Spring 2019 Newsletter
Timeline Disclaimer – Please note that dates of construction are often mentioned in the news items below. It should be taken in account that these dates often change due to design changes, construction delays and other situations.
News About The Friends of the Border To Border (B2B) Trail
Upcoming Friends Of The B2B Trail Events & Outreach:
The Friends of the Border To Border Trail each year conducts information and outreach efforts to answer questions about the Trail, update the public about Trail construction and educate the public on safe bicycling and walking. Already in April the Friends has had an information table at the Washtenaw Community College (4/11) and Ypsilanti (4/14) Earth Day Festivals and is planning on also being at the following events:
Ann Arbor Earth Day – Sunday, April 28, 12pm to 4pm, Leslie Science Center - https://www.lesliesnc.org/a2earthday
Huron River Day – Sunday, May 19, 12pm to 4pm, Gallup Park in Ann Arbor - https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Huron-River-Day.aspx
Ann Arbor Green Fair – Friday, June 14, 6pm to 9pm, Main Street - https://www.a2gov.org/departments/systems-planning/planning-areas/climatesustainability/Pages/GreenFair.aspx
Oberun Run – Friday, June 21, information table from 5pm to 9pm – Benefit run for the B2B Trail at Wiards Orchard in Ypsilanti Township - http://runoberun5k-ypsi.com
If attending any of these events, please stop by the Friends table for maps, informational handouts and to have your questions answered by knowledgeable volunteers. Also, we are always in need of additional volunteers to help with the displays. New helpers are always paired with more experienced volunteers and will also receive more detailed emails about current B2B projects. If interested in helping out, contact Bob at email@example.com or call 734-487-9058. For more information on events and outreach, watch for announcements on our Facebook page and email discussion group. Details on connecting with these two sources are at the end of this newsletter.
REI B2B Bike Repair Stand Grant Update
Last year the Friends of the Border To Border Trail received a $10,000 grant from the REI Co-Op (www.rei.com) that was used to purchase seven bicycle repair stations that will be placed along the B2B Trail in 2019. Each repair stand includes bicycle tools, tire pump, air gauge, and a work rack for users to perform basic maintenance or repairs such as a replacing a flat tire. The bike repair stands, made by Dero in the USA, each cost around $1500. Each stand also has a QR code where you can bring up a video with repair instructions (www.dero.com/bike-repair). Locations for new stands include the DTE Trail parking lot along the B2B northwest of Chelsea, Mill Creek Park in Dexter, Argo Cascades in Ann Arbor (already installed), near the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, just south of the new B2B bridge across the Huron River east of downtown Ypsilanti (already installed), and Loonfeather Point Park in Ypsilanti Township. The Friends of the Border To Border Trail again sincerely thanks REI for this B2B Trail grant! Another bike repair station will be placed at the new B2B Trailhead parking area in Lyndon Township north of Chelsea, purchased with a matching grant from the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (http://huron-waterloo-pathways.org).
Oberun Benefit Run For B2B Funding
For the third year in a row, the Friends of the B2B Trail will run the beer garden at the Oberun running event on Friday, June 21st at Wiard’s Orchard in Ypsilanti Township. All funds raised from the beer garden will be donated to the Karen’s Trail program administered by the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (http://huron-waterloo- pathways.org) for Border To Border Trail construction. Lots of volunteers will be needed so watch for announcements in the coming weeks on how to help out.
Adopt A Trail Program
The Friends of the B2B Trail has an “Adopt A Trail” program in place where volunteers keep watch over an off-road section of the Trail, report problems if they see any, and do light maintenance such as picking up trash, making sure bike repair stands are in working order, or clipping vegetation growing over the Trail. In early 2019 the volunteer list was being updated to see if past volunteers wanted to continue to adopt their Trail segment. Watch for possible Adopt A Trail volunteer openings for 2019 on the Friends Facebook page, web page, and Google email discussion group (links listed at the end of this newsletter). And as always, a big Thank You to all those who agreed to adopt a Trail section for 2018. For more information on the Adopt A Trail program, visit http://www.bordertoborder.org/services.
Support The Friends Of The B2B By Becoming A Member
Membership options include $5/year for students or $25/year for a family membership, and two-year memberships at $15 for individuals and $45 for families. In addition to merchant discounts from select area bicycle, running and outdoor shops, the Friends are a federal 501c3 group so all memberships and additional donations are tax-deductible. Members can also nominate and vote for the Friends of the B2B Trail Board of Directors every November. For more membership information, including a list of merchants offering discounts to members, visit www.bordertoborder.org and click on the “Join” link at the top of the page.
