By Associated Press - Sunday, April 24, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - A partnership between the U.S. and Canada is encouraging people to use bikes to explore both sides of the Detroit River.

Those involved released a so-called vision map Sunday about connecting emerging greenways, trails and bike lanes that can be used by pedestrians or bicyclists.

Organizers say that they hope greenways of southwestern Ontario and southeastern Michigan will be linked by a bike lane on the Gordie Howe International Bridge across the Detroit River. The Canadian-financed bridge is scheduled to open in 2020, and a ferry system between Detroit and Windsor also is being considered.

“Significant investments have been made that improve biking and walking opportunities on both sides of the river,” Todd Scott, executive director of the Detroit Greenways Coalition, said in a statement. “This map highlights the need to build cross border connections for those traveling on foot or by bike.”

The map will be posted on the Detroit Greenways Coalition’s website, identifies locations of cycling facilities on both sides of the border. The goal, according to Windsor’s Transportation Planning Engineer Jennifer Leitzinger, is to encourage “international adventures.”

Canada’s Essex County, which includes Windsor, has a 31-mile (50-kilometer) rail trail that’s the southernmost section of the Trans Canada Trail. Detroit has roughly 200 miles (320 kilometers) of bike routes and greenways, which are connected to more than 1,000 miles (1600 kilometers) of trails in southeastern Michigan.

Project organizers are particularly interested in the potential of the Iron Belle Trail, which will connect the Detroit River island park of Belle isle to Ironwood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.



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