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Bikin’ and Walkin’ in Royal Oak, Part Deux

Last week, we wrote about efforts by the League of Michigan Bicyclists to promote a “Non-Motorized Transportation Plan” which would create a safer pedestrian and bikeway program in Royal Oak.  Check out that post here.

This morning the story was picked up by a slightly more venerable institution — the Detroit news published an article on the issue.  Here is a brief excerpt:

Tom Regan calls it “the self-righteous rage” of motorists: the sound of a driver screaming at a bicyclist to get out of the street.

“Around Royal Oak it’s very common for motorists to scream at you to get out of the road and onto the sidewalk. They think they are helping you, but bicycles and cars can share the street. It’s the safest place for me. The motorist is bound to see you when you are in the road,” said Regan, who travels from home to his office on a recumbent bicycle.”

On Monday, Regan and about 40 other cyclists from the Metro Detroit area rode their bikes to Royal Oak to petition the City Commission to develop a safety plan for bicyclists.  According to the Detroit News, city commissioners “appointed Regan and two other cyclists to a task force to write up some recommendations.”  Also, a meeting between the task force and City Manager Tom Hoover will be scheduled.

The full article, which also discusses efforts to make Ferndale “an excellent example of a bike-friendly community” is available here.  The Mirror and and the Daily Tribune have also covered the story.

How do you think we can make Royal Oak a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly city?  Or should that not be a priority given the current economic situation?  Leave your thoughts and comments!

12 responses to "Bikin’ and Walkin’ in Royal Oak, Part Deux"

  1. Eric Brown Nov 13, 2008 at 09:20

    Brandon, Good Morning
    As a company, we should get fully behind this and help out however we can to promote Royal Oak as walkable city and a safe place for bikes. Anyone who has any ideas how business owners may help foster the efforts, lets us know. I am willing to head something up

  2. Eric Brown Nov 13, 2008 at 19:20

    Todd, Hi
    Any recommendations on how we may collaborate together to rally the efforts? We are open if there is interest,

  3. Todd Scott Nov 13, 2008 at 18:56

    Just a quick note that the League of Michigan Bicyclists has been supportive but have not led this effort.

  4. Todd Scott Nov 13, 2008 at 23:41

    Certainly we’re just getting underway in Royal Oak, but collaborating with local businesses is key. I can think of some example items that we’ve done elsewhere: encouraging bike racks at businesses, promoting bike commuting (there is a new business tax credit for this), sponsorship opportunities, possible health/fitness connections, etc. For retailers, one big positive for cyclists is they shop local.

    Other examples:
    I know of a church in the Downriver area that gave an easement for a bike trail and built a nice resting spot and allowed the use of their parking lot. What a unique way to promote a church facility.

    I dropped my car off at a dealership in Boulder, Colorado once. They had free bike rentals that I could use to get to work (or just ride downtown) while they worked on my car.

  5. Brandon Nov 14, 2008 at 08:39

    Bike racks (or storage somewhere) would be a HUGE step that owners of apartment complexes/ other businesses could take — relative to the cost, they would bring a great deal of happiness to residents/ bike riders.

  6. Todd Scott Nov 25, 2008 at 12:53

    BTW, Royal Oak is getting 9 new bike racks downtown.

  7. Brandon Nov 25, 2008 at 13:23

    That’s awesome! It’s still not a solution to the problem that many people who live in an urban environment have — no place to store a bike. It would seem like people living downtown in a building with studios with little or no storage place are more likely to be bike riders than people with a big garage out back. Just something that apartment building owners should try to factor in when designing their properties.

  8. Eric Brown Nov 25, 2008 at 18:21

    You bring up an excellent point regarding bike racks. We tout ourselves as being “green” and we are doing a lot, however we do not have bike racks at any properties, that’s not good and needs rectified. Some downtown properties create more of a challenge that others because of space requirements, but we can and will do a better job at Urbane.

  9. Brandon Nov 25, 2008 at 21:44

    That’s awesome Eric — yeah, I was trying to think of where — in anywhere — they could go at the 310 W. 6th location. Probably not possible — hard enough to find room for the dumpsters and recycling…

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  11. Todd Scott Nov 26, 2008 at 18:23

    It seems to me that questions should get asked whenever a new development is proposed. Does this development encourage biking and walking. Bike storage and bike racks would answer that question. It’s in Royal Oak’s Master Plan that the city become more bikeable and walkable, so it seems these questions are certainly justified.

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