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With big push from city gov't, protected bike lanes spread across Detroit

A new colored bike lane on W. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale

"The city is on a path to making biking safer, even if it takes motorists a little time to get used to."

That's the opening sentence of a recent Detroit News article that neatly summarizes the benefits and challenges of new bike lanes in a city so dependent on automobiles. 

The city of Detroit is clearly committed to increasing bike access and infrastructure. Whether it's accumulating land for the Inner Circle Greenway, support for bike share program MoGo, or now, increasing the amount of protected bike lanes. 

"Brightly painted green and white, new 'protected' bike lanes—those with a separation between bike and parking lanes—are popping up in the city, at the cost of nearly $150,000 per mile," writes Shawn D. Lewis. 

There have been protected bike lanes in Detroit since they were first installed in 2015 along Jefferson Avenue on the far east side. Since then, they've been popping up along Livernois Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and various parts of the city. Newer ones along Cass Avenue and Grand River Avenue are more elaborate, with green strips in the lanes and in front of where cars stop at intersections. 

"There are 212 miles of bike lanes in Detroit but only nine miles of them are protected," according to the article. "With current construction on Cass and on East Jefferson from Rivard to Lakewood, 10 more miles will be added. The city has requested that a $1.5 million road project on Grand River include protected bike lanes." 

Most of the funding will come from federal dollars. 

Read the full Detroit News article here
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