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Detroit is experiencing a watershed moment in its non-motorized connectivity. Despite the economic issues facing the city over the last several decades, an interest in revitalizing the riverfront has resulted in the Detroit RiverWalk, a major land reclamation along the Detroit River promoting highly desired public access. Another realized gem is the first phase of the Dequindre Cut greenway in an abandoned rail corridor. This corridor was known worldwide for its underground graffiti art and has become a popular destination for Detroit residents as well as visitors. In parallel with these efforts, and separate from the downtown core, Midtown Detroit, Inc., implemented the initial segments of a multiphase greenway, Midtown Loop, connecting local universities with a revitalized business core and numerous cultural destinations.

While substantial in their individual contributions, the Detroit RiverWalk, Dequindre Cut and Midtown Loop lacked a collective capacity for connectivity that could make them successful from a citywide network perspective. Master plans identified the potential to realize these connections but the funding required for implementation was far beyond any individual project budget. The Transportation Infrastructure to Generate Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program offered a way for the City of Detroit (City), in collaboration with several non-profit organizations, to realize a true paradigm shift in establishing a collective vision.



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