Development News

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Michigan is national leader in street design that serves cars, bikes and pedestrians

The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition is cruising down a path of success as it spreads its campaign of "Building roadways that move people not just automobiles" around the state.

Not only did the organization win Campaign of the Year from the Alliance for Biking and Walking at a national summit last week, each week more and more municipalities are signing on to the Complete Streets approach, which means road construction and improvements will take into account non-motorized uses.

A total of 32 Michigan communities have passed ordinances or resolutions in support of Michigan Complete Streets. That's the most in the nation, says John Lindenmayer, co-chair of the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition. The coalition is made up of the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the Michigan Environmental Council and AARP.

Earlier this month Allen Park became the fourth Wayne County community to pass a resolution. Ann Arbor also signed on last week and Detroit, Ferndale and Royal Oak are among cities working to include all forms of transportation in their road planning.

"There's been an incredible amount of momentum in this last year," says
Lindenmayer, "and it's picked up since August when legislation was adopted
that makes communities with Complete Streets policies more eligible for
non-motorized funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation."

Lindenmayer believes an approach like this not only keeps people safer but makes places more livable. And, he believes communities that make themselves more accessible to walkers and bicyclists will be more attractive and successful.

"You look at all the young talent that's leaving Michigan. They're going to communities where they can walk, ride their bikes, that are more livable," he says. "We're really moving in the right direction -- especially to be known as the auto state, to be leading in this, really says a lot."

Source: John Lindenmayer, co-chair Michigan Complete Streets Coalition
Writer: Kim North Shine

Main Street Oakland recognizes top downtown projects

An assortment of projects, seen as prime examples for how to carve out thriving a downtown, are winners of the 2011 Main Street Oakland Awards.

Among the more than 25 winners were:

The Farmington DDA's Grand River Avenue Streetscape Promotion Campaign, which won the Outstanding Brand & Imaging Campaign Effort/Strategy.

In the design category, Patti's Place in Lake Orion won Outstanding Facade/Building Rehabilitation Award for projects between $10,000 and $50,000. The Village Mall in Farmington won the same award for a project of more than $50,000.

Ferndale took home several awards, including the Pedestrian Alley Project, a cooperative effort between the city, the DDA, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Foley & Mansfield, which won the Outstanding Private/Public Partnership Award. The Lofts on 9 in Ferndale won the Outstanding New Construction Project Award and the Ferndale DDA won the Special Achievement award, in addition to businesses that took home awards.

Creekfest in Ortonville won the Outstanding Special Event Award.

A Special Partnership Award went to Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski, the Pontiac DDA and the Pontiac Downtown Business Association.

The Outstanding Core Area Downtown Master Plan went to the Walled Lake DDA Design Committee and Beckett & Raeder, Inc. for the Walled Lake DDA Lakefront Area Framework Plan.

Main Street is a program of the national Main Street Center in Washington, D.C.

Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, and Walled Lake are MSOC communities. Berkley, Clarkston, Clawson, Hazel Park, Leonard, South Lyon and Waterford participate in the mentoring program.

Oakland County was the first in the U.S. to operate a county-wide Main Street program that works with 32 downtowns deemed to be distinct or historic. Since Main Street Oakland began in 2000, according to the county, there has been $560 million in investment in 11 downtowns, more than 5,000 jobs created, and 529 businesses established.

For more information or a complete list of 2011 Main Street Oakland Award winners, go to

Source: Stephen Huber, Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs
Writer: Kim North Shine

Michigan Municipal League survey says local govts know how to share services

A survey by the Michigan Municipal League (MML) says local governments around the state have taken to sharing services such as police, fire, library, waste collection, and more.

There were 129 responses from communities to the League's survey, which was conducted at the request of Gov. Rick Snyder. The governor asked the MML to attempt to determine how many municipalities have already headed down the path of shared services.

The survey, according to the MML, makes it clear that sharing services is not a novelty and it questions Gov. Snyder's assumption that a failure to share services has led to inefficiency and a waste of tax dollars.

Gov. Snyder has plans to cut state revenue sharing to local governments and has challenged them to cut waste, by employing such things as sharing services.

