Detroit may be the “Motor City,” but Macomb wants to become known as a non-motorized county.
The county’s planning department, with the blessing of county Executive Mark Hackel, announced this week an initiative to upgrade its master plan for hike/bike routes. Included in the vision: expanded and new trails.
“Macomb County was recognized in 2005 for being the first in Michigan to create a county-wide master plan for trails,” Hackel said. “It is time to upgrade it.”
In conjunction with LSL Planning, Macomb planners will create Mobilize Macomb, a non-motorized master plan for the county. A key feature of the effort is the solicitation of input from the public via an interactive website.
County residents will be invited to log on to the website at Mobilize Macomb - County Non-Motorized Plan by MindMixer to offer ideas and suggestions, comment and keep informed about projects.
The site also will feature a series of topical questions and offer incentives for interactive users.
“This is a stakeholder-driven initiative,” said Stephen Cassin, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.
“We want to hear from those who would use new routes and to gather and to gather ideas about bike lanes, shared paths or new sidewalks.”
According to planning officials, Macomb County already boasts numerous recreational assets, including: 180 municipal parks, 32 miles of Lake St. Clair shoreline; three public boat launches; more than 81 miles of the Clinton River; and 24 miles of the Macomb Orchard Trail.
Such amenities, Hackel said, enhance the county several ways.
“We know that our trails have had a positive economic impact on home values, business retention and visitor spending,” the executive said.
“Trails are known to improve health. I believe that we should identify new connection possibilities, prioritize links and build new routes throughout the county.”
County officials plan to introduce the Mobilize Macomb updated master plan in the fall.