Protected bike lanes and crosswalks approved for Hamilton Avenue in Highland Park

The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been as busy as ever.

While their primary focus remains on the construction of the Joe Louis Greenway, a 31.5-mile biking and walking trail that circles the city of Detroit and connects to both Dearborn and Hamtramck, the DGC has recently celebrated another big win.

Protected bike lanes and improved pedestrian infrastructure have been approved for the stretch of Hamilton Avenue that runs the length of Highland Park, from north to south. The City Council approved the project, and it’s expected that construction will begin next spring.

The DGC has been working closely with the city on the project, writing two successful grants to fund design and construction costs. The DGC administered the design grant, care of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Foundation Funds, while the city itself is using a grant from the SEMCOG/MDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) toward construction costs.

"We were concerned that while Detroit has been very progressive in building biking and walking infrastructure, we didn’t want Highland Park to be left behind," says Todd Scott, executive director for the Detroit Greenways Coalition.

Non-motorized transit map from Detroit Greenways Coalition

"It’s pretty exciting to get Highland Park up to speed. There’s a lot of grants out there for this kind work and we can help Highland Park get them."

While not part of the original plans for the Joe Louis Greenway, the approved bike lanes mean that Highland Park can now be connected to the system of non-motorized pathways. The DGC is working with the city of Detroit to add bike lanes to its own stretches of Hamilton Avenue, connecting Highland Park to New Center to the south and Palmer Park to the north.

Now that Highland Park has officially approved the bike lane projects, the city and the DGC are working on grant proposals for additional street improvements that include green stormwater infrastructure, tree plantings, beautification efforts, and more.

Four public meetings have been scheduled for the Joe Louis Greenway Framework plan, information of which can be found online.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.