Detroiter and Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) leader Sarah Szurpicki has an interesting blog post this week, highlighting the Dequindre Cut, a walking/ biking path in Detroit.
Sarah interviewed Tom Woiwode, the Director of the GreenWays Initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
She writes, “Tom emphasized that, to him, bike lanes are important–but not in and of themselves, so much as potential triggers to a culture change. The “greenways” are about inspiring “green WAYS” of living. They are also about the development of a community asset that Detroiters can be proud of and can communally use and celebrate; walking the Cut, you’re likely to receive twice as many smiles and “hellos” from strangers than you will on the sidewalk above (unscientific estimate).”
She goes on to explain how she thinks the project can be successful.
“Over time, what I’ll be watching for, with optimism, are answers to questions like: Are new small businesses popping up on the corners with Cut entrance ramps? Is there less car congestion at Eastern Market on Saturday mornings? Have obesity levels in the neighborhoods surrounding the Cut decreased? Will people in those neighborhood start biking to work? Are those neighborhoods seeing populations increase? Do their residents feel prouder of their homes, and more warmly towards their neighborhoods?
I ask those questions because I believe that new greenways, especially those with a commitment to the maintenance that keeps them safe and welcoming, can have economic, health, and community benefits–and hope that the Dequindre Cut serves as a tipping point for those transformations in Detroit.”
Thanks for bringing us this update from Detroit, Sarah. We look forward to hearing more about your progress.