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11 blogs
  • 22 May 2017
    Troy Times, Terry Oparka ― The Troy trails and pathways program will move forward as work continues on the first segment. The first segment will begin at Troy City Hall, on Big Beaver Road, and will proceed north on Livernois Road through the new P. Terry and Barbara Knight Park, then along Wattles, ending at Livernois Road. Troy's city council unanimously approved the $157 million 2017-18 and three-year city budget May 8, which includes stipends of $750,000 each year for the Troy trails and pathways program. The plan for a non-motorized pathway throughout the city stalled in 2015 when the state withdrew a $600,000 grant for a proposed trails and pathways system when residents in the Hills of Charnwood subdivision, located west of Coolidge Highway and north of Square Lake Road, objected to the pathway going through their subdivision. The plan aims to connect the trails and pathways along major roadways to "nodes" — identified in that plan as parks, city destinations such as the Troy Historical Museum and the Stage Nature Center, and places of worship. These nodes are different than the neighborhood nodes defined in the city’s current master plan. Read the full article @ Troy Times, C&G News
    58 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Troy Times, Terry Oparka ― The Troy trails and pathways program will move forward as work continues on the first segment. The first segment will begin at Troy City Hall, on Big Beaver Road, and will proceed north on Livernois Road through the new P. Terry and Barbara Knight Park, then along Wattles, ending at Livernois Road. Troy's city council unanimously approved the $157 million 2017-18 and three-year city budget May 8, which includes stipends of $750,000 each year for the Troy trails and pathways program. The plan for a non-motorized pathway throughout the city stalled in 2015 when the state withdrew a $600,000 grant for a proposed trails and pathways system when residents in the Hills of Charnwood subdivision, located west of Coolidge Highway and north of Square Lake Road, objected to the pathway going through their subdivision. The plan aims to connect the trails and pathways along major roadways to "nodes" — identified in that plan as parks, city destinations such as the Troy Historical Museum and the Stage Nature Center, and places of worship. These nodes are different than the neighborhood nodes defined in the city’s current master plan. Read the full article @ Troy Times, C&G News
    May 22, 2017 58
  • 09 May 2017
    MLive.com, Amy Biolchini Grand Rapids city officials are working to make sure the next generation of motorists understand local bicycle safety laws. The city's education materials on local laws are being included in the curriculum at 11 driver's education schools in West Michigan in 2017, officials announced Monday May 8th. "It's vital to help new student-drivers grow their understanding of the proper interactions and responsibilities between motorists and bicyclists in traffic, as well as to help Grand Rapids build a culture of mutual respect between bicyclists and motorists that, ultimately, reduces crashes," said the city's Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull of the driver's education schools. City officials are hoping educating new drivers about local laws - especially the city's five-foot passing rule for bicycles - will help reduce future crashes. Grand Rapids passed a law in 2015 to that requires drivers keep at least five feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist they are passing. Bicyclists in Grand Rapids are also required to have a white light on the front of their bike and red reflector or light on the back of their bike if riding at night. The lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet, or the length of a city block. Kalamazoo adopted a similar five-foot law in September 2016, and Ann Arbor followed suit in December 2016. This year, Grand Rapids law enforcement officials are focusing their efforts on the danger that comes with bicyclists riding on the sidewalk - a practice that's illegal in most parts of downtown Grand Rapids. Police say bicyclists are more visible when they ride in the street with the flow of traffic, as opposed to riding on the sidewalks or against the flow of traffic.
    58 Posted by Systems Admin
  • MLive.com, Amy Biolchini Grand Rapids city officials are working to make sure the next generation of motorists understand local bicycle safety laws. The city's education materials on local laws are being included in the curriculum at 11 driver's education schools in West Michigan in 2017, officials announced Monday May 8th. "It's vital to help new student-drivers grow their understanding of the proper interactions and responsibilities between motorists and bicyclists in traffic, as well as to help Grand Rapids build a culture of mutual respect between bicyclists and motorists that, ultimately, reduces crashes," said the city's Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull of the driver's education schools. City officials are hoping educating new drivers about local laws - especially the city's five-foot passing rule for bicycles - will help reduce future crashes. Grand Rapids passed a law in 2015 to that requires drivers keep at least five feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist they are passing. Bicyclists in Grand Rapids are also required to have a white light on the front of their bike and red reflector or light on the back of their bike if riding at night. The lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet, or the length of a city block. Kalamazoo adopted a similar five-foot law in September 2016, and Ann Arbor followed suit in December 2016. This year, Grand Rapids law enforcement officials are focusing their efforts on the danger that comes with bicyclists riding on the sidewalk - a practice that's illegal in most parts of downtown Grand Rapids. Police say bicyclists are more visible when they ride in the street with the flow of traffic, as opposed to riding on the sidewalks or against the flow of traffic.
