of the middle class. But it is in desperate need of revitalization, and lots of ideas are being proposed to save the city, like urban farming.
Before these radical ideas can transform Detroit though, baby steps need to be taken to better the present state of the city. To that end, the Motor City is planning to add 30 miles of bike lanes to its vehicle-centric grid.
As it stands, Detroit has a few disjointed bike lanes across the city, but nothing of the sort to encourage biking en masse. For decades Detroit has emphasized roads at the expense of pedestrians and bikers, and with good reason. Detroit thrived during the 1950’s and 60’s due to its car culture. But times have changed, many jobs have left and are not coming back. People are trying to get away from cars and save money on other ways of commuting. Biking is one of those ways out, and Detroit seems to be listening.
The plan calls for adding 17 miles of bike paths in Southwest Detroit, cut mostly from existing streets and connecting the Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods. The east side of Detroit and area around Wayne State University will also get more paths. Detroit hopes to one day add as much as 400 miles (!!) of bike lanes to the Motor City. Can Detroit be saved by bicycles?
Source: The Detroit Free Press