The Flint leg of the Genesee Valley Trail, a shared-use, non-motorized path beginning at the Genesee Valley Center, has been completed and is ready for use. An event with City of Flint officials was held today on the path where it intersects with Chevrolet Avenue to mark the occasion. The one and a half mile path for bikes and pedestrians connects at Corunna Road with the Flint Township portion of the trail and links to the Flint River Trail near the site of Chevy Commons by following a former railway corridor through Flint.
Completion of the Genesee Valley Trail project is a key step toward implementing one of the Master Plan’s Transportation & Mobility goals, which outline “establishing bicycling as a form of recreation and transportation by expanding the City’s network of trails, bike lanes, and other connections.” Just recently, Flint was recognized as a “2015 Playful City USA” by the national non-profit group Kaboom! for its efforts to engage its residents and visitors in healthy activity through alternative forms of travel, such as bike and pedestrian paths, as well as its many walkable and bike friendly parks and campuses.The cost of the trailway was roughly $730,000 with about $525,000 being provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation through a federal “Transportation Alternatives Program”. Community Development Block Grants funded $193,000 while the remaining $11,000 was covered by the City Transportation Division.
Mayor Dayne Walling pointed out that in addition to helping the community connect to Flint’s other recreational resources, such as parks and campuses, pathways like the Genesee Valley Trail will provide residents opportunities to utilize non-motorized transportation. “We hope that residents from the surrounding neighborhood will use the trail to get around town without having to drive whenever they can,” said Walling, “we hope they find it to be a valuable resource.”
In addition to construction of the trail itself, new street crossing islands and signals were installed on roadways that intersect with the trail in order to enhance user safety. The most significant of these new crossings are on Corruna Road and Court Street. These crossings feature a new type of signal system known as the HAWK (High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk) system. This system is designed to allow pedestrian and bicyclists to stop traffic in high impact areas activating overhead lights in a manner similar to more familiar crosswalks. MDOT has provided the attached graphic explaining how the HAWK system works and how both motorists and pedestrians should use them.