    May 09, 2017 58
  • 06 May 2017
    Business Insider, Matthew DeBord ― When I learned to drive, cars were pretty easy to understand: they ran on gas, which was fairly cheap, and they had radios.  Other transportation options were limited to boats, buses, trains, planes, and motorcycles. If you lived in a big city, you got around using mass transit and your feet. Fast forward a few decades and the types of transportation are essentially the same, but the automobile has been radically remade by technology and the auto industry is being roiled by everything from electric vehicles and self-driving cars to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The biggest change to air travel has been the cost, which has come way down since I was 16. Obviously, I cover transportation and have had a front-row seat for the last decade as a deluge of change has arrived. You might think that if I were to look back, I'd say that the electric car is the biggest change I've seen. Tesla is a $50-billion-market-cap company after all — larger by that measure that Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles! But you'd be wrong. By far the biggest transportation change I've seen is the explosion in bicycle riding. I lived away from the New York area over a decade ago, and while I rode a bike when I lived in NYC, I was unprepared for the proliferation of bikes on my return. Bikes, bikes, everywhere Bike-sharing schemes like CitiBike have two-wheeled conveyances scattered throughout Manhattan. And although everybody in the 1990s got used to dodging bike messengers, nowadays we dodge commuters — or folks who just want to ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are bike lanes everywhere — and bike-oriented traffic signals. People ride their bikes year round, rain, shine, sleet, or snow.  I feel as if there are now as many bike shops as there once were Greek coffee shops and dive bars.  This change isn't limited to New York. Cycling has boomed in many other American cities. Whole new genres of bicycles have arrived: bikes with electric-assist motors, bikes with extra carrying capacity (the SUVs of bikes), sleek fixies, fat-tired cruisers, throwback hybrid bikes. This has quietly become a big deal. Whereas 20 years ago, you took your life into your own hands if you tried to ride from New York's Upper East Side to Midtown, these days a vast flotilla of bikes has been integrated into the city's transportation ecosystem. "More than three-quarters of a million New Yorkers ride a bike regularly—250,000 more than just five years ago." the NYC Department of Transportation said in its "Cycling in the City" report. It is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken 15 years ago." Honestly, I didn't see this coming, but I'm glad it did. Some changes on transportation are disorienting. But this one is welcome.
    80 Posted by Systems Admin
  • Business Insider, Matthew DeBord ― When I learned to drive, cars were pretty easy to understand: they ran on gas, which was fairly cheap, and they had radios.  Other transportation options were limited to boats, buses, trains, planes, and motorcycles. If you lived in a big city, you got around using mass transit and your feet. Fast forward a few decades and the types of transportation are essentially the same, but the automobile has been radically remade by technology and the auto industry is being roiled by everything from electric vehicles and self-driving cars to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The biggest change to air travel has been the cost, which has come way down since I was 16. Obviously, I cover transportation and have had a front-row seat for the last decade as a deluge of change has arrived. You might think that if I were to look back, I'd say that the electric car is the biggest change I've seen. Tesla is a $50-billion-market-cap company after all — larger by that measure that Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles! But you'd be wrong. By far the biggest transportation change I've seen is the explosion in bicycle riding. I lived away from the New York area over a decade ago, and while I rode a bike when I lived in NYC, I was unprepared for the proliferation of bikes on my return. Bikes, bikes, everywhere Bike-sharing schemes like CitiBike have two-wheeled conveyances scattered throughout Manhattan. And although everybody in the 1990s got used to dodging bike messengers, nowadays we dodge commuters — or folks who just want to ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are bike lanes everywhere — and bike-oriented traffic signals. People ride their bikes year round, rain, shine, sleet, or snow.  I feel as if there are now as many bike shops as there once were Greek coffee shops and dive bars.  This change isn't limited to New York. Cycling has boomed in many other American cities. Whole new genres of bicycles have arrived: bikes with electric-assist motors, bikes with extra carrying capacity (the SUVs of bikes), sleek fixies, fat-tired cruisers, throwback hybrid bikes. This has quietly become a big deal. Whereas 20 years ago, you took your life into your own hands if you tried to ride from New York's Upper East Side to Midtown, these days a vast flotilla of bikes has been integrated into the city's transportation ecosystem. "More than three-quarters of a million New Yorkers ride a bike regularly—250,000 more than just five years ago." the NYC Department of Transportation said in its "Cycling in the City" report. It is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken 15 years ago." Honestly, I didn't see this coming, but I'm glad it did. Some changes on transportation are disorienting. But this one is welcome.
