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A Multi-City Bike Path Running Through Birmingham? Learn More Wednesday

Birmingham city planner Sue Weckerle will update attendees of Wednesday's Bike Summit about Birmingham's progress crafting its own multi-modal transportation plan.

Residents from Birmingham and along the Woodward Avenue corridor interested in brainstorming plans for a multi-city bike path can have their say at a public meeting in Royal Oak Wednesday.

A Bike Summit is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Royal Oak Public Library, located at 222 E. 11 Mile Rd. in downtown Royal Oak.

According to event organizers, the purpose of the Bike Summit is to provide a forum for citizens to discuss a multi-city push for alternative modes of transportation, including marked bicycle routes, sharrows, bicycle boulevards and paths to link the various communities along Woodward Avenue.

Residents who live and work in Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Royal Oak and Southfield are encouraged to attend.

Elected officials interested in meeting with Complete Streets activists are also welcome, event organizers say.

Three speakers are scheduled to appear at the summit, including:

  • Todd Scott, Detroit Greenways coordinator for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. Scott has helped bring millions of dollars of grant funds into the Detroit area to fund bicycle infrastructure and is a nationally-known expert on mapping bicycle routes.
  • Heather Carmona, executive director of the Woodward Avenue Action Association. Carmona was key in winning federal funding for the recent improvements to the Woodward-12 Mile intersection, is currently leading an 11-city effort to make Woodward Avenue a complete street from Detroit to Pontiac.
  • Tom Dusky, Green Cruise coordinator for the Southeast Michigan Sierra Club. The Green Cruise is a celebration of non-motorized transportation held annually in Ferndale.

"We’re starting to make some very real progress," Scott, a Royal Oak resident, told the Detroit Free Press Sunday. "We’re hoping by bringing people together and building excitement, we can get some momentum for change."

In Birmingham, the city is moving full-steam ahead in its plan to better implement Complete Streets practices — including making the city more bicycle-friendly.

In July 2011, the Birmingham City Commission voted in support of Complete Streets — the state mandate that directs Michigan municipalities to integrate alternative forms of transit when planning major projects.

Earlier this year, the city hired Greenway Collaborative, Inc., an Ann Arbor-based consulting firm, to help craft a Multi-Modal Transportation Plan for Birmingham.

In mid-November, the firm released the results of its first public opinion survey on Birmingham's transit options; among other conclusions, participants noted they want more bike lanes in Birmingham and improved safety for pedestrians.

On Jan. 17, the group will meet at Baldwin Public Library for a "project visioning workshop," during which residents will have the chance to weigh in on what Birmingham should make a transportation priority going forward.

Birmingham's Planning Department has also been staying bike-friendly this year. In early April, the city approved a plan to install 47 new bike racks around town. City planner Sue Weckerle, who spearheaded the bike rack project, will update Bike Summit attendees on Birmingham's progress, the Free Press reports.

Wednesday's Bike Summit is sponsored by the Royal Oak Environmental Advisory Board, Huntington Woods Environmental Committee, Berkley Environmental Advisory Committee, Woodward Avenue Action Association, and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

Margaret Betts December 11, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I hope this is a really in depth study. On two different occasions, carefully trying to enter Old Woodward from a side street in downtown Birmingham, I almost had collisions with two bicyclists, one young, one older.

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