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Old 11-29-15, 06:54 AM   #1
jkp1187
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Moving to Detroit

I've spent the last two years biking to work several times a week in the (surprisingly) bike friendly city of Pittsburgh. Now I find myself with a lucrative and interesting job opportunity that will require a move to metro Detroit. I'd be working downtown (at the GM Ren Center) and will likely be living in one of the closer suburbs (right now, we're looking at: Ferndale, Royal Oak, and the various Grosse Pointes...MAYBE midtown, but we have a 3-year-old at home, and want to make sure that playgrounds / parks are within easy walking distance, and that didn't seem to the case there...)

I've seen a bunch of articles about how bike-friendly Detroit has been becoming. Can anyone tell me a little about the facts on the ground (esp. regarding biking downtown from those areas I mentioned?)

Biking to work every single day is not a necessity, but being able to do it at least once or twice a week (for fun and exercise) would be ideal for me.

Thanks.
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Old 11-29-15, 10:16 PM   #2
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With your child headed to school in two years, Grosse Pointes. I just moved to the east side after 30 years in Ann Arbor. If you need a Realtor referal or any other info, look for my pm. You can't pm because you are new.

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Old 11-30-15, 12:01 PM   #3
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Commute wise, Midtown can't be beat. 3 or 4 miles to GM and a rail line going in to boot. I got to tour the area a couple of months ago with my nephew and couldn't believe the changes taking place. It is booming. But with a 3 year old I think you are right to look to the burbs. Seemed like mostly single young folks. No doubt any kids living there go to private schools. Also I hear car insurance is sky high anywhere in Detroit proper.

Ferndale and Royal Oak are nice choices. Not too far away and both have nice downtown areas and affordable housing costs. I just don't know what it's like to try to commute down Woodward on a bike. Been a while since I lived there. And I certainly wouldn't deviate too far off Woodward in any direction. It gets scary in a hurry. Good Luck on your move.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:50 PM   #4
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We looked at Detroit area but auto insurance was completely bonkers and the school systems isn't anything to write home about. So we ended up moving further north and about 90 miles north. I've yet to lock my doors and during the summer can leave my windows open or leave my bike outside or anything outside for that matter. Quite a few people up here still do the drive. Decent pay but cheap housing and nice and quiet...and safe.
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Old 12-05-15, 05:41 PM   #5
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Cycling is growing here....Big Time. 75% of the population of Detroit has left the city since the 50's. There's a lot of room here now compared to the suburbs. I'm an avid cyclist . In the last 20 years of cycling ,9 of 10 of the conflicts with motorists have been in suburbia.
Cycling is changing out in the county too but more slowly. A previous poster suggests pedaling on Woodward . That'll be much more perilous north of 8 mile. I would'nt ride on Woodward in the suburbs. You'll find many safer routes when you get here.

From Ferndale your cycle commute will be at least 11 miles (one way). At least a couple of miles further for Royal Oak.
Grosse Pointe will be the shortest a minimum of 6 miles.

Ferndale is the least expensive considering housing costs followed by Royal Oak then The Pointes.

Detroit is still a wicked town. I would NOT subject a young child to the ugliness of living within the city providing there are suburban housing options.
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Old 12-15-15, 07:12 PM   #6
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I would NOT subject a young child to the ugliness of living within the city providing there are suburban housing options.
I second that. Tensions in the public school systems are still quite high, and even going to the wrong neighborhood as your son starts to explore on his own might be ruined by the actions of other youths.
I don't bike in Detroit as I still don't trust it. However, outside of the whole metropolitan area, there are so many excellent places to bike. Lots of great MTB trails too.
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Old 12-28-15, 11:35 AM   #7
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Hi and welcome to the forum, jkp. Have you moved to Detroit yet? Where did you go?

Don't let them scare you out of living in Detroit. I live about 2 miles east of downtown and ride or walk the Detroit RiverWalk to and from work most days and have never had a problem. You just have to pay attention to your surroundings. I carry tear gas and a wrench and have never had to use them.

Riding in traffic down Woodward from Ferndale or Royal Oak would be risky and the commuter rail line down Woodward won't open till 2017.

I have a friend on here, dpd3672, who is a Detroit police officer would could probably help you. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-12-16, 08:35 AM   #8
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You're not asking for advice on where to move, you're asking about biking conditions to downtown, generally, from any of those areas. Right?

Almost all of that depends on your riding abilities and comfort zone. For many years I lived in Detroit, and commuted to work in the Royal Oak/Ferndale area. Sort of the opposite of what you're talking but obviously same riding conditions. Personally I'm pretty comfortable riding in an urban environment and would take roads like Michigan Avenue, Outer Drive, Woodward, etc. Obviously some roads are off limits (dangerous) at certain times of the day but it's entirely possible to get anywhere around the entire Detroit Metro area by bicycle. Just don't expect nice dedicated "bike paths" or anything like that. You just ride the roads and you'll learn your routes.
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Old 03-15-16, 08:50 PM   #9
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Maybe he moved to Detroit and that's why we haven't heard from him. Lol. Best of luck!
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Old 03-19-16, 03:55 PM   #10
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Maybe he moved to Detroit and that's why we haven't heard from him. Lol. Best of luck!
Brutally true.
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