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Detroit Area Getting More Bike-Friendly Projects

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WARREN (AP) – Construction is scheduled to begin next year on a number of projects designed to make roadways in the Detroit area more bicycle-friendly.

A focus on safety is part of what is driving the expansion of biking infrastructure in the area, the Detroit Free Press reported. Warren, Detroit, Ferndale and the Grosse Pointe communities are among those planning significant projects.

In Warren, for example, the right lane in both directions of a more than one-mile stretch of Van Dyke will be converted to a bike lane with help from a $292,000 grant. Mayor Jim Fouts said it is a worthwhile experiment, although he knows some drivers might complain.

“I’m willing to take a chance. I’m a strong believer in outdoor activity,” Fouts said.

Bill Gambill, Warren’s neighborhood services and grants coordinator, said a traffic study showed that seven lanes aren’t needed in that area. He said five through lanes and a turn lane should be enough for the volume of traffic on that portion of Van Dyke.

A 26-mile loop through Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park called the Inner Circle Greenway is expected to get funding for acquisition of more property. Bike lanes are planned on Detroit’s east side. And bike lanes also are planned in Ferndale.

In the Grosse Pointe communities, road signs and bike racks are planned.

In addition to local efforts to build bike lanes and paths, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Department of Transportation are looking at bicycling in their regional non-motorized plan for the seven-county region.

The plan in part will analyze existing and proposed on-road and off-road bicycle facilities.

Barbara Teranes, 73, of Grosse Pointe, has been an avid bicyclist since she was a child, riding in Michigan, other parts of the U.S. and in Europe. Teranes and her 77-year-old husband, Paul Teranes, are members of the Easy Riders Bicycle Touring Club.

“The more people we have riding bikes, the safer it will be for bike riders,” Teranes said.

[Ask An Expert: Best Bike Rides In Detroit]

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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