Council Hears Proposal on Making Dearborn Bicycle-Friendly
The plan highlights a low-cost option for encouraging bike travel in Dearborn.
A plan presented to Dearborn City Council on Tuesday evening would, if implemented, put the city on the map in terms of bicyclist innovation.
Resident Sean Galloway and Sustainability Coordinator Dave Norwood outlined a proposal to the council to essentially turn the city's streets into a bicycle tour of historic landmarks, architecture and prominent neighborhoods.
"We need something to develop that’s safe and efficient that aligns with master plan … and it has to be low cost and low maintenance," said Galloway, who also serves on the Telecommunications Commission. "We need to create an experience for residents and commuters."
That experience, according to the proposal, is less about construction than it is about making residents aware of the bicycle-friendly nature of the city—at least in the early phases.
The plan would take bicyclists on a self-guided tour of the city, suggesting routes to take and highlighting features along the way. Signs would direct people to turn left or right, and would include scannable QR codes leading riders to information about a historic spot, or a unique neighborhood.
“We’ll be a leading community by integrating this all together," Galloway said. "High-tech features will appeal to a younger generation.”
Additionally, the plan includes creation of a website that will inform bicyclists of bike rack, drinking fountain and public bathroom locations, as well as maps of routes.
Phase one would target the "Levagood and Ford Field Loop," taking bicyclists through the west and downtown neighborhoods, and past such landmarks as parks, schools, the Ford Homes Historic Neighborhood and The Henry Ford.
The first phase is estimated to cost around $15,000—including signage, QR stickers and paint to mark roadways along the route. Galloway and Norwood said they hope will be covered by sponsors or grants, including options from the League of American Bicyclists, Michigan Trails and Greenways, and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
No action is being taken on the plan currently, although members of city council present at the meeting—Brian O'Donnell, Mark Shooshanian and Robert Abraham—voiced preliminary support for the plan, as did Mayor Jack O'Reilly.
"This proposal gets us a start and we can build on that … and phase through,” O'Reilly said.
Galloway said they hope to implement phase one by the spring of 2013.