The survey found 640 examples, many of them in metro Detroit, of communities sharing services, saving tax dollars and increasing efficiency. Separately, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has more than 249 examples of locally shared services, including more than 40 that have formed joint recreation authorities. Several have created recycling authorities.

Rather than decrease the revenue funneled from the state to local governments, the MML is asking the governor and legislature to change two state laws, the Urban Cooperation Act and Public Act 312, both of which it considers roadblocks that make it too expensive for communities to share services.

Source: Matt Bach, director of communications, Michigan Municipal League
Writer: Kim North Shine

Roseville elementary school plays with alternative energy

The playground at Steenland Elementary School in Roseville has some new equipment for all the children to see.

However, the two new pieces near where the students run and play  - a wind turbine and a solar pavilion  - are strictly for generating energy and learning, says fourth-grade teacher James Byrnes. In addition to the latest in power generators, the school, a 2-year-old building built to green standards, also has a new weather station on the rooftop. All of it possible through a grant from Energy Works Michigan.

The 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine, 2.4-kilowatt solar panel and weather station were unveiled last week during a ceremony, but the learning had already begun as Energy Works Michigan and its Renewable Schools program has trained teachers in an alternative energy curriculum.

While the turbine and solar panel will save Steenland about $100  a month in energy costs by generating some of its own power, the main purpose, Byrnes says, is to have amazing educational tools for the students, who are also being taught be teachers put through an alternative energy curriculum.

"The energy savings, that's just a little added benefit," he says. "I've always been interested in alternative energies and I've always wanted to do something like this. But I thought we'd have to spend our own dollars."

The school's immersion in alternative energy began with a $75,000-grant from Energy Works Michigan's Renewable Schools program, $9,000 of which was provided by Steenland due to matching requirements of the grant. Byrnes says the school PTO, local businesses and residents and the district. The Michigan Public Service Commission provides the grant dollars.

"It's really great how the community came together on this," he says.

Steenland is one of dozens of projects at schools around Michigan and one of the few that have both wind and solar power generators. It is the first in Macomb County.

Energy Works Michigan is in the process of accepting applications for a new round of Renewable Schools grants worth $4.4 million.

Source: James Byrnes, fourth-grade teacher Steenland Elmentary School and Kelly Weger, project coordinator Michigan Energy Works
Writer: Kim North Shine

Brar Technology moves into Macomb Oakland INCubator, plans to hire, grow

A designer of software technology for the military is operating from new, larger digs as it plans to expand sales and staff thanks to assistance from the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator.

Brar Technology, a company founded in 1993 in Clinton Township, moved onto the INCubator campus March 1. The company started in circuit cards for the military and has expanded into engineering and weapons systems and embedded technology for the military,  says Steve Hunt, Brar Technology's director of sales. For example, Brar writes software that monitors conditions on military vehicles.

What attracted Brar to the Macomb-OU INCubator campus in Sterling Heights was "affordable office space and also something called a kitchen cabinet roundtable," Hunt says.  Besides the office space and conference rooms, Brar uses the INCubator internet service and other infrastructure, saving costs. Brar's lease costs are related to its sales, a percentage going to the Macomb-OU INCubator, which supports development in business of defense, homeland security and advanced manufacturing.

The location and regular interaction with other companies on the premises or nearby give Brar quick access to information, knowledge and clients or partners such as General Dynamics, Hunt says.

"There's help with marketing, business planning, free counseling, free advice,"  Hunt says. "As we move onto expanding into the government, this is a good place to be. Oakland University is a partner of ours also and some of our development and research and development is done with them. And the fact that being here gives us access to people we need in our business is very important."

Five Brar employees are working at the new office space, which has room to expand. Brar has other offsite employees.

"This is a huge building that has just a ton of office space and a lot of conference rooms," Hunt says. "We're anticipating a rapid expansion…Next six month, maybe 10 employees and in the next year or say we may extend that to 20 to 25."

Source: Steve Hunt, director of sales, Brar Technology
Writer: Kim North Shine

The story at Ferndale Public Library is about going green

The biggest story going on right now at the Ferndale Public Library has nothing to do with the books, but with the building and the eco-minded, money-saving features that went into making it an award winner.

