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Cass Street – A tale of two cities

Cass. St. bike lane

 

by Chris Hinze :: Norte! board member and Pro Walk/Pro Bike Traverse City chair

Detroit, the motor city, has taken major steps over the past few years to become a great city for people on bikes. According to Detroit Greenways Coalition, Detroit is working hard to become a national leader for protected bike lanes. Currently, on Detroit’s Cass Ave., protected bike lanes are being installed from the New Center area, down to Wayne State, past the Stadium corridor all the way to Lafayette.

Meanwhile, 250 miles to the northwest, citizens of Traverse City are debating whether space on it’s own Cass St. should be used to carry people on bikes or to store parked cars. Four years ago, the City of Traverse City installed marked bike lanes on Cass St. from 14th to 8th. Today, Cass continues to be the only north/south corridor with marked bike lanes in and out of downtown (well…north to 8th St. at least). Cass serves as a vital connection between our downtown/bayfront to the neighborhoods, townships and villages to the south. Removal of these marked bike lanes, without a specific plan to replace the lost north/south connection, would be a massive blow for bikeability in Traverse City and the region as a whole.

Norte strongly opposes any plans to remove existing bike infrastructure on this (or any) route unless it coincides with a plan for immediate design and implementation of a safer and better connected route for people on bikes. When cities design, build, and maintain infrastructure that encourages walking, biking, and rolling – they tend to have happier, healthier people. That is what a strong town is all about. We expect nothing less from the City of Traverse City.

If you have an opinion about the City’s consideration of removing marked bike lanes on Cass St. between 14th St. & 8th St., we encourage you to email City Commissioners and staff by tomorrow Wednesday July 19th.

City Commissioners: citycommissioners@traversecitymi.gov

City Manager – Marty Colburn: mcolburn@traversecitymi.gov

Assistant City Manager – Penny Hill: phill@traversecitymi.gov

City Planner – Russ Soyring: rsoyring@traversecitymi.gov

City Engineer – Tim Lodge: tlodge@traversecitymi.gov


Thank you for your efforts to help make the Grand Traverse Region a more walkable, bikeable and rollable place for all people. Please join our advocacy grupo and help be part of the solution.