City rolls out new bike share program and bike path

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published August 2, 2017

 Claire Nowak-Boyd, of the Southfield Planning Department, informs residents July 26 of the crowdfunding campaign to purchase the public art installation, called Red Pole Park.

Claire Nowak-Boyd, of the Southfield Planning Department, informs residents July 26 of the crowdfunding campaign to purchase the public art installation, called Red Pole Park.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — It’s been in the works for months, but Southfielders can finally strap on their helmets and hop on their bikes as part of a new citywide bike share program. 

City officials launched the program July 26, in addition to unveiling a new bike path along Northwestern Highway in the Southfield City Centre. 

At an April 17 meeting, the Southfield City Council unanimously approved a donation of a bike share from the Southfield City Centre Advisory Board. 

A bike share is a transportation program that provides bicycles for users to pick up at self-serve stations and return to any other bike stations within the system’s service area. 

City Planner Terry Croad said previously that the City Centre Advisory Board will sponsor a one-year trial period for bike shares at multiple locations throughout the city. 

In addition, officials from the city and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced a crowdfunding campaign June 6 aimed at creating a new, interactive public art destination. 

Called Red Pole Park, the installation would be located along the new walking and biking pathway along Northwestern Highway. 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by Aug. 4, the project will earn a matching grant from the MEDC’s Public Spaces, Community Places program. As of July 26, Mayor Ken Siver said around $41,000 had been raised. 

Siver and Croad, along with other city officials and representatives of Lawrence Technological University, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new bike path to launch the bike share program.

“We have this path, and you’ll notice that it’s wide. That is because we’re encouraging walking and riding,” Siver said. “As you move along the path, you’re going to have a different visual experience, so it’s not just a city sidewalk.”

Croad, sporting a lime green bike helmet, said the program will continue to help strengthen the relationship between Southfield and LTU. 

“This is a culmination of multiple years of work. It takes a whole community and partnership — public and private — in order to get something like this today to happen. The fact that we’re cutting a ribbon to dedicate the pathway and we have plans to build the pathway up and down Northwestern and tie in with Lawrence Tech and build our ‘town and gown’ relationship … this is a very proud day.”

Public Spaces, Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity — a Michigan-based crowdfunding platform — according to city officials. In the program, residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of projects in their communities. 

The new walkway, which officials have dubbed a “greenway,” will include a series of outdoor “rooms,” or installations, that pedestrians will experience when using the path. If funded, Red Pole Park will be the first “room” on the path. 

Croad said previously that the park would be much like an art exhibit, and it would be made up of 25- to 30-foot poles painted red. Croad said the poles would look different from different angles. 

In total, each bike will cost the City Centre around $1,800. The cost includes the bikes, maintenance, insurance, promotional material and monitoring of the bikes, Croad said previously. 

To use the bikes, residents must download an app called Zagster. The app will access the user’s location to find the bike share nearest to him or her. To use the bikes, people will have a choice between a $2-per-hour service charge or $20 per month. Users will be able to unlock a bike in the Zagster app and can drop off the bike at any bike share location, locking it back up with the app. 

For project details or to donate, go to www.patronicity.com/redpolepark.


The bike share stations include:

• Lawrence Technological University’s University Technology and Learning Center, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road.

• Lawrence Technological University’s Don Ridler Field House, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road.

• The Southfield Municipal Campus South Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

• Southfield Sports Arena, 26000 Evergreen Road.

• Marriott & Courtyard by Marriott, 27033 Northwestern Highway.

• The 3000 Town Center South building, 3000 Town Center.

• City Centre II, 25200 Evergreen Road.

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