The library, which reopened two weeks ago after the green renovation was completed only to be followed by a destructive flood, has won an Honorable Mention as Green Project of the Year from the Construction Association of Michigan and is expecting to receive the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The hope is to earn the highest LEED ranking of gold. The changes to the library are expected to save $13,000 a year in energy costs. "Green Library" is a distinction that more and more libraries are pursuing.

Architects Seth Penchansky and Dan Whisler, of Penchansky Whisler Architects in Ann Arbor, handled the design and Frank Rewold & Son was the construction manager.

The green construction features include the planting of eight varieties of sedum on two roofs of the library, a summertime sight that sometimes generates phone calls about weeds growing on the rooftop.

On the library grounds, under one grass and garden area near the entrance, and around an outdoor garden near the children's area, are a total of 16 bores 400 feet into the ground. They form the geothermal energy system that will heat, cool and ventilate the building.

In addition, the library has a rainwater reclamation system that filters the water and subjects it to UV light to be used for flushing toilets and for sprinkling plants.

There are also motion detector lights in places such as bathrooms. Low voltage fluorescents are deployed and coatings on the glass keep cold out during winter and warmth out during the summer.

"Most of these things you would never see," Sterritt says. "You have to know they're there."

Ferndale's is one of at least seven libraries to have received LEED certification, according to the Green Libraries Directory.

Harper Woods was the first to earn LEED certification in 2005, and the city of Hastings' was the first Michigan library to achieve LEED Gold certification in 2008.

City planners and librarians say as cities look to make municipal facilities more earth-friendly and money-wise, the number will increase.

Source: John Sterritt,  president of the Ferndale Library Board
Writer: Kim North-Shine

Auburn Hills makes energy efficiency a priority

The city of Auburn Hills has completed an energy efficiency project that has already brought down utility costs and will likely find other savings by next year.

Dan Brisson, the project manager and facilities and roads manager for the city's Department of Public Works, says with the steps taken to decrease electric use in city buildings, "we expect our investment will pay for itself."

The changes come at a cost of $97,553, about half of it paid by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the state of Michigan.

The replacement of windows and insulation and going with 18-watt LED bulbs instead of 75-watt fluorescents at the library is already saving money, about $5,000 a year, Brisson says.

The recent completion of a centralized heating, cooling and ventilation system is expected to save more tax dollars and also save the environment from energy by-products. In addition, meters and a web-based monitoring system will track usage and help identify energy waste.

"We'll probably monitor over the 2011 year, and then pick up which buildings are using the most electricity per square foot," Brisson says.

Many city buildings are historical, in existence since the town was settled.

"Those buildings are the ones where you might think that there are areas where we can save energy," Brisson says. "But even some of the newer ones can have energy efficiency problems."

Source: Dan Brisson, facilities and roads manager for Auburn  Hills Department of Public Works
Writer: Kim North Shine

Rochester Hills' overpass gets "Complete Street" make-over

Reconstruction at M-59 and Crooks Road this year will do the usual road repair but also use a new approach that takes into account travelers not in cars.

Called a Complete Street, the Crooks Road overpass will be built wider and with designated lanes to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. The $8 million project will also lay new sidewalks from Austin to Hamlin roads, Morosi says.

The busy intersection is in Rochester Hills and is part of the 2011 construction line-up from the Michigan Department of Transportation. It is one of at least two Complete Street approaches in the package of road construction contracts to be awarded.

"When we're developing a Complete Street project we're required to meet with the local community to take into account non-motorized uses and facilities. The idea is to make it a more walkable community," says MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi.

"Even before the Complete Street legislation we would meet with local communities to see if there's something we can include that the local community has always wanted but has been prohibited to do because of the way the road is constructed," he says.

This M-59-Crooks project is "a great example of what we're doing to address that," he says. "So now people riding their bikes or walking won't be in conflict with traffic...People can ride, their bikes, Rollerblade, walk safely."

The project is one of many included in $274 million in road contracts to be awarded in 2011 for a four-county area in southeast Michigan. Some 82 miles of road and 105 bridges will be repaired or constructed in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, which account for 40 percent of traffic in Michigan, according to MDOT.

Source: Rob Morosi, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transporation
Writer: Kim North Shine

New link added to 50-mile Downriver Greenway

$800,000 in grants will pay for the latest link in a trail, which when completed, will be the largest greenway connector of Metroparks in Southeast Michigan. How long? Fifty miles!

