Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-26-14, 07:47 AM   #1
Ekdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem
Posts: 4,217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Motor City?

Great to see Detroit is becoming a great cycling town.

Detroit cycling grows fast as the city rises on the national bike scene | The Detroit News
Ekdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-14, 01:47 PM   #2
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Nice article, except it didn't say much about bike commuting in Detroit.

I grew up in Highland Park, Michigan--a small city that is totally surrounded by the city of Detroit. I now live about 90 miles from Detroit, but I haven't visited as much as I used to. Detroit is still a popular tourist destination (believe it or not) especially for sports and culture stuff.

If you plan to ride there, keep in mind that the excellent bike riding conditions pertain to the actual city of Detroit itself. The rest of the metro area (suburbs and exurbs) are as sprawled as Atlanta or Houston. You will find there the busy congested stroads that are ubiquitous in American metro areas.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-14, 05:56 AM   #3
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,793
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Nice article, except it didn't say much about bike commuting in Detroit.

I grew up in Highland Park, Michigan--a small city that is totally surrounded by the city of Detroit. I now live about 90 miles from Detroit, but I haven't visited as much as I used to. Detroit is still a popular tourist destination (believe it or not) especially for sports and culture stuff.

If you plan to ride there, keep in mind that the excellent bike riding conditions pertain to the actual city of Detroit itself. The rest of the metro area (suburbs and exurbs) are as sprawled as Atlanta or Houston. You will find there the busy congested stroads that are ubiquitous in American metro areas.
An excellent description, Roody.

I grew up a Detroit in the 1960s on the East Side in a nice neighborhood, that frankly is now as bad as anything you read about in Detroit these days. Nonetheless although Detroit proper is the Motor City, it did develop as a prosperous city prior to post-war suburban sprawl, and IMO has an excellent roadway infrastructure with wide, long roads through interesting, though now often decrepit neighborhoods. When I go back to visit the family in suburban Macomb County though, the suburban sprawl and concomitant highway system really discourages road cycling, though there are some pleasant MUPS to nowhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Though my world outlook was much more narrow in Detroit, I recall doing a lot of cycling up to 10-20 miles away from home, sometimes just to roam, or to visit coin shops as a coin collector…
A few years ago, the architectural critic for the Boston Globe wrote an article describing two types of American studies, the “City of Outdoor Rooms,” and the "City of Towers and Cars” after a visit to Southfield, MI, a sprawling post-war Detroit suburb. If I recall correctly, the first Detroit regional shopping mall, Northland, was developed there, and it epitomized the City Of Towers and Cars as viewed from the I-696 freeway, with no sense of human scale.

Boston of course was the City of Outdoor Rooms, on a human scale. One can walk through Boston as if walking on a tour through someone's house, going from room to room (neighborhood to neighborhood) and admiring close-up the various accoutrements in the room. I use this motif when I take visitors on walk of about 4 miles through Boston and we pass through seven different “rooms.”

IMO Detroit City is, on a larger scale than Boston, also a City of Outdoor Rooms.
Jim from Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-14, 02:39 PM   #4
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
IMO Detroit City is, on a larger scale than Boston, also a City of Outdoor Rooms.
A lot of the rooms are empty. They say the abandoned parts of Detroit--about 40% of the land area--are bigger than the entire city of Boston.

Detroit never was a very dense city. Most people lived in single-family homes with driveways, garages, and big yards. This made walking and transit impractical, but was great for bikes (and of course, cars).
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-14, 05:06 AM   #5
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,793
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…A few years ago, the architectural critic for the Boston Globe wrote an article describing two types of American studies, the “City of Outdoor Rooms,” and the "City of Towers and Cars” after a visit to Southfield, MI…

IMO Detroit City is, on a larger scale than Boston, also a City of Outdoor Rooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
A lot of the rooms are empty. They say the abandoned parts of Detroit--about 40% of the land area--are bigger than the entire city of Boston.