    May 06, 2017 80
  • 02 May 2017
    Detroit Bike Share, an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DPP), in collaboration with the City of Detroit, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), and Health Alliance Plan (HAP) announced today Detroit’s first public bike share system will be named MoGo. "We are thrilled to introduce Detroit to MoGo,” says Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of MoGo, Detroit Bike Share. “Today’s announcement continues the city’s mobility evolution, providing Detroiters and visitors alike with more accessible options to move around the city." In May, MoGo will offer 430 bikes at 43 stations throughout 10 neighborhoods. Pass and pricing options include a daily pass and unlimited 30-minute trips for $8 per day, a monthly pass for $18, and an $80-per-year annual pass that gives riders the option to pay the total upfront or $8 per month, and offers unlimited 30-minute trips for a full year. "Bike share has been proven to be an invaluable addition to public transit in cities across the country," says Dan Dirks, director of the Detroit Department of Transportation. "We are very excited about this addition to Detroit’s transit system and look forward to its success." MoGo’s 10,000-square foot warehouse, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, currently houses 18 seasonal and permanent employees. More information can be found on MoGo’s website.
    58 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Detroit Bike Share, an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DPP), in collaboration with the City of Detroit, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), and Health Alliance Plan (HAP) announced today Detroit’s first public bike share system will be named MoGo. "We are thrilled to introduce Detroit to MoGo,” says Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of MoGo, Detroit Bike Share. “Today’s announcement continues the city’s mobility evolution, providing Detroiters and visitors alike with more accessible options to move around the city." In May, MoGo will offer 430 bikes at 43 stations throughout 10 neighborhoods. Pass and pricing options include a daily pass and unlimited 30-minute trips for $8 per day, a monthly pass for $18, and an $80-per-year annual pass that gives riders the option to pay the total upfront or $8 per month, and offers unlimited 30-minute trips for a full year. "Bike share has been proven to be an invaluable addition to public transit in cities across the country," says Dan Dirks, director of the Detroit Department of Transportation. "We are very excited about this addition to Detroit’s transit system and look forward to its success." MoGo’s 10,000-square foot warehouse, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, currently houses 18 seasonal and permanent employees. More information can be found on MoGo’s website.
    May 02, 2017 58
  • 24 Apr 2017
    LMB.com — The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is thrilled to announce a new Micro-Grant Program. The Micro-Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations that are activly implementing and driving creative projects that promote bicycling and safety for cyclists on the Michigan transit landscape. Micro-Grant funds will be awarded annually in May in celebration of National Bike Month. Grants range from $200 to $2000. The Micro-Grants are small by design in order to support innovation and encourage groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards development. Micro-Grant funds can be used to support start-up projects or to help existing efforts reach their next milestone. The application and reporting processes are designed to be short, simple, and unintimidating. In 2017, LMB will grant up to $12,000 in Micro-Grants. The Micro-Grants are funded by the proceeds of LMB Tours. Micro-grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Individuals, clubs, or other entities without an official 501(c)(3) designation will be considered if accompanied by a fiscal sponsorship agreement with an established nonprofit. Grant applications from LMB members are given highest priority. If you or your organization are not currently a member, please consider joining in conjunction with your application or at www.LMB.org/join. How To Apply: To apply, please download and complete a LMB Micro-Grant Application. Completed applications must be forwarded via email to aneta@LMB.org with a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter or fiscal sponsorship agreement letter. Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email. Grant applications will be accepted until May 5th, 2017. Micro-Grant awardees will be notified by May 12. Micro-Grant funds will be distributed at a ceremony during LMB’s Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24th at the State Capitol. Read More about the Grant Opportunity @ LMB.org
    41 Posted by Systems Admin
  • LMB.com — The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is thrilled to announce a new Micro-Grant Program. The Micro-Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations that are activly implementing and driving creative projects that promote bicycling and safety for cyclists on the Michigan transit landscape. Micro-Grant funds will be awarded annually in May in celebration of National Bike Month. Grants range from $200 to $2000. The Micro-Grants are small by design in order to support innovation and encourage groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards development. Micro-Grant funds can be used to support start-up projects or to help existing efforts reach their next milestone. The application and reporting processes are designed to be short, simple, and unintimidating. In 2017, LMB will grant up to $12,000 in Micro-Grants. The Micro-Grants are funded by the proceeds of LMB Tours. Micro-grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Individuals, clubs, or other entities without an official 501(c)(3) designation will be considered if accompanied by a fiscal sponsorship agreement with an established nonprofit. Grant applications from LMB members are given highest priority. If you or your organization are not currently a member, please consider joining in conjunction with your application or at www.LMB.org/join. How To Apply: To apply, please download and complete a LMB Micro-Grant Application. Completed applications must be forwarded via email to aneta@LMB.org with a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter or fiscal sponsorship agreement letter. Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email. Grant applications will be accepted until May 5th, 2017. Micro-Grant awardees will be notified by May 12. Micro-Grant funds will be distributed at a ceremony during LMB’s Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24th at the State Capitol. Read More about the Grant Opportunity @ LMB.org
    Apr 24, 2017 41
  • 01 Apr 2017
    IndustryWeek.com ― After decades of off-shoring and outsourcing established big name bike brands to other countries, the American made industry is now bringing the art of bicycle manufacturing back into the United States. This is happening as oversea trading costs continue to rise and as companies are now realizing the value of local win-win business models. A sign of things to come This shift is happening across the entire spectrum of cycling, from high-end boutique racing bikes, to 3-wheeled trikes, to high-volume manufacturing & assembly; dedicated American biking entrepreneurs are now beginning to reshore bike production into the United States. There is a perfect convergence of factors is happening in the United States these days; rising offshore trading costs, young entrepreneurs seeking bicycle-driven win-win business models, there’s a huge increase of people seeking healthier lifestyle choices, there’s a growing popularity of urban biking with biking-infrastructure interest taking root across the nation like never before, and there’s a new-found patriotism for more robust local biking-driven economies and it’s happening everywhere you look. Domestic production The outsourcing began sometime in the 1980s when Schwinn began shifting its manufacturing to Asia in an effort to take advantage of low working wages; other high-volume manufacturers like Huffy and Trek soon began to follow. By 2015 only 2.5% of the estimated 12.6 million bikes (not including kid’s bikes) that were sold in the U.S. were made in America. In 1990 the United States was one of the top five highest producing bike manufacturing countries on the planet at around 5.5 million units per year. As more outsourcing occurred, the bike production decreased to around 200k. But in 2015 the trend-line began to swiftly take a new direction. In 2015 when offshore wages began to increase, bike manufacturers started to rethink their offshore manufacturing and their material source decisions. Driven by the increasing offshore costs, the savings in automation, and the benefits of having “Made in USA” branding, reshoring bike manufacturing in the states began to make really good sense. Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) a Division of Kent International Arnold Kamler’s family had been in the bicycle business for a century when, in 1991, he regretfully shuttered his New Jersey bicycle plant, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA), and moved all of their production offshore. The USA factory had been producing 30% of their bicycles. However, offshore costs began rising enough to make Kamler, now the chairman and CEO of Kent International, begin to consider reshoring some bike manufacturing to the U.S. In 2008, Arnold said, “It was a perfect storm. You had steel, aluminum, oil, plastics, ocean freight and currency – everything at one time going up. I spent about six weeks traveling all over Asia, asking myself, ‘If not China, then where?’ The answer seemed to be nowhere for bicycles. The idea in the back of my mind was that maybe one day we could do it here in the U.S.” Then, in March 2013, at the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Suppliers Summit for the Walmart 'Made in America' initiative, Arnold met with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and began discussing the possibility of Kent opening a factory in South Carolina, but the numbers had to make sense. With an annual employee turnover rate of 120% at his Shanghai factory and offshore costs soaring, Kamler turned to innovation and automation to close the total cost gap and return work to the U.S. It would take innovative ideas like thousands of feet of overhead conveyors, the latest wheel-building equipment and other process improvements for the reshoring transition to make economic sense. Kamler’s multi-dimensional approach also included a guarantee from Gov. Haley that Kent’s energy needs and training requirements would be filled. Today, Kent International, Inc. is a high-volume, mass-market bike supplier to Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target and other retailers. This year they will roll out approximately 350,000 bikes produced in the Manning, S.C. factory, operating with 115 employees and assembling bikes at a rate that would require twice as many workers offshore. Kent has no plans to stop importing and proudly proclaims that they are not trying to reshore their business, they are trying to reshore their competitors’ business. He explained, “We sold 49% of our company to our major bicycle supplier from China in 2010.  