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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Actually, the Motor City wants more bike lanes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 12:18 PM

click to enlarge A man using one of Detroit's bike lanes, which Keith Crain believes nobody uses. - DEVIN CULHAM
  • Devin Culham
  • A man using one of Detroit's bike lanes, which Keith Crain believes nobody uses.

The people have spoken, and they want more bike lanes — or at least that's according to a recent survey.

A survey of more than 3,000 metro Detroiters conducted by the Southeast Michigan Coalition of Governments found that a majority of respondents would like to walk or bike more, but a lack of sidewalks and bike paths prevents them from doing so.

The survey was released earlier this month. It found 73 percent of respondents said they would like to get around by biking, but 67 percent of them said the biggest factor preventing that was a lack of infrastructure.

More highlights:

• 48 percent of respondents currently get around by walking
• 44 percent of respondents currently get around by biking
• 73 percent of respondents would like to get around by biking
• 63 percent of respondents would like to get around by walking
• 26 percent of respondents typically bike for recreation and transportation

The greatest impediment for people not walking is:

• Weather (63 percent)
• Distance or time constraints (52 percent)
• Lack of sidewalks or paths (43 percent)

The greatest impediment for people not biking is:

• Lack of facilities or infrastructure (67 percent)
• Weather (62 percent)
• Personal safety/security (43 percent)

Tell this to Crain's Detroit Business head honcho Keith Crain, who has long railed against Detroit's new bike lanes, which he calls "discriminating against cars" — which is a pretty funny statement considering the Motor City destroyed historic walkable neighborhoods like Black Bottom, Paradise Valley, and Poletown all in the name of the mighty automobile.

The survey will be used as part of the development of a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan for southeast Michigan, with SEMCOG collecting data on the location of gaps in the infrastructure.

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