The grand opening for Phase I of Detroit's Dequindre Cut trail is this Thursday, May 14th from 10am until 2pm. In addition to the ribbon cutting, there will be a parade, a marching band, guided tours, cooking demonstrations, free pizza, and much more (see below).
The three outstanding features of this trail are:
* It connects Eastern Market to our Riverfront, RiverWalk, and Tri-Centennial State Park
* It's below grade (no cars to deal with)
* It has some amazing grafitti
This trail is similar to Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway.
More info on the Dequindre Cut opening
Dequindre Cut Greenway to open in grand fashion with a march of more than 200 near-eastside Detroit residents and students
Release Date: May 8, 2009
Public opening celebration to feature activities, food & entertainment on Thursday, May 14, 2009 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
DETROIT (7 May 2009) - The first phase of the highly-anticipated urban recreational path, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, will open to the public on Thursday, May 14, 2009. The grand opening ceremony, taking place at the Woodbridge Street entrance of the greenway between Orleans Street and St. Aubin Street at 10 a.m., is open to the public and media, and will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a march of more than 200 near-eastside Detroit residents and students.
The Martin Luther King Jr., Sr. High School Band and the Detroit Academy Arts & Sciences Marching Band will lead the march down the 1.2 mile greenway, followed by residents and students from: Chrysler Elementary School, City Year Corp., Detroit Garden Center, Detroit Synergy, Friends School in Detroit, Jefferson East Business Association, Lafayette Towers Tenant Association, Riverfront East Alliance (REAL), 200 River Place Loft Condominiums, The Villages and Woodward Academy. The march will also include some participants on wheels from the MotorCity Blade Runners and Wheelhouse Detroit. Following the march, the public can enjoy activities, food and entertainment at each of the three entrances of the Dequindre Cut Greenway.
The Woodbridge Street entrance of the greenway will feature stage performances between 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. from the Waldorf School Orchestra, the Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences Performing Choir and Dance Troupe and the Woodward Academy and Benjamin Mays Academy Step Teams. Wheelhouse Detroit will offer free "test drives" on their bicycles, bike safety instruction and rental options. Guests can also take a spin down the Cut with BreezeCab. For those looking to learn more about the history of the Dequindre Cut, Detroit Riverfront and Eastern Market, Inside Detroit will provide one-hour walking tours beginning at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The RiverWalk Café will also be onsite serving popcorn, hot dogs and lemonade.
Face-painting and magic will entertain children and adults near the Lafayette Street entrance of the Dequindre Cut Greenway. Guests can also enjoy a slice of pizza courtesy of Cottage Inn Pizza, while they take in juggling and double-dutch performances by Waldorf School students on the Cut. Canine to Five will also be onsite offering free "PETicures" for pooches between noon and 2 p.m.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a taste of Detroit's Eastern Market near the Gratiot Avenue entrance of the greenway. The historic market will feature cooking demonstrations, which will guide spectators through the preparation of seasonal recipes and introduce them to the rich bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables Michigan has to offer. Samples of Eastern Market Produce, Rocky Peanut Company, Germack, R. Hirt Jr. & Co. and Urban Grounds coffee can be enjoyed while guests enjoy entertainment from Eastern Market buskers. An Inside Detroit one-hour walking tour of the Cut will also begin from this location at 12 noon.
Special parking will be available for the event in a lot just west of Rivard Plaza & Pavilion at Atwater Street and Rivard Street. Free shuttle service will be provided to and from the Woodbridge Street entrance of the Dequindre Cut Greenway from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for a map and more information.
The Dequindre Cut, formerly a Grand Truck Railroad line, is a below-grade corridor that runs parallel to St. Aubin Street, between Mack Avenue and Woodbridge Street just north of the Riverfront. The first phase of redevelopment for the Cut is between Woodbridge Street and Gratiot Avenue. The greenway development features a 20-foot-wide paved pathway, which includes separate lanes for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Entrance ramps to the Cut are located at Lafayette Street, Gratiot Avenue and at Woodbridge Street. Future plans call for the greenway to extend from Gratiot Avenue up to Mack Avenue.
Constructed by the Detroit Economic Development Corporation (DEGC) and designed by JJR, the greenway will be maintained, operated and programmed by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Along with benches and trash receptacles, many security features have also been installed along the path, including lighting, call boxes and security cameras. The Conservancy's operations team will put into place the same security and maintenance measures, in partnership with the City of Detroit, that are currently enforced along the Detroit RiverWalk.
Funding for this $3.75 million rails-to-trails greenway project was provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan's GreenWays Initiative, the Economic Growth Corporation and the Kellogg Foundation. Additionally, an endowment has been set up for the Dequindre Cut through the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, with funding from the Kresge Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Community Foundation.