When we decided to go forward with our USA production, I pledged to them that the idea was not to replace our import bikes with USA bikes but instead to try to continue to grow our import business and by growing our USA business, this would be stealing market share from other importers.” Americans want to buy more “Made in USA” products American made, locally sourced preference can be an important cornerstone for bringing U.S. manufacturing jobs back home. Recent consumer preference surveys, show there is a definitive preference for American-made goods: 97% have a positive view of the goods manufactured in the U.S. Americans on the whole believe it is important to manufacture in the U.S., and think it is wise to take steps to support American manufacturing, particularly bicycle manufacturing. The Motor City Turns to Bike City In the past several years at least seven bike brands have chosen Detroit as the place to manufacture and assemble bikes. Some brands are classically inspired handcrafted bikes like the Detroit Bicycle Company, some are super cool unique trail bikes like the Slingshot Bikes brand. A local Detroit firefighter founded the locally sourced 313 Bicycle Works. The fancy baggage suitcase and watch maker, Shinola, is now assembling high-end commuter bikes in their Detroit location with forks and frames coming from their partner, Waterford Precision Cycles. Detroit’s largest bike manufacturer Detroit Bikes has plans to produce as many as 50,000 bikes this year; they also won a high-stakes bid with the city that will produce bikes for the new Detroit Bike Sharing Program. Detroit Bikes Wins Bike Sharing Contract When Detroit Bikes first opened the doors in 2013, a lot of people “thought it was really goofy,” says founder Zak Pashak, who chose Detroit because it was “a good spot for urban revitalization to take hold.” Despite the fact that bicycle manufacturing had been disappearing as bike companies followed each other offshore to low cost countries, Pashak, a Canadian transplant, was fascinated with Detroit from childhood through popular TV shows and wanted to be part of its economic rebound. He thought a basic bike, perfect for urban areas, might have potential in the U.S. market. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Production began slowly until Pashak got his first big order from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. The company was having trouble finding a U.S.-made bike. Pashak won the 2,500 bike order and was on his way. In the spring of 2016 Pashak won a contract with Motivate, a company that runs bike-sharing programs in 12 metro areas, and uses Detroit Bikes’ assembled bicycles in New York, Boston, and Jersey City. A domestically produced bike gave Motivate a pivotal negotiating advantage when dealing with city governments, yet until finding Detroit Bikes, they struggled to find a U.S. manufacturer that could handle the quantity and specifications they needed. The bikes are assembled in Detroit but the aluminum frames come from Asia. However, Detroit Bikes makes the wheels in-house because they are expensive to transport. According to Motivate’s CEO Jay Walder, manufacturing the wheels domestically enabled the company to reduce the number of shipping containers by two-thirds. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Ford Rolls Into the San Francisco Area on a “New” Mode of Transportation In an effort to rework their business strategy for a future where fewer people own cars and shared transportation is commonplace, Ford recently announced it would be collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate in San Francisco. “Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion, a growing middle class and environmental issues,” says Jim Hackett, head of the new Ford Smart Mobility unit. “By expanding our business model to include new forms of transportation -- from bikes to dynamic shuttles and more -- we are introducing new customers to Ford and creating new revenue and profit opportunities for the future.” Ford and Motivate are working to add new stations across the Bay Area and expect to expand the network by 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018. Read the Full Article @ IndustryWeekly.com Trunicated and edited, original article by Harry Moser @ IndustryWeek.com
    240 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • IndustryWeek.com ― After decades of off-shoring and outsourcing established big name bike brands to other countries, the American made industry is now bringing the art of bicycle manufacturing back into the United States. This is happening as oversea trading costs continue to rise and as companies are now realizing the value of local win-win business models. A sign of things to come This shift is happening across the entire spectrum of cycling, from high-end boutique racing bikes, to 3-wheeled trikes, to high-volume manufacturing & assembly; dedicated American biking entrepreneurs are now beginning to reshore bike production into the United States. There is a perfect convergence of factors is happening in the United States these days; rising offshore trading costs, young entrepreneurs seeking bicycle-driven win-win business models, there’s a huge increase of people seeking healthier lifestyle choices, there’s a growing popularity of urban biking with biking-infrastructure interest taking root across the nation like never before, and there’s a new-found patriotism for more robust local biking-driven economies and it’s happening everywhere you look. Domestic production The outsourcing began sometime in the 1980s when Schwinn began shifting its manufacturing to Asia in an effort to take advantage of low working wages; other high-volume manufacturers like Huffy and Trek soon began to follow. By 2015 only 2.5% of the estimated 12.6 million bikes (not including kid’s bikes) that were sold in the U.S. were made in America. In 1990 the United States was one of the top five highest producing bike manufacturing countries on the planet at around 5.5 million units per year. As more outsourcing occurred, the bike production decreased to around 200k. But in 2015 the trend-line began to swiftly take a new direction. In 2015 when offshore wages began to increase, bike manufacturers started to rethink their offshore manufacturing and their material source decisions. Driven by the increasing offshore costs, the savings in automation, and the benefits of having “Made in USA” branding, reshoring bike manufacturing in the states began to make really good sense. Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) a Division of Kent International Arnold Kamler’s family had been in the bicycle business for a century when, in 1991, he regretfully shuttered his New Jersey bicycle plant, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA), and moved all of their production offshore. The USA factory had been producing 30% of their bicycles. However, offshore costs began rising enough to make Kamler, now the chairman and CEO of Kent International, begin to consider reshoring some bike manufacturing to the U.S. In 2008, Arnold said, “It was a perfect storm. You had steel, aluminum, oil, plastics, ocean freight and currency – everything at one time going up. I spent about six weeks traveling all over Asia, asking myself, ‘If not China, then where?’ The answer seemed to be nowhere for bicycles. The idea in the back of my mind was that maybe one day we could do it here in the U.S.” Then, in March 2013, at the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Suppliers Summit for the Walmart 'Made in America' initiative, Arnold met with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and began discussing the possibility of Kent opening a factory in South Carolina, but the numbers had to make sense. With an annual employee turnover rate of 120% at his Shanghai factory and offshore costs soaring, Kamler turned to innovation and automation to close the total cost gap and return work to the U.S. It would take innovative ideas like thousands of feet of overhead conveyors, the latest wheel-building equipment and other process improvements for the reshoring transition to make economic sense. Kamler’s multi-dimensional approach also included a guarantee from Gov. Haley that Kent’s energy needs and training requirements would be filled. Today, Kent International, Inc. is a high-volume, mass-market bike supplier to Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target and other retailers. This year they will roll out approximately 350,000 bikes produced in the Manning, S.C. factory, operating with 115 employees and assembling bikes at a rate that would require twice as many workers offshore. Kent has no plans to stop importing and proudly proclaims that they are not trying to reshore their business, they are trying to reshore their competitors’ business. He explained, “We sold 49% of our company to our major bicycle supplier from China in 2010.  When we decided to go forward with our USA production, I pledged to them that the idea was not to replace our import bikes with USA bikes but instead to try to continue to grow our import business and by growing our USA business, this would be stealing market share from other importers.” Americans want to buy more “Made in USA” products American made, locally sourced preference can be an important cornerstone for bringing U.S. manufacturing jobs back home. Recent consumer preference surveys, show there is a definitive preference for American-made goods: 97% have a positive view of the goods manufactured in the U.S. Americans on the whole believe it is important to manufacture in the U.S., and think it is wise to take steps to support American manufacturing, particularly bicycle manufacturing. The Motor City Turns to Bike City In the past several years at least seven bike brands have chosen Detroit as the place to manufacture and assemble bikes. Some brands are classically inspired handcrafted bikes like the Detroit Bicycle Company, some are super cool unique trail bikes like the Slingshot Bikes brand. A local Detroit firefighter founded the locally sourced 313 Bicycle Works. The fancy baggage suitcase and watch maker, Shinola, is now assembling high-end commuter bikes in their Detroit location with forks and frames coming from their partner, Waterford Precision Cycles. Detroit’s largest bike manufacturer Detroit Bikes has plans to produce as many as 50,000 bikes this year; they also won a high-stakes bid with the city that will produce bikes for the new Detroit Bike Sharing Program. Detroit Bikes Wins Bike Sharing Contract When Detroit Bikes first opened the doors in 2013, a lot of people “thought it was really goofy,” says founder Zak Pashak, who chose Detroit because it was “a good spot for urban revitalization to take hold.” Despite the fact that bicycle manufacturing had been disappearing as bike companies followed each other offshore to low cost countries, Pashak, a Canadian transplant, was fascinated with Detroit from childhood through popular TV shows and wanted to be part of its economic rebound. He thought a basic bike, perfect for urban areas, might have potential in the U.S. market. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Production began slowly until Pashak got his first big order from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. The company was having trouble finding a U.S.-made bike. Pashak won the 2,500 bike order and was on his way. In the spring of 2016 Pashak won a contract with Motivate, a company that runs bike-sharing programs in 12 metro areas, and uses Detroit Bikes’ assembled bicycles in New York, Boston, and Jersey City. A domestically produced bike gave Motivate a pivotal negotiating advantage when dealing with city governments, yet until finding Detroit Bikes, they struggled to find a U.S. manufacturer that could handle the quantity and specifications they needed. The bikes are assembled in Detroit but the aluminum frames come from Asia. However, Detroit Bikes makes the wheels in-house because they are expensive to transport. According to Motivate’s CEO Jay Walder, manufacturing the wheels domestically enabled the company to reduce the number of shipping containers by two-thirds. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Ford Rolls Into the San Francisco Area on a “New” Mode of Transportation In an effort to rework their business strategy for a future where fewer people own cars and shared transportation is commonplace, Ford recently announced it would be collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate in San Francisco. “Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion, a growing middle class and environmental issues,” says Jim Hackett, head of the new Ford Smart Mobility unit. “By expanding our business model to include new forms of transportation -- from bikes to dynamic shuttles and more -- we are introducing new customers to Ford and creating new revenue and profit opportunities for the future.” Ford and Motivate are working to add new stations across the Bay Area and expect to expand the network by 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018. Read the Full Article @ IndustryWeekly.com Trunicated and edited, original article by Harry Moser @ IndustryWeek.com
    Apr 01, 2017 240
  • 07 Mar 2017
    A new plan by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy calls for the creation of two new pathways to the river similar to the Dequindre Cut. The project plans to expand the decade long transformation of the riverfront district from an industrial sector to public, recreational-use center, which will spur new people-friendly developments in the district. The framework plan also envisions added preservation of about 8 acres of land for public use, particularly from Atwater Street south to the river, and Stroh River Place and Rivard Plaza; an eastward expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk; safety improvements along East Jefferson Avenue. The Joseph Campau Greenway plans to run from East Vernor Highway south to the river, while the Beltline Greenway, between Belleview and Beaufait streets, runs from Kercheval Street to the river. Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, said that the construction on the nearly 2-mile Joseph Campau Greenway is expected to begin next year, while the 1.5-mile Beltline Greenway should begin construction toward the end of this year or early into next year. Three sites previously expected to be privately developed are now planned for public use. The property was previously planned as a site for former mayor Dave Bing's  $60 million Watermark residential development. A groundbreaking is expected this year on the promenade linking the Detroit RiverWalk from Mt. Elliott Park to the Douglas MacArthur Bridge running along the Uniroyal Tire Co. site. In addition to the new pathways, things like improved crosswalks and new bike lanes are expected as part of the plan. The overall improvement program is expected to be jointly funded by the conservancy of Detroit and the Economic Development Corp. The total cost of the improvements was not available. Source: Crains Detroit
    167 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • A new plan by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy calls for the creation of two new pathways to the river similar to the Dequindre Cut. The project plans to expand the decade long transformation of the riverfront district from an industrial sector to public, recreational-use center, which will spur new people-friendly developments in the district. The framework plan also envisions added preservation of about 8 acres of land for public use, particularly from Atwater Street south to the river, and Stroh River Place and Rivard Plaza; an eastward expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk; safety improvements along East Jefferson Avenue. The Joseph Campau Greenway plans to run from East Vernor Highway south to the river, while the Beltline Greenway, between Belleview and Beaufait streets, runs from Kercheval Street to the river. Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, said that the construction on the nearly 2-mile Joseph Campau Greenway is expected to begin next year, while the 1.5-mile Beltline Greenway should begin construction toward the end of this year or early into next year. Three sites previously expected to be privately developed are now planned for public use. The property was previously planned as a site for former mayor Dave Bing's  $60 million Watermark residential development. A groundbreaking is expected this year on the promenade linking the Detroit RiverWalk from Mt. Elliott Park to the Douglas MacArthur Bridge running along the Uniroyal Tire Co. site. In addition to the new pathways, things like improved crosswalks and new bike lanes are expected as part of the plan. The overall improvement program is expected to be jointly funded by the conservancy of Detroit and the Economic Development Corp. The total cost of the improvements was not available. Source: Crains Detroit
    Mar 07, 2017 167
  • 04 Mar 2017
    The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) recently announced that pedestrian foot-paths and protected bike lanes will be included on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The 12-foot-wide path will be on the east side of the bridge with concrete barriers separating pedestrians and cyclists from motorists, the lanes will accommodate two-way traffic for pedestrians and cyclists, and the routes will connect to local throughfares. "Today's announcement is an example of how WDBA responds to opportunities our communities bring to our attention," said Dwight Duncan, chair of the bridge authority. "We have heard you loud and clear that the ability to cross the Gordie Howe International Bridge by bike or by foot is important to you. They say that a vision needs a plan, otherwise it's a dream and I am pleased to say that dreams do come true. The integration of a multi-use path will benefit the communities, as it will support active transportation, a healthy lifestyle as well as enhance cycle tourism across the border." Canada plans to cover the cost of the $2.1 billion bridge, plus a $250 million customs plaza on the U.S. side. Michigan's share of the cost is to be repaid in the form of toll collections. No word on toll prices or restrictions for cyclists and pedestrians.  (Source MLive.com)
