Detroit greenway named for Dennis Archer, former mayor and Mich. Supreme Court justice 

    A section of the Mayor Dennis W. Archer Greenway | city of Detroit photo

    Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Friday that he has introduced a resolution to City Council to name Detroit’s latest green space the “Mayor Dennis W. Archer Greenway,” in honor of the former city mayor and Michigan Supreme Court justice.

    “Mayor Archer deserves to be honored for what he has done for this city,” said Duggan. “Having this gem on the east side named for such a prominent eastsider is the least we can do for such a tireless advocate and champion of Detroit. On behalf of all Detroiters, I want to thank him for his service to this city.”

    Ground was broken at the end of 2019 on initial phases of the greenway, which opened to the public last year. Construction began in October on the final phase, extending the greenway from East Jefferson to Robert Bradby Drive. The project was funded through federal community development block grants and road bonds.

    “I would like to thank Mayor Duggan and the city of Detroit,” Archer said. “I love this city, and to be recognized in this way is something I am incredibly proud of. This greenway, in many ways, is the continuation of the work we started two decades ago in improving the quality of life for Detroiters and bringing new life and vibrancy to our community.”

    By the end of this year, Duggan said, the $4.9-million, 1.2-mile greenway will run from the Detroit Riverwalk to Vernor Highway, connecting more neighborhoods safely to the riverfront.

    It will feature a 10-foot shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists, play opportunities and recreation features, new benches, outdoor power stations and mile markers.

    Archer served as Detroit mayor from 1994 to 2001. During his two terms, he negotiated the land acquisition for the construction of Comerica Park, helped to keep the Detroit Tigers baseball team downtown; brought three casinos downtown, and sparked Detroit Lions’ move back downtown from Pontiac, which helped to provide jobs to city residents. 

    The City Council is expected to support Duggan’s resolution request. 

    Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.