City Transformation, Cycling, News

Detroit is one of the 50 best bike cities in the US, says Bicycling magazine


Detroit made it! It is on Bicycling’s list of The 50 Best Bike Cities of 2016.

We are No. 50 (yes, Chicago is No. 1), but Detroit is on a roll.

Here is the publication says about biking in Detroit.

“In this city so frequently maligned—crime, poverty, bankruptcy—bike riding is booming. The latest figures from the US Census point to a 400-percent increase in ridership between 2000 and 2014. In explanation, it’s often posited that Detroit’s wide arterial roads, built for the motor vehicles that were once built here, are now empty. So, in the place of cars, a new wave of bike riders now pedals down ghostly avenues.”

The “ghostly avenues” is not accurate these days, but Bicycling does say that’s not the whole story.

Some of the pluses it points out include the Detroit Greenways Coalition, which spearheaded the $21-million Dequindre Cut, which created a bike path that was recently extended to connect Eastern Market and is part of  Link Detroit, a 20-mile citywide trails project.

Dequindre Cut before and after the extension

Dequindre Cut before and after the extension

It also praised the co-founders of Slow Roll, Jason Hall and Mike MacKool, for that Monday night social ride, which draws as many as 5,000 residents. Plus it commended the City of Detroit’s Planning Director Maurice Cox for helping create Detroit’s first protected bike lane.

“Over the last six years, Detroit has striped nearly 200 miles of new bike lanes and in the spring of 2017, the city will unveil a new bike-share system totaling 42 stations and 420 shared bikes,” the publication says.

Locals suggested joining 7,500 other cyclists in the annual Tour de Troit, a 30-mile ride through the Detroit’s iconic neighborhoods. It’s raised more than $200,000 for new bicycle infrastructure. For a smaller gathering, they suggested Motor City Brewery Tours, which offers guided rides of Detroit’s notorious prohibition-era history and ends with a locally brewed pint.

Bicycling also called attention to a big downside. Detroit ranks as the most deadly city for bike riders in its survey, according to data provided by the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “But in the years to come, we expect Detroit to write its own new narrative—as a top bike city,” the publication says.

Every two years the magazine looks at the census and department of transportation data on more than 100 cities, consults with experts from organizations such as People for Bikes, the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the League of American Bicyclists, and talks with bike advocates and everyday riders to identify the 50 most bike friendly towns in the US.

“We look at everything from miles of bike lanes to the percentage of cycling commuters who are female—a key indicator of safe bike infrastructure—to the number of cyclist-friendly bars,” the publication says. “The goal is not only to help you plan your next relocation but also to inspire riders and municipalities to advocate for change.”

To see how Detroit stacked up against the other 49 cities and for a complete list of the 50 cities click here.

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