How Detroit Makes Walkability A Priority

Detroit has always marched to the beat of its own drum. People may try to compare it to a big metropolis like New York City, or another rust belt city like Cleveland or Chicago, but it has an identity all of its own. While Detroit will always be known as the Motor City, the city has spent the past few years making an effort to increase its walkability.

More and more areas of the city are appealing to walkers, with new shops and restaurants popping up every single day. This makes driving around the city less of a necessity, and people are opting to park their cars and explore Motown on foot. According to The Foot Traffic Ahead report, released in June, Detroit is listed at number 21 of the country’s top 30 metropolitan areas, and is in third place for increasing walkability. Here are a few of the ways that Detroit is making it possible to leave your car parked and explore this great city in other ways.

More small districts
In a matter of just a few years, the number of small districts in the downtown area has increased significantly. In the early 2000s, people from the suburbs visited Detroit for just a few attractions here and there, venturing only to Greektown or the sports arenas and music venues scattered throughout the city.

These days, however, areas like Corktown, the Cass Corridor and West Village boast attractions all their own, complete with unique vibes and locally-run businesses. Check out City Bird in Midtown’s Cass Corridor, the UFO Factory in Corktown, and Craftwork in West Village. No longer are Detroiters driving across the city in search of dining and shopping, not when such great options are right around the corner.

Bike lanes
The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been at work since 2000 to make all areas of the city more accessible. The leaps and bounds that have been achieved, in just the past couple of years have been astounding. In 2014, there were 200 miles worth of marked bike lanes, routes and off-road pathways throughout the city, and the first protected bike lanes in Michigan were created on East Jefferson in 2015. Detroit’s planning director, Maurice Cox even said that he’s sure the city will become the #1 bike city in the country. A bike share program will even be launching in the downtown area in the spring of 2017.

Slow Roll
Slow Roll has become a Detroit staple. This group bike ride began in 2010 and grown immensely, bringing thousands of riders out every Monday, from April to November. People of all ages, from all over the city and suburbs join in the weekly 10-mile leisure ride, decking their bicycles out in lights, boomboxes and more. If you’re interested in attending this party on wheels, simply visit the official Slow Roll website to find out where the meeting next meeting place and time is.

View the original post at Doorsteps. Image courtesy of Doorsteps.

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