Today comes news that a $2 million grant was given to City of Detroit by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. The grant will be used to fund the design and pre-construction of all uncompleted portions of the Inner Circle Greenway (ICG), including a recently purchased Conrail railroad property, connecting together a  26 mile non-motorized path and greenway.

There also will be a planning framework that will be created to incorporate the half-mile corridor to either side of the greenway itself.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Although Metro Detroit is a car-centered culture, many cities that are lapping Detroit and metro Detroit in population growth (the region has been basically flat as for as population goes for 50+ years while some other major regions have basically doubled in size) are centered around having various types of transportation and options for physical activity. This may help attract more residents and improve the quality of life of existing ones.

MORE THAN JUST A PATH: According to the city, the plan will include recommendations for land use and zoning, green infrastructure, connections to public assets such as parks, way-finding, and thoughtful intersection with local and regional multimodal transportation routes such as the Iron Belle Trail, SMART bus network, and the new Gordie Howe Bridge. The plan is that the project team, whoever is chosen, will meet with impacted communities to get comments on proposed designs and incorporate residents’ feedback into the final construction plans.

WHEN DO WE GET ON IT?: The current timeline is to have this project ready by fall of 2019. “Skipper’s rule” on that – meaning, believe it when they get closer to the date and open the thing – as these projects are large and delays often happen.

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