Review: Dequindre Cut Greenway
May 25, 2017
An outstanding greenway that was once an old railroad line captures the attention of many Metro Detroiters and adds to the special impact that Detroit has on people. The Dequindre Cut Greenway, located between Mack Avenue and Atwater Street in Detroit, is a two-mile pathway full of graffiti art that used to be a Grand Trunk Railroad Line, according to detroitriverfront.org.
Although I have only been to the Dequindre Cut Greenway once in the eight years that it has been open, it was one of the most impressive places I have been. Not only does the thought of it formerly being a railroad line blow my mind, but the art that fills the cut amazes me even more.
I have seen many pictures of the Dequindre Cut Greenway all over social media and have heard of it before, but I never actually looked into it enough to know it stretches from the Detroit Riverwalk to Eastern Market. I thought that it would be a block long with a few pieces of artwork, similar to some other places in Detroit, such as The Belt.
It can be hard to find the first time, but it’s perfectly located just down the block from Eastern Market. The cut also has more than one entrance making it easily accessible from Atwater Street, Franklin Street, Gratiot Avenue, Lafayette Street, Mack Avenue, Wilkins Street and Woodbridge Street.
My expectations for the greenway were fairly high before arriving, but were quickly surpassed by the endless amounts of graffiti, murals and urban art that ran through the two miles. I was blown away by the effort and time some of the artists had put into making the greenway so beautiful and cool.
On both concrete walls enclosing the greenway, there is a new piece of artwork around every 50 to 100 feet and each piece is unique in its own way. In addition to the walls, there are also many small overpasses that are full of graffiti and murals.
One of the most important and coolest features about the greenway is that it cannot be seen through the windows of a car, but instead on foot or on bike and the cut conveniently has a separate bike and pedestrian lane. In addition, the cut is clean and luckily nothing is overgrown so the pathway is enjoyable to walk and the art can be clearly seen.
Since it is in Detroit, some may think that it might not be the safest place to go walk around for an hour, but there are usually plenty of people walking or biking. The greenway is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. In addition, after 6 p.m., visitors that are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian that is 21 or older.
Off of the entrance from Wilkins Street, there are large abandoned buildings that the city has not redone, which I personally think makes the cut even more interesting. In addition, one of the buildings has a water tower on top of it which was cool to see and can even make for a great backdrop in a photo.
One of the best reasons to walk or bike the Dequindre Cut is the fact that it is free and you can often find free parking nearby as well.
Photo by Sarah Stevenson ’19
Obviously, since it was a railroad line at one point, the entire Dequindre Cut is open, except for a few overpasses that cover a small portion of the cut. It is also excluded from traffic and is a quiet place to spend some time.
With all of the urban artwork throughout the entire greenway, it’s a great place to take pictures and to overall explore with friends and family. It’s an awesome place to walk around and check out another renovation of Detroit.
With additions to Detroit like the Dequindre Cut Greenway, it shows that people truly care about the city and put lots of effort into making it better than what it has ever been.