Friends of the B2B Board Minutes & Agendas
To find out even more what is going on with the Friends of the B2B, Board of Directors meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and financial reports are posted on the Friends web page at www.bordertoborder.org under the “Board of Directors” link at the top of the page. Board meetings are held bi-monthly in rotating meeting locations along the B2B route. A Sincere “Thank You” To Merchants That Support The B2B Trail A big benefit of your Friends of the Border To Border Trail membership is the ability to show your Friends membership card and receive a discount at select area outdoor activity shops. A huge thank you goes out to the following merchants who support the Friends of the B2B Trail by offering discounts to members: Fourth Avenue Birkenstock, SIC Transit Cycles, Tortoise and Hare Running & Fitness Center, The Local Bike Shop A2, Tree Fort Bikes, Wheels in Motion Cycle and Fitness, and the Ypsilanti Running Company.
Border to Border and Other Trail Updates Border To Border Trail Construction Updates
The spring of 2019 has the most construction taking place at one time in the history of the Border To Border Trail.
Northwest B2B Segment
M-52 Werkner Road to Green Lake Campground This section (2.6 miles) had a grand opening in December with follow up work this spring for landscaping, tree planting and trail signage. When using this segment, please park along the Green Lake Campground access road (DNR Recreation Passport required) or in the City of Chelsea's Veteran's Park, connecting to the B2B using the wide shoulders along M-52 to Werkner Road.
Green Lake Campground to North Territorial Road at M-52 The second phase (2.1 miles) of the M-52 trail project has been submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation for bids, which are expected to be received in May. This would result in construction starting as soon as June 2019. Tree removal along the trail route was begun in January to be completed by March 31 to adhere to environmental regulations regarding Indiana Bats, Northern Long-Eared Bats, and Oak Wilt Disease. A public meeting was held in January at the Lyndon Township Hall where formal notice of work was provided. Click here for a PDF project map of this segment.
North Territorial Road at M-52 to the Washtenaw/Jackson County Border A public meeting was held in January to gather input on this 3 mile segment within the M-52 right of way. As with the Green Lake to North Territorial segment, tree removal started in February 2019 so as to be complete by March 31 in order to adhere to environmental regulations. The eventual goal is to extend the pathway to Stockbridge to meet up with the Lakeland/Great Lake-To-Lake Trail (https://tinyurl.com/GreatLtoL). For a map of this segment, click here.
Chelsea To Dexter
Freer Road to Lima Center Road Construction is currently taking place on this 2.1-mile segment, which is expected to open to the public in mid-2019. The trail is located on the south side of the railroad tracks with a project map available by clicking here.
Lima Center Road to Mill Creek Park in Dexter Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission staff and a consultant team are exploring various route options for the trail between Lima Center Road and Mill Creek Park in Dexter. A connection from Dexter-Chelsea Road to Mill Creek Park is planned near the intersection of Wylie Road and Dexte Chelsea Road. Watch for announcements of opportunities for public input about this segment.
Dexter To Ann Arbor
Huron Metropark to Zeeb Road This 1.2-mile segment is under construction and includes two pedestrian bridges over the Huron River. Construction is anticipated to be complete in fall 2019. For safety during bridge placement and related construction activities, the Huron River will have temporary closures to boat traffic. Any such closures will be posted in advance. Project funding is through a federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant (MDNR), the Washtenaw County Road and Trails Millage passed by County voters in 2016, and private donations through the Huron-Waterloo Pathways Initiative. Additional information about construction of this segment includes:
Official project page with the ability to subscribe to project updates. - Construction FAQs - Public meeting for notice of construction, held in January at the Dexter Library. - Map of the project - Statement regarding construction impacts and trees • Zeeb Road To Delhi Metropark In 2018, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission staff completed background research and environmental investigations prior to final engineering and archeological work, which is now in process. The trail is proposed on the south side of Huron River Drive before crossing the Huron River and entering into Delhi Metropark (1.8 miles total). Trees in the project area have been tagged as part of the survey process. These tree tags are for inventory purposes only and do not necessarily indicate tree removal. A public meeting was held in February 2018 to discuss the plans and alignment options and gather feedback, and a second informational public meeting was held in January 2019. Construction is planned for 2020. A map of this proposed segment is available by clicking here.
Barton Nature Area to Bandemer Park On February 26th approximately 80 people attended a public meeting for the B2B for the Barton-Bandemer Connection project in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor. This project has two components: 1) an engineering feasibility study for a proposed tunnel under the railroad tracks between Bandemer Park and Huron River Drive; an Ann Arbor To Eastern County Border
Parker Mill County Park An important link to the Border To Border Trail is the connector trail from the B2B to the recently developed paved path to the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens through Parker Mill County Park. This trail is very popular but the years have taken their toll. The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission has approved work to remove and replace all the asphalt pathway from the Parker Mill buildings to the connection with the B2B in Gallup Park. Bids for this work are due by the end of April and work could begin before the end of the year.