The grants are earmarked for a 4-mile link to connect 24 miles of trails from Huron Park in Flat Rock to Oakwoods Metropark on the border of Belleville, making the entire Downriver Greenway a 50-mile path. The trail will take outdoor enthusiasts through trees, by waters, across open land, and more.

"It's huge. It traverses communities, historic areas, natural resources," Twardesky says. "People can use it to commute to work, schools, recreational facilities," says Anita Twardesky, co-chair of the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, a consortium of groups that have worked for at least a decade on projects from a vision to lay a continuous trail from the Detroit on the Detroit River DLGI.

More than being a nature-rich spot for walking, running, kayaking, fishing and more, the trail could draw visitors from around and outside the state, Twardesky says.

"Through these greenways we are starting to reinvent our region and look at it as a tourist opportunity," Twardesky says. "Basically from the City of Detroit, down to Monroe over I-275 I consider a hidden jewel within the state. There are lotus beds, sturgeon spawning in the Detroit river. History, Henry Ford's village in Flat Rock, the building of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Making it possible are grants to the City of Flat Rock from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund to the City of Flat Rock.

The longer-term goal is to connect the Downriver system of trails to Monroe and, finally and eventually, Toledo.

The newest link fulfills a dream of Metroparks planners going back to the 1940s for the park system to be linked. DLGI Co-Chair Mary Bohlng, a Michigan Sea Grant educator, and a number of nonprofits and governmental bodies have worked for at least a decade on creating the system.

"In just over 10 years, the Downriver community has come together to provide its residents with an impressive network of greenway trails," Congressman John D. Dingell says in a statement announcing the grants.  "These trails greatly improve the quality of life in the region by providing a means of transportation and an outdoor recreational activity."

Source: Anita Twardesky, co-chair of the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative and public relations and marketing manager for Riverside Kayak
Writer: Kim North Shine

Macomb County communities form task force to talk combining municipal services

Five Macomb County municipalities and the county of Macomb are the first members of a task force formed to research and implement new ways to combine municipal services.

MACRO, the Macomb Area Communities for Regional Opportunities, includes officials from Clinton and Shelby townships, the cities of Sterling Heights, Warren, and Utica, and Macomb County.

Combined, the municipalities make up more than half of Macomb County's population, and some have already begun discussions about sharing public services prior to the official formation of MACRO, which has met twice to date.

Among the areas of consolidation being discussed as local planners try to avoid eliminating or compromising services are police and fire, libraries, parks and recreation, building and inspection, and information and technology. There is also talk of combining employee training, facility and equipment maintenance, and of forming purchasing cooperatives.

It is the kind of consolidation encouraged by Gov. Rick Snyder in his State of the State address and follows up on a shared services agreement already struck with Shelby and Rochester.

More communities are expected to join MACRO, according to a written announcement of its formation. MACRO will meet at least monthly to discuss consolidation.

Source: City of Sterling Heights, Sue Giallombardo
Writer: Kim North Shine

Wayfinding signs with online synch capability are coming to Ferndale

The first phase of what's known as a wayfinding system begins in coming weeks in downtown Ferndale with the installation of eye-catching, user-friendly signs and the launch of online virtual tours to go with them.

About 30 signs, some illuminated, will be installed mostly along 9 Mile and Woodward and tied to information accessible from any computer or smartphone, letting visitors synch up online information about businesses, history, fun facts, and practical information such as where to park, says Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Ferndale DDA, which headed up the project.

Two of the signs will be business directory kiosks, and there will be an online walking tour component.

They come at a cost of about $100,000, mostly from grants and a combination of contributions from the City of Ferndale and the DDA. Another $35,000 in volunteer hours has gone into the project.

Two more signs, funded by Woodward Avenue Action Association, or WA3, will go in this fall.

Designs will mimic a marquee such as Radio City, freshened up and stylized yet classic. Troy-based ASI Signage Innovations helped design and manufactured the signs.

Eventually, signs will be located throughout the city, including at its entrances.

