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Detroit Buys 7.5 Miles Of Railroad Property To Create New Greenway Project

By Maria Cook

Detroit is a city known for having gone through some difficult times. Over the last few decades, with the decline of the auto industry and other economic shifts, Detroit's population has shrunk and its infrastructure has suffered. Throughout the city, many parks and other public spaces were neglected, or abandoned altogether, leaving citizens with fewer places to walk, run and bike safely. 

But lately, things have begun looking up for Detroit's public spaces. In 2012, the Detroit Riverfront Park was re-opened, along with its riverside walking trail. Other parks and walking paths, such as the Detroit Greenlink and the Dequindre Cut, have also been updated within the last five years. 

Most recently, the city purchased 26 acres (around 7.5 miles) of railroad land from Conrail, with the intention of creating a new greenway which will connect with many of the city's already existing greenways and trails. The project, called the Inner Circle Greenway, will help to create a continuous, 26-mile loop of trails through the city. This is excellent news for Detroiters whose neighborhoods had been disconnected by highways in recent years, as well as for the 25 percent of Detroit residents who do not have access to their own cars. The trails will also be a boon to Detroiters hoping to live green, as they will make commuting by bike or foot a viable option in areas that were previously inaccessible except by road.