DETROIT—When you come to the Light Up Livernois event to celebrate the Detroit Design Festival you’ll find a welcoming committee waiting to valet your bicycle and keep it safe all night.
“We’re taking one 180-square foot parking space for a car and creating a bicylet, a cycler’s valet stand made out of recycled pallets to build awareness about parking for non-motorized vehicles,” said Brandi Keeler, a fellow with Challenge Detroit and the marketing director of Detroit Bike and Brunch.
Keeler along with other Challenge Detroit fellows and members of the Detroit Bike and Brunch will encourage visitors to sign a petition for the Detroit City Council and the Detroit Department of Transportation to build bike racks at all the major shopping entities in Motown.
“Our leaders need to know there are no bike racks whatsoever along Livernois,” said Keeler. “Many young consumers don’t own a car and they want to shop in the city. How do we best help them?”
Her group hopes to take advantage of Park(ing) Day, an open source, global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing.) Ann Arbor, for example, provides bike lockers, bike parking spaces and an enclosed bike garage comprised of two car-parking spaces for its students and working professionals.
In some towns, according to www.parkingday.org, participants on PARK (ing) day have built free health clinics, planted temporary urban farms, held political seminars, built art installations and opened free bike repair shops. All conducted on one metered parking space.
The Light Up Livernois event will include entrepreneurs, artists and designers from Detroit and around the world who are collaborating to transform Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion. Festivities will occur from the University of Detroit to Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The valet bike parking happens outside the Livernois Community Storefront near Outer Drive.
From the 1920s to the 1970s, residents of Sherwood Forest, Bagley Community Neighborhood, Greenacres and other places walked or rode bicycles to a host of upscale boutiques and restaurants along Livernois. Of that roster, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, a jazz emporium, is the only remaining. But a host of new stores and pop-ups are emerging.
Keeler has a personal interest in creating more bike parking for all the retail districts of Detroit, and in dense apartment areas. “I have to lug my bike up to my apartment because there are no bike racks on the first floor,” she said.”
Get the City of Detroit to install parking where we need it. Sign the petition!