Detroit never was a very dense city. Most people lived in single-family homes with driveways, garages, and big yards. This made walking and transit impractical, but was great for bikes (and of course, cars).
You are quite right, unfortunately that a lot of the “outdoor rooms” (neighborhoods) are empty. Furthermore indeed Detroit (proper) never was a very dense city. However my own recollection growing up in an East Side neighborhood was that vaguely-defined neighborhoods were contiguous within the city, unlike separated by major highways or large tracts of land as are many suburban developments; and secondly many services were local within the neighborhood, i.e. storefront businesses on light commercial, walkable streets. And children attended their local schools.

As a child and early teenager, I could get along quite well in my neighborhood (outdoor room), about 2 miles in greatest length, by walking, bicycling and taking a bus. Unlike Boston though, as you point out the distances were greater (but parking was never at a premium). Also, as I recall, bus services were better, and there was even a street car to downtown.
Jim from Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-14, 05:29 AM   #6
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
You are quite right, unfortunately that a lot of the “outdoor rooms” (neighborhoods) are empty. Furthermore indeed Detroit (proper) never was a very dense city. However my own recollection growing up in an East Side neighborhood was that vaguely-defined neighborhoods were contiguous within the city, unlike separated by major highways or large tracts of land as are many suburban developments; and secondly many services were local within the neighborhood, i.e. storefront businesses on light commercial, walkable streets. And children attended their local schools.

As a child and early teenager, I could get along quite well in my neighborhood (outdoor room), about 2 miles in greatest length, by walking, bicycling and taking a bus. Unlike Boston though, as you point out the distances were greater (but parking was never at a premium). Also, as I recall, bus services were better, and there was even a street car to downtown.
I agree that there was and is strong neighborhood identification in Detroit.
I grew up in Highland Park, which was an incredibly self-contained city surrounded by Detroit. We Parkers were intensely proud of our little city. We had our own newspaper, schools and utilities, which we believed were far superior to Detroit's.

Perversely, we were even proud of our bad points. When we had the highest murder and crime rates in the nation, our mayor said on national TV that all the crimes in Highland Park were caused by Detroiters and suburbanites sneaking over the border...and almost all Parkers agreed with him!
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-14, 04:23 PM   #7
ctg492
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dog Walking Land in Michigan
Bikes:
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought a Detroit Bike, added Detroit Cargo bags to it. Think I will however stay out of Detroit. Maybe it is from growing up in the suburbs of the D. I don't ever take 94 north anymore. I really would love to see the D rise again, I don't think I am the one to do it.
ctg492 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-14, 09:46 PM   #8
Ekdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem
Posts: 4,217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
I really would love to see the D rise again...
So would I! But perhaps as the Post-Motor City, leading the way to a future that is less dependent on fossil fuels.
Ekdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-14, 02:52 AM   #9
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
So would I! But perhaps as the Post-Motor City, leading the way to a future that is less dependent on fossil fuels.
I don't think it will ever entirely be a post-Motor city. The Big Three are all headquartered in Metro Detroit, and even Toyota has a presence there. In fact, they have consolidated more in Detroit recently, along with nearby Michigan, Ohio and Ontario.

However, I do hope the day will come when a lot fewer cars are built. Maybe the Motor City will become the Transportation City--building buses, trains, and bicycles along with a few fossil-free cars.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-14, 02:55 AM   #10
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
I bought a Detroit Bike, added Detroit Cargo bags to it. Think I will however stay out of Detroit. Maybe it is from growing up in the suburbs of the D. I don't ever take 94 north anymore. I really would love to see the D rise again, I don't think I am the one to do it.
Have you ever thought about doing one of the group rides in Detroit? They say there's safety in numbers!
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-14, 04:52 PM   #11
howeeee
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Have you ever thought about doing one of the group rides in Detroit? They say there's safety in numbers!
Detroit has the largest weekley ride in the country. Monday Slow Roll somtimes as many as 2000 people. There is also a Thursday ride from Palmer Park, the north side of the city.
Then Critical mass the last Friday of each month attracts a big crowd also.

Detroit has become a great biking city, it is just hard to get many people to believe it lol.
howeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:49 AM.