City of Ypsilanti
Planning and engineering work is continuing on two gaps in the Border To Border Trail within the City of Ypsilanti: in Frog Island Park to move the Trail off road next to the Huron River, and along Grove Road to move the Trail off road in a separated-from-traffic pathway on the west side of the street. Construction of these two segments is planned for 2020. Funding is from a $20,000 grant to the City of Ypsilanti along with a pledge of up to $900,000 from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission primarily from the four-year County road and trails millage approved by 71% of the voters in 2016.
Bridge Road to Rawsonville Road With the Border To Border Trail part of the cross-state Iron Belle Trail, a key to completing the B2B Trail to the eastern border of Washtenaw County at Rawsonville Road is how to connect the B2B Trail to the Iron Belle Trail in Wayne County. On April 16th , Wayne County’s Van Buren Township Board of Trustees approved a preferred route of their Iron Belle segment from Rawsonville Road to existing trail in Lower Huron Metropark. This route will go north of Ford Lake to Belleville, then east paralleling Huron River Drive to join up with the north end of Lower Huron Metropark for a total of approximately 6 miles of new trail. From Lower Huron Metropark, the Iron Belle Trail is open all the way to Lake Erie Metropark. Now that Van Buren Township has a planned Iron Belle Trail route, the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission can finalize their route at the far eastern end of Washtenaw County and start making plans to construct this new segment. For a more defined PDF map of the proposed Van Buren Township Iron Bell route, click here. For more detailed documents and maps on this project, click here. For a local newspaper article, click here.
Treeline Trail Updates
The Treeline Trail is a proposed path that follows the general course of the now underground Allen Creek through central Ann Arbor. The Treeline trail will be a non-motorized trail through downtown Ann Arbor connecting to the Border-to-Border Trail near Argo Dam. The City of Ann Arbor recently agreed to collaborate with the Treeline Conservancy to help fund, plan and build the pedestrian pathway. The Treeline Conservancy also recently purchased a property along the planned trail route near the Water Hill neighborhood and removed a dilapidated graffiti-filled shed. For more on the Treeline Trail, visit https://treelinea2.org.
Ann Arbor B2B Segment Temporary Closure
The Ann Arbor Riverside Park boardwalk portion of the Border-to-Border Trail, between Wall Street and Pontiac Trail, is temporarily close for repair as part of ongoing maintenance. Work started on Feb. 26 and is expected to be complete in May, with the specific date dependent on weather. Signs and barricades are installed to safely direct users away from the construction zone on an easy detour mostly along Wall St. The city and the Friends of the B2B ask that trail users follow the posted detour as they ride, walk, rollerblade and commute along this trail. While the temporary closure is an inconvenience to users, the replacement of the boardwalk will provide longer-term durability for the Trail. The detour map is available at https://tinyurl.com/AA-B2B-Close2019 for an alternate route. Additionally, the city bike map is available at www.a2gov.org/bike to determine other alternate routes.
St Joseph Mercy Hospital Trails
Just like there is an opening day for major league baseball, the national Rails To Trails Conservancy (https://www.railstotrails.org) has dedicated the 2nd Saturday of April as “Opening Day For Trails”. This nationwide event is meant to kick off the spring trail season by encouraging people to visit local trails for a walk, run, ride, or other special event. Participants can also visit the Rails To Trails website and register for a free raffle of outdoor equipment. With this in mind, the Friends of the B2B Trail chose to have a walk on the St. Joseph Mercy hospital trail system. (By the way, St. Joseph Mercy is a huge B2B Trail booster!) The walk on Opening Day took participants on not only a portion of the St. Joseph Mercy B2B Trail but also segments of a fitness path that was constructed when the hospital moved to its present location in the late 1970’s. The fitness path was recently restored, with new signage installed, through a grant from the Washtenaw County Health Department. The walk featured great views of the Huron River and passed by seasonal ponds that had some VERY vocal frogs. The trail system at the Hospital is worth exploring! There is a trail parking area at 5402 McCauley Drive (Google map at https://goo.gl/maps/Z31tyLr4zut). The parking area is on the north side of the road and just north of the main hospital building. For a color map of the trails at St. Joseph Mercy, click here.
