Sterling Heights police ride along the new bike lane on Plumbrook Road as part of a May 30 event celebrating the new amenity’s completion.

Sterling Heights police ride along the new bike lane on Plumbrook Road as part of a May 30 event celebrating the new amenity’s completion.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Plumbrook celebrated as a place to bike

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 3, 2024


STERLING HEIGHTS — A new bike lane along Plumbrook Road is promising a wheel good time for local cyclists.

During a May 21 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Engineer Brent Bashaw said the new Plumbrook bike lane, which occupies the road section between 17 Mile Road and Utica Road, is part of a pilot program.

“So the city has been reviewing a lot of our road projects over the last handful of years for attractiveness to bike lanes, and Plumbrook checked a lot of these boxes,” Bashaw said. “These bike lane projects are becoming very popular in the area, although this is our first in Sterling Heights.”

According to city officials, the Plumbrook bike lane is the result of an estimated $4.84 million project that included around 2.3 miles of roadwork that took place along the road from Utica Road to Van Dyke Avenue last year, as well as new trees, traffic signals, sidewalk and lighting.

Bashaw explained that city officials checked out and studied bike paths in Ann Arbor, Ferndale, Oak Park and Detroit. He said the new bike lane in Sterling Heights meets or exceeds federal and state safety requirements, adding that that includes a 2-foot crosshatched buffer zone, around 200 traffic delineators, and green-painted markings in sensitive areas, such as local road intersections.

“So all three of these measures are designed to increase the safety and increase the comfort level of using the bike lanes,” he said.

Bashaw said the new bike lane is in a heavily residential area and a 35 mph zone, with traffic calming measures in place. He added that it will offer easy access to nearby bike trails.

Sterling Heights police Lt. Jason Bisdorf said federal data supports the argument that bike lanes promote safety for cyclists. He said the Police Department will educate people about traffic laws and enforce those laws.

“Michigan law states that a person riding a bicycle has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, with some exceptions,” Bisdorf said.

“Basically, that means bicycles legally have the right to share the road with vehicles, regardless if there’s a bike lane or if there’s not.”

Bisdorf recommended that drivers and cyclists visit the Michigan State Police website for explanations on road safety laws and guidance.

“As this path will be the first in our city, it will be important for our department to monitor this new bike lane and make sure the motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists are safe and they take appropriate enforcement action to provide a safe environment,” he added.

Community Relations Director Melanie Davis said the new amenity fits the city’s Visioning 2040 plans and guiding principles for community safety, sustainability and connectivity.

She said the city will produce videos and embark on a public education campaign to “demystify” bike lanes and remind the public about the rules of the road regarding bicycles.

City officials were scheduled to mark the bike lane’s opening with a ribbon-cutting May 30, after press time. Police planned to hand out bike helmets at the event while supplies were still available.

Learn more about Michigan’s bicycle laws by visiting and searching for “Bicycle Laws” in the search bar. For more information about Sterling Heights, visit or call (586) 446-2489.