DETROIT—Despite the freezing temperatures, it no doubt got local cyclists' wheels spinning last month to hear that Michigan's Department of Transportation was setting aside $1 million to transform the Detroit's Cass Avenue into a bicycle-friendly corridor as an alternative to Woodward given M-1 Rail will turn parts of Woodward into side-running streetcar track.
Though design is still underway, Detroit's Department of Public Works, which is taking charge of the project, has confirmed a few new details about these plans to turn Cass into a street specially designated for bicycle traffic.
"It is still in the preliminary stage. We are looking from Grand Blvd. to the waterfront," DPW's Prasad Nannapaneni told Mode Shift in an e-mail. "There is a potential to link them to Second Ave./Anthony Wayne/Third Ave. bike lanes."
Because it is so early in design, Nannapaneni couldn't describe what the lanes would look like yet, but he did say the city was considering putting in infrastructure like bike counters and bike repair stations along the corridor. He was unable to provide start and completion dates for constuction.
Todd Scott of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance frequently consults the city of Detroit on bike infrastructure projects. He was a little more descriptive in his thoughts on the the Cass enhancements in a recent facebook post.
"The tentative plans are to add bike lanes from Amsterdam [Street] ... to Michigan Avenue. There will likely be sharrows added on both ends to connect Grand Boulevard to Fort Street. We are looking at connecting Cass to the RiverWalk as well. Some east-west connections to Cass may also be included, e.g. MLK to Trumbull," he said. "Midtown Detroit needs to keep all of the on-street parking, so these will be rather standard bike lanes. Cass widens south of I-75 so there's a chance for buffered bike lanes."
Scott added that bike parking is in the works for Cass as the result of another project. He estimates that the street renovation should be nearly wrapped up by summer of next year.
Do you think the best place for north-south bikes lanes in Midtown is along Cass Avenue? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.