Ypsilanti Water Street Shortcut
While at the present time, the Border To Border Trail is officially routed on-road in the Depot Town area and central part of Ypsilanti, when Ypsilanti B2B Trail improvements are constructed next year at Frog Island and Grove Road (see update above), the new official route will go through Riverside Park and the Water Street area. Bicyclists can sample this future route right now with this map link as a guide: www.plotaroute.com/route/814870. For eastbound cyclists, the key point is, as you are going south on Rice Street approaching Cross Street, turn right (west), cross the bridge over the Huron River on Cross Street, then make a left (south) turn into Riverside Park, along the pathway through the Park and across the new non-motorized bridge over the River at the south end of the Park. For westbound cyclists going north on Grove Road, look for the curb cut where the Water Street trail intersects Grove Road. Follow the Water Street Trail around to the crossing of Michigan Avenue, go across the Huron River on the new non-motorized bridge and travel through Riverside Park to reach Cross Street. Turn right (east) on Cross Street, then turn left on the first northbound road (Rice Street) to get back on the official B2B Trail route. Some things to keep in mind when using this Ypsilanti Water Street shortcut: • GIVE WAY TO PEDESTRIANS IN THE PARK!!! When on your bike approaching pedestrians, give plenty of room and warn them you are approaching. This warning can be a bell or calling out “Bicycle passing on your left (or right)”. Be aware that young children and dogs should be given extra wide berth as their movements can be unpredictable. • Be aware that Riverside Park can be closed for events. These include: in May- Show and Shine Car Show and VW Car Show; in June- Color Run; in July- Camaro Car Show, Elvis Fest, and Michigan Beer Festival; in August- Heritage Festival. During these events, use the official B2B on-street route (map at www.plotaroute.com/route/814934). • When crossing Michigan Avenue, use the crossing signal buttons, but be alert. When you press the crosswalk button, the stop signal for cars happens pretty quickly, but in this day of distracted driving, be very careful as it is not uncommon for some motorists to run through the stop signal.
North Zeeb Road Pathway
Scio Township continues work toward a multiuse non-motorized trail along Zeeb Road from I-94 to the B2B. One proposal advocates using the Historic Bell Road Bridge to cross the Huron River.
Border To Border Trail Featured On WEMU “Issues Of The Environment” Program
Peter Sanderson of the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission gave an on-air interview about current B2B Trail projects with WEMU News Director David Fair. You can listen to the 11-minute segment anytime at https://www.wemu.org/post/issues-environment-border-border-trail-addingseveral-new-passes-and-connections-2019
Public Input Sessions On Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission 5-Year Plan
The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission is in the process of developing a 5-Year Recreation Master Plan, which includes the B2B Trail and other non-motorized facilities. Community input is an important part of the process to ensure that the Commission is meeting the recreational needs of residents and visitors. The public is invited to attend one of the Public Meetings listed below: • Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 7pm Ypsilanti District Library-Whittaker – Community Meeting Room 5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 7pm Village of Manchester Offices - Village Room 912 City Road, Manchester, MI 48158 • Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7pm Whitmore Lake Elementary School – Cafeteria
Outreach and Advocacy News
Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission B2B Page The Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission has two web pages dedicated to B2B information: • A B2B Projects page (construction updates)- https://www.washtenaw.org/952/Border-to-BorderTrail-Projects • A B2B Information page (basic overview, with maps)- https://www.washtenaw.org/334/Border-toBorder-Trail
Michigan Trails & Greenway Alliance If you are a fan of trails (including the B2B Trail) in Michigan, please consider membership in the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, https://michigantrails.org. This organization advocates for trails throughout the state as indicated in their "Year In Review" document at https://tinyurl.com/MTGA-2018. For membership in the organization, visit https://michigantrails.org/getinvolved/join-us/
B2B Maps The official Bike Map of the City of Ann Arbor & Washtenaw County shows the B2B Trail. The map is available online at the City of Ann Arbor website by clicking here. Printed copies of the map are available at Friends of the B2B Trail Outreach Events. Also, a different series of trail maps are available on the Friends of the B2B web page “Map” link at www.bordertorborder.org.
Please “Like” Us On Facebook The Friends of the Border To Border Trail has a page on Facebook and it would be appreciated if individuals could not only “Like” us, but also encourage others to do the same. To visit the Facebook Friends page, click here. The Friends B2B Facebook page is updated weekly with news about the Trail. As of April 2019, there were close to 2200 Friends of the B2B page likes.
Join The Friends of the Border To Border Trail Discussion Group If you want to sign up for the Friends of the Border To Border Trail email discussion group, visit http://groups.google.com/group/border-to-border.
Please note that to keep out spammers, we ask one question before you can be on the list: what Michigan County the Trail is in. Friends of the Border To Border Trail www.bordertoborder.org firstname.lastname@example.org 734-487-9058 The next Friends of the B2B Newsletter will be the Summer 2019 edition out in early July.