Detroit breaks ground on Motor City’s first protected bike lanes

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(Jefferson East Inc.)

(Jefferson East Inc.)

Work is underway on Detroit‘s first protected bike lanes, which will shelter cyclists with buffer zones and bollards along Jefferson Avenue in the historic Jefferson-Chalmers business district.

According to Streetsblog the project will start with only seven blocks, but a second phase will extend it three miles to Grand Boulevard.

Parked cars will block bike riders from traffic along the busy street, which is the target of a road diet funded with public money and led by Jefferson East, a neighborhood-based community development corporation. The city gathered money from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, the Community Foundation for SE Michigan, the Kresge Foundation, and the DTE Energy Foundation.

The project is part of broader plans to update to Detroit’s transportation infrastructure, which include buffered bike lanes in Midtown and millions of dollars in non-car “enhancements” funded by Michigan’s Department of Transportation. The Motor City added 50 miles of bike lanes in 2013.

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