Sheppard-Decius says she and other city planners have seen how well wayfinding systems work in other cities. Traverse City and Kalamazoo have nice ones, as does Madison, Wisconsin with its standout system of signs that make you feel like a veteran visitor, she says.

With the number of visitors to downtown Ferndale, the signs make getting around easy and fun and make the city more inviting.

"It's one of those things communities covet. It always seems to come up around town…that when you're a visitor you can't seem to find your way. If you're a resident you have the upper hand. To a visitor it's a blank slate," she says.

Besides, she adds, this is something that makes the city look good while answering repeated requests for better ways of navigating Ferndale. The signs put its best face forward.

"[It's] how we present ourselves," Sheppard-Decius says. "How people get around our city comes up many times at focus groups and in surveys. This is the answer to that."

Source: Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director Ferndale DDA
Writer: Kim North Shine

The Conservation Fund bestows national green award on Oakland County

Oakland County's environmentally-minded, regional approach to identifying and protecting its natural resources has earned it the love of the Conservation Fund, which is declaring Oakland a leader in protecting land, water, and other natural resources.

The Conservation Fund's National Green Infrastructure Implementation Award will be handed out to Oakland County officials Feb. 24th during the three-day National Green Infrastructure Conference in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Officials from Arkansas and Maryland were also named in the top three of green infrastructure planners in the nation. Read more here about the awards.

Green infrastructure is a strategically planned and managed network of natural areas and open spaces, according to the Conservation Fund. It says that planning for those open spaces -- woodlands, wetlands, trails and parks -- conserves ecosystems, protects the air and water and benefits people and wildlife.

The award specifically recognizes Oakland County's Green Infrastructure Vision, which involved every community across the 900-square-mile county in a project to map out land, water, green space, trails and such -- all environmental resources -- and show how they connect.

The map, both printed and online, is part marketing tool in that it explains the richness of natural resources, and part development tool that helps local governments and private parties identify conservation areas as they look to develop or seek grants for environmental preservation or building efforts, says Bret Rasegan, planning supervisor in Oakland County's Office of Planning and Economic Development.

"I think what it really does is validate for us using that local knowledge of the communities to build a much larger vision," says Rasegan. "We could not have done it sitting in the office…That local knowledge was indispensable to piecing this thing together."

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson also spoke to the validation of hard work completed by many, many people.

"Preserving green space adds to the quality of life of our residents, but it is one facet of a larger green initiative. We also are attracting alternative energy companies to provide green jobs; identifying and incorporating energy conserving devices and strategies here on our government campus; and we are building the nation's first green airport terminal," Patterson says in a statement announcing the award.

The Green Initiative had already won accolades from the National Association of Counties, and, as Patterson says, is one of several eco-conscious programs implemented in Oakland County.

They include Oakland County Airport, the first green airport terminal in the country. Renovations at the airport are expected to be completed this summer and incorporate wind and solar power and geothermal energy as energy savers.

The county has also formed a Green Team to find energy savings at county government facilities, saving $4 million since 2005. In addition, the county issued an OakGreen challenge, asking residents, businesses and governments to decrease energy consumption by 10 percent by 2012. The county's goal for itself is 15 percent by 2015. In addition, it is instituting programs to foster the growth of alternative energy companies.

The Conservation Fund board that chose the winners looked for places that had set conservation goals and achieved them.

"These three projects stood out not only because they were able to accomplish real, on-the-ground solutions to their conservation priorities, but also because they are ahead of the national trend in which more and more communities are turning to green infrastructure planning to effectively address natural resource use," Kris Hoellen, director of The Conservation Fund's Conservation Leadership Network, says in a statement.

Sources: Bret Rasegan, planning supervisor in Oakland County's Office of Planning and Economic Development and Bill Mullan, Oakland County Director of Communications
Writer: Kim North Shine

Virtual 8 Mile shows sky-high views of the 3D street-level

Technology and marketing are converging in a push to promote business, transportation, and commercial development along 8 Mile.

If Virtual 8 Mile, an application developed by the Eight Mile Boulevard Association and Plymouth-based Luna Tech Designs, goes as planned the 27-mile corridor can be viewed on a 3D virtual interface using Google Earth.

Ideally, visitors to the site can zoom in on member businesses, which also will get Google priority listings during searches for businesses of their type.

