Council votes to establish Outer Drive Greenway Project

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The City Council unanimously agreed to establish the Outer Drive Greenway Project during its Jan. 15 meeting.

During the meeting, the council authorized the finance director to recognize and appropriate a donation in the amount of $150,000 from the Kosch Family, according to the agenda. Another $240,000 will be reallocated from the West Downtown Discovery Trail Project to the Outer Drive Greenway Project.

According to a funding and budget document submitted by Senior Planner Mohamed Ayoub, the project will cost $400,000, including $10,000 from a People for Bikes grant in addition to the donation and reallocated funds.

He also said the project will stretch about six miles on both sides of Outer Drive from Ford Road south to the Southfield Freeway. The project will consist of typical painted bike lanes, shared lane markers, way finding and identification signs, safe zones utilizing green paint and potential new crosswalks and travel lane markings, as listed in the document.

“The planning division identified the Outer Drive Greenway as a significant opportunity to connect the Wayne County Hines Park Trail, Rouge River Gateway Trail and the I-275 Metro Trail to Outer Drive,” Ayoub wrote.

In June 2017, Dearborn launched its first ever bike share program with Zagster and provided residents and visitors with 50 Zagster 8 cruiser bikes at 10 stations throughout both downtown areas.

Dearborn Sausage Co. owners Donald and Mary Kosch made the program possible with their $1.2 million donation and agreement with Beaumont Health. Included in the donation was $150,000 for a six-mile bike path which allowed the planning division to begin exploring design concepts for the project.

“The safest design alternative requires safe zones at certain intersections, utilizes green paint and increases the length of segments with dedicated bike lanes as opposed to shared lanes,” Ayoub wrote in the document. “The safer design requires a budget larger than the $150,000 donated by the Kosch family and a more comprehensive engineering drawing fro approval.”

With the plans and funding for the Outer Drive Greenway in place, the budget reduction of the West Downtown Discovery Trail should not have any impact, Ayoub said in the document.
He also said the staff believes the remaining budget of $560,000 is more than adequate to install a portion of the discovery trail.

“The original request of $800,000 was made with the possibility of reconstructing the roadway to install a completely separated bike lane; however, with recent analysis during the development of the Multi-Model Transportation Plan the discovery trail will be similar to the Outer Drive Greenway and heavily utilize painted lanes, safer zones, shared markings and signage,” Ayoub wrote. “The segment along Military St. has the potential to be a separated lane.”

According to the document, the portion along Monroe south of Michigan Avenue was installed by Ford Land; the portion along West Village and Newman between Monroe and Oakwood Boulevard was installed by Ford Land and the portion within Ford Field Park and along Monroe north of Michigan Ave. was paid for by the streetscape project budget because it’s directly related to the design and construction of the new streetscape elements.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)

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