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Posted on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 5:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society fundraiser for Huron River Drive exceeds goal

By Heather Lockwood

A fundraising effort by area cyclists and residents to raise $30,000 to help repave a portion of Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor exceeded its goal, bringing in more than $41,000 in donations.

Ted Green, CEO of Greenview Data Inc. and a member of the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, said he and others involved were pleasantly surprised by their success.

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The Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society has raised more than $40,000 to help with repaving a portion of Huron River Drive.

"I know it exceeded everyone's expectations and it absolutely floored the Washtenaw County Road Commission," Green said.

Roy Townsend, Washtenaw County Road Commission highway engineer, said repaving projects are to begin on Huron River Drive between Ann Arbor and Dexter later this month. He anticipates most of the work will begin and be completed within "the week of Aug. 23," though some work could continue into September.

The first project, repaving 2.5 miles of Huron River Drive between Zeeb and Tubbs roads, is expected to cost $400,000. The second project, repaving a 1.01-mile stretch between Wagner and Maple roads, is expected to cost $200,000, according to Townsend. He said both projects will be funded by a combination of federal, Washtenaw County Road Commission and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation funds.

But to repave the 0.77-mile gap between Tubbs and Wagner roads will require an additional $90,000, which is where community fundraising efforts come in. The Road Commission has said it will “double match” the first $30.000 raised by the community.

Townsend said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the success of the fundraising effort, and the additional money has allowed for more work to be done, including the repaving of "an additional 800 feet (of Huron River Drive) from Maple to Foster," and the repair of a "300-foot section of Huron River Drive, west of Zeeb Road."

The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department has committed $50,000 to add a 3-foot-wide shoulder to both sides of Huron River Drive between Wagner and Tubbs roads.

How to help

Donations are still being accepted. Any additional money donated will be used for improvements beyond the scope of the original project. To donate, write a check to the Washtenaw County Road Commission and send it to the Ann Arbor Bicyle Touring Society, Attn: HRD Repaving, P.O. Box 1585, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. For more information, e-mail Ted Green at

Green said Huron River Drive is important not just to cyclists, but the community as a whole.

"(Huron River Drive) is the most used bicycle road in Washtenaw County, by far," Green said. "It's an important feature of Washtenaw County. It's an important road in terms of making the county and the city of Ann Arbor a place people want to move to."

Don Broadway, chairman of the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, said he appreciates the efforts of everyone involved.

"Ted Green and his wife (Debbie Green), they've done just a fantastic job of conceiving this and bringing it to fruition," Broadway said. "Because of the good response we've gotten from the community they've been able to expand the project."

He added, "I would like to make sure the community hears back from us cyclists — 'Thank you very much. Kudos to the community for stepping up and helping out."

Heather Lockwood is a reporter for, reach her at or follow her on Twitter.


Debbie Green

Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 10:54 p.m.

Ok. Let's quit the bashing from the sidelines folks! If you've got issues with the WCRC, identify a specific problem, figure out who's in charge, find out the facts and work constructively on a solution. As you can see from this project that my husband and I spearheaded, with tact and determination, cooperation is possible, even between the seemingly at odds WCRC and the AABTS. This article shows the good side of people and what great deeds can be accomplished when we work together. In defense of the road crews, they work on a contract basis, not by the hour, so they're not wasting your precious dollars taking breaks. Besides, if you think working with hot asphalt and the like, especially in 90 degree heat, is something you can do for 8 hours straight, get out there and do it yourself! WCRC helped us find an additional $110,000 to add to the $41,000 we raised. This is a fantastic example of cooperation and your negative comments are not appreciated! Koo-dos to the WCRC, the AABTS and all others involved! Im so pleased to have worked with such wonderful people!

Lew Kidder

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 2:44 p.m.

There's no arguing with ScooterDog, who I'm sure thinks all the road workers standing around were brought to the site by black helicopters. But just so everyone else knows the facts, here are the relevant provisions of the Michigan Vehicular Code applying to bicycles: Section 257.657. "Every person riding a bicycle... upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature do not have application." Section 257.660(1). "A person operating a bicycle... upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable..." Section 257.660(2). "A person riding a bicycle... upon a roadway shall not ride more than 2 abreast except on a path or part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive use of those vehicles."

scooter dog

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 2:13 p.m.

Its in the article about the county being broke by 2012 Mr Vielmetti. Sounds like I am not the only resident steamed over the lackadaisical approach to road repairs.Just read the article Its pick-ups and equiptment replacement over bridge repairs I am most sure everyone will vote for a tax increase in 2012 to bail out there wastefull spending


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 2:06 p.m.

"open your eyes folks the 5-10 guys standing around happens all the time." I can agree with you somewhat, althogh I personally don't live on a big road that might have a project going on, or set up a chair and watch them all shift. So you must live near there and were able to watch them for a long enough time to make these judgements? Obviously driving by something you cannot accurately judge what people are doing. If someone where to drive by most people on this board righ now maybe they would think all we do at work everyday is post on I'm not familiar with the Lima Street bridge...although Bridges are usually more expensive that pick up trucks.

scooter dog

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:48 p.m.