The $5,000 in funding for the application came from the Michigan Dept of Transportation.

Virtual 8 Mile will also show visitors development possibilities and real estate opportunities, including details and photos of available land and property, along the stretch of road that cuts through Wayne and Oakland counties.

In addition, the site shows improvement projects, including facade renovations and median gardens, and public transportation routes and other information that can make patronizing a business or starting one easier.

For a business such as the Belmont Shopping Center, which now is viewable by visitors, "it is another way to promote an existing tenant mix and is also a business attraction tool for vacancies," says Tami Salisbury, executive director of the 8 Mile Boulevard Association.

The 13 communities bordering the Eight Mile corridor, which spans Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, stand to gain from increased exposure, Salisbury says.

"It really is a snapshot of 8 Mile, what's going on there and the potential that is there," Salisbury says.

In a larger sense, she says, the project helps the association in its mission to change the reputation, accurate or not, that 8 Mile Road is a has-been.

"It's equally as important to change the mental landscape as it is to change the physical landscape," Salisbury says. "We are changing mental perceptions people have of 8 Mile by showing them these physical transformations."

Source: Tami Salisbury, executive director, Eight Mile Boulevard Association
Writer: Kim North Shine

State grants enable dozens of Michigan schools to turn up solar and wind power

An innovative program that takes energy efficiency and renewable energy projects into Michigan schools is expanding, offering 90 new schools a share of $4.4 million.

Energy Works Michigan, an arm of the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, awarded its first round of $3.5 million in Michigan Renewable Schools grants in November 2009 and will distribute the next round in September to schools that are selected as good candidates to undergo energy efficiency audits and implement new energy programs. The next round will include colleges and universities, in addition to K-12 schools.

Winners use the money to cut energy costs, install solar and wind energy-generating systems, and to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy studies in the classroom. The outcome is not only energy savings but a decrease in emissions into the environment as well as educated students who ideally will change their energy consumption ways.

The Michigan Public Service Commission provides the money for what is seen as "a pretty unique program…There's not another organization doing this on a such a large scale," says Kendal Kuneman, project associate for Energy Works Michigan.

Energy Works Michigan administers the program that has its employees showing schools how to be more energy efficient, how to install solar panels or wind turbines and training teachers in renewable energy and energy efficiency curricula.

Currently 67 schools, including Allen Park Middle School, the Advanced Technology Academy in Dearborn, Pierce Middle School in Grosse Pointe Park, the South Lyon School District, and several Detroit Public Schools, including Cass Tech High School, are participating.

"All of the projects are currently being wrapped up. Most are completed by now," Kuneman says. Experience from those projects will be used to make the next phase of the project even more effective, she says.

The grants help pay to send engineers into schools to identify energy waste and show the schools how to correct it. Once a school is deemed energy efficient, it can choose to install a small, medium, or large solar or wind energy generating system.

The schools provide matching money to their grants.

"We prioritize how to get a return on investment in 5-8 years," Kuneman says. "So schools are seeing some significant cost savings. Some are getting return in less than five years."

Source: Kendal Kuneman, project associate, Energy Works Michigan
Writer: Kim North Shine

SMART bike rack grant helps Berkley promote cycling

A $2,000 grant from the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) will pay for at least six additional bike racks and contribute to a larger plan by the city of Berkley to put its residents and workers on two wheels. About a dozen bike racks are currently in place in the city.

"It's something we're seeing more of, and we want to see even more of," says Tom Colwell, facility manager and parks and recreation director for the city of Berkley.

The racks will be installed by July, Colwell says, and will be similar in style to existing ones.

Also this summer, the city is launching a bike riding program, and is in the midst of a project to make its roads safer for bikers, perhaps by adding cycling lanes, he says.

"The bike rack program with SMART is really in line with what we're trying to do," Colwell says.

The idea behind the grant is to help residents get around town without cars. SMART buses have bike racks for riders as well.

"Ultimately we're going to put some of the racks closer to bus shelters and around town," Colwell says. "What we want to promote is people not driving their own cars everywhere, but getting around by biking…We want to promote a healthier lifestyle."

Source: Tom Colwell, facility manager and parks and recreation director, city of Berkley
Writer: Kim North Shine

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