    103 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) recently announced that pedestrian foot-paths and protected bike lanes will be included on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The 12-foot-wide path will be on the east side of the bridge with concrete barriers separating pedestrians and cyclists from motorists, the lanes will accommodate two-way traffic for pedestrians and cyclists, and the routes will connect to local throughfares. "Today's announcement is an example of how WDBA responds to opportunities our communities bring to our attention," said Dwight Duncan, chair of the bridge authority. "We have heard you loud and clear that the ability to cross the Gordie Howe International Bridge by bike or by foot is important to you. They say that a vision needs a plan, otherwise it's a dream and I am pleased to say that dreams do come true. The integration of a multi-use path will benefit the communities, as it will support active transportation, a healthy lifestyle as well as enhance cycle tourism across the border." Canada plans to cover the cost of the $2.1 billion bridge, plus a $250 million customs plaza on the U.S. side. Michigan's share of the cost is to be repaid in the form of toll collections. No word on toll prices or restrictions for cyclists and pedestrians.  (Source MLive.com)
    Mar 04, 2017 103
  • 13 Apr 2016
    The city of Birmingham recently put the final touches on it's recreational bike route. You can view the route here. The project is a part of a recommendation from Birmingham's Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which was created in 2013 to redesign public roads so that Birmingham's urban corridors are safely accessible to cyclists. View the plan here. City Engineer Paul O’Meara said the goal is to have the neighborhood connector route up and running this summer. “We have a master plan and this is one of the best representative examples that we’re trying to welcome other modes of transportation,” O’Meara said. The route is approximately 6-miles long it uses existing streets, with two exceptions along Oak Street and North Eton Avenue where a half-mile long bike-lane has been installed. Otherwise, the system currently relies on surface-street welfare with a series of directional signs and pavement marking.    
    58 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • The city of Birmingham recently put the final touches on it's recreational bike route. You can view the route here. The project is a part of a recommendation from Birmingham's Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which was created in 2013 to redesign public roads so that Birmingham's urban corridors are safely accessible to cyclists. View the plan here. City Engineer Paul O’Meara said the goal is to have the neighborhood connector route up and running this summer. “We have a master plan and this is one of the best representative examples that we’re trying to welcome other modes of transportation,” O’Meara said. The route is approximately 6-miles long it uses existing streets, with two exceptions along Oak Street and North Eton Avenue where a half-mile long bike-lane has been installed. Otherwise, the system currently relies on surface-street welfare with a series of directional signs and pavement marking.    
    Apr 13, 2016 58
  • 03 Apr 2016
    The city of Ferndale, in collaboration with five other communities, was awarded $200,000 from the 2016 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) this with the aims at creating the Woodward Corridor Neighborhood Bicycle Network the will connect six cities. The TAP grant was penned by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The grant is for a bike path network that connects Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak. City Planner Justin Lyons said the purpose of the network is to connect the communities as well as provide easier transportation via bicycle, which fits in with the city’s goal of opening up the use of multiple modes of transportation. “Our purpose was quality of life and safety and helping residents and businesses in Ferndale and the surrounding corridor,” Lyons said. “People can get from downtown Hazel Park to Oak Park in a connected route, and we have seen projects like this spur further interests in development, like Livernois, where businesses are moving in because the city is making improvements there.” The 17-mile loop includes central main business districts, 13 parks, 10 schools, two libraries and one university.
    37 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • The city of Ferndale, in collaboration with five other communities, was awarded $200,000 from the 2016 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) this with the aims at creating the Woodward Corridor Neighborhood Bicycle Network the will connect six cities. The TAP grant was penned by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The grant is for a bike path network that connects Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak. City Planner Justin Lyons said the purpose of the network is to connect the communities as well as provide easier transportation via bicycle, which fits in with the city’s goal of opening up the use of multiple modes of transportation. “Our purpose was quality of life and safety and helping residents and businesses in Ferndale and the surrounding corridor,” Lyons said. “People can get from downtown Hazel Park to Oak Park in a connected route, and we have seen projects like this spur further interests in development, like Livernois, where businesses are moving in because the city is making improvements there.” The 17-mile loop includes central main business districts, 13 parks, 10 schools, two libraries and one university.
    Apr 03, 2016 37