The last road commission meeting they all voted to buy a new pick-up and tabled the fix lima center rd bridge for not having the funds.Got lotsa funds for trucks,they own 30 plus pick-ups,but nothing to fix bridges It was in aadot com and I am not into doing road work,open your eyes folks the 5-10 guys standing around happens all the time. The jackson rd project had 4 guys sitting on there duffs in a trailer parked next to a building near the old carpet building,while there county pick-ups sat outside.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

"All road projects require at the very least 5-10 people watching while 1-2 persons really work." Classicly stated, never proven opinion. But then, you've probably worked on a road paving crew and know the ins 7 outs eh?


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

"now if we can get the traffic to slow down." Sure a newly paved road out to slow everyone down. So the new tin foil hat subject is all homeowners and WCRC "hate cyclists!" Gotcha...I like to keep up on buzz out there.

scooter dog

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 12:40 p.m.

The washtenaw county road commission's prioritys are as follows New pick-ups come before anything,such as repairing/replacing bridges,that are closed or falling down. All foremen get to drive home pick-ups and use them for personel use after hours at taxpayers expense. All road projects require at the very least 5-10 people watching while 1-2 persons really work. Its hit mickey D's right after leaving the zeeb rd yard each morning,make sure your driving a county vehicle,dump trucks,road graders ect. The cold patch crew misses 75% of the holes they see or miss and are most always hanging out a C-J's party store. I hope you folks get your road re-paved,good luck


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 12:32 p.m.

@Lew Kidder... I will be overjoyed to be wrong! However, I know many of the people who live in those high priced homes along Huron River Drive. They hate the cyclists! And they are, right now, applying great pressure (political and financial) on the WCRC. If your experience with these issues is as vast as you state, then I'm sure you are not wearing rose colored glasses. Time will tell...hope you're correct. But, if your wrong, I hope to hear from you...

Paul A.

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 12:03 p.m.

I agree 100% with Lew Kidder. My experience over dozens of years has been that the Road Commission as well as most of the areas professionals take their responsibilities very seriously and encourage the citizenry to provide them with comments, suggestions and information about the conditions of the areas roadways. Many thanks to all the area citizens who stepped up (cyclists, runners, drivers and residents) and helped make HRD a safer road for all its users.

scooter dog

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 11:49 a.m.

Anyone who thinks Traffic will slow down is dreaming. When HRD is paved and all the tank traps have been removed its going to be I-94 #2 at rush hour. I give them the bikes all the room I can when passing,hopefully they will obey the laws and ride single file along the edge of the road. I am dreaming now arent I

Lew Kidder

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 11:15 a.m.

@Always Late. I suppose it's fashionable these days to be the eternal skeptic... but in this instance, you are just wrong about the Washtenaw County Road Commission. You are wrong about their motives, wrong about their word, wrong about their competence. As chair of the roads committee in Scio Township, I have worked with them on a number of levels over the past few years and found them to be extremely good stewards of the almost laughably inadequate resources Michigan chooses to devote to a critical piece of infrastructure. Did you know that almost all of roadway funding comes from the gas tax and vehicle registration fees, and that Michigan's gas tax is 19 cents/gallon (and only 15 cents on diesel), compared to 28 cents/gallon in Ohio, 32 cents in Wisconsin, and 35 cents in Pennsylvania? We should be ashamed for letting this happen - and thankful that at least for Huron River Drive, members of the public stepped up to do something about it.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:48 a.m.

As one of those that contributed, I think this is a wonderful example of community involvement. But, let's not get too excited... The Washtenaw County Road Commission never believed that the $30,000.00 could be raised in the first place. ( absolutely floored the Washtenaw County Road Commission," Green said.) And they don't want cyclists on Huron River Drive. Look for them to find a way to weasel out of the paving project. Or redirect the funding elsewhereyou know, like our Lottery School Funding Money!

Jay Allen

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:23 a.m.

To all of the fine people that assisted in this project and donated, applause applause!!! [shaking head at uawisok] Really? What in the world do those comments have anything to do with the fine work done here?


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

ShadowManager thinks..."Now maybe this will shut up any of that foolish chatter to close the road permanently to motorists" I'm doing "opposites" today...


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 8:58 a.m.

Now if the military had to do fund raising to justify the billions they spend!!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 8:33 a.m.

Great job, a safer and much more pleasant riding experience will result. Lets just hope its doesn't encourage faster driving!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

now if we can get the traffic to slow down.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 7:31 a.m.

Thank you all!!! You have no idea how grateful we cyclists are and it makes me proud to know that Ann Arbor can still accomplish things by employing grass roots tactics getting the community involved.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 6:39 a.m.

This is fantastic. Thanks to everyone who stepped up.

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 6:36 a.m.

This is awesome! Nicely done!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 5:29 a.m.

From sharing the road to helping provide the road -- well done, AABTS.