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Community meetings set for Joe Louis Greenway planning

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The 31.5-mile bike and pedestrian loop will connect neighborhoods throughout the city

Rendering of a pedestrian pathway lined with trees that crosses over a highway. Courtesy of the City of Detroit

Over the next few years, a 31.5-mile bike and pedestrian greenway will connect many neighborhoods in the city, including Highland Park and Hamtramck. Named after boxing legend Joe Louis, the greenway will include existing paths and bike lanes, along with new greenways.

Courtesy of the City of Detroit

This Saturday, January 19, two community meetings are scheduled at Palmer Park so residents can learn more about the design process and provide input to the city. The meetings will be at the Palmer Park Community Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2-4 p.m.

The trail will use existing trails like the Dequindre Cut and the Riverwalk, along with land acquired by the city in recent years. Parts of the greenway will “touch” neighbors Ferndale and Dearborn and some of the trail will be a part of the upcoming statewide Iron Belle Trail.

Courtesy of the City of Detroit

Officials hope to finalize the greenway plan in early 2020. Also taken into consideration will be how the greenway will work with various infrastructure, parks, and modes of transportation, including the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the Iron Belle Trail, and bus systems DDOT and SMART.

Two design firms—Spackman Mossop and Michaels, LLC and SmithGroup, Inc.—will be on hand at the meeting to present their plans. One firm will be chosen to lead the project by the end of the month. According to a press release, the chosen design firm will,

review existing conditions of the path, determine alignment and access points, develop a phasing and implementation plan, incorporate effective stormwater management techniques, and create a signature greenway connected to local arts, culture, and history.

Tributes including murals and art installations could honor Joe Louis throughout the trail.

The community is encouraged to attend one of the meetings, share thoughts on the plans, and ask questions. An RSVP is suggested.

Construction of the remainder of the trail is expected to start in 2020.