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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids


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#21 GR8scott

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:11 PM

there might not be the demand right now, but after planning and everything it would take years to get running. By that time many more people will be aware of it and might plan to use it. The 2 routes (from DT to airport and south on division) are the only ones I can see with any substantial use now anyways.

I have always thought that GR and all of west michigan would greatly benifit from a 131 completion to 80/90 in Indiana and even more if continued to Indianapolis and north to either TC or I-75. Also an upgrade to Interstate status would help promte business. some maps do not include US highways because most are not expressways, and some businesses only build of interstates like certain truck stops for example. In pennsylvania a few years ago there was a similar sition to 131 where an expressway was renamed an interstate (I-99, which is stupid because it does not follow the west-east numbering) and alo does not have a completion to I-90 to the north and ends at I-80 in the south but does not have a direct connection.

So lets complete 131 and rename it I-67!

 

#22 Khorasaurus

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:13 AM

Here's the question: Would people in GR still call it 131 if it was renamed I-67? I know people in St. Louis call I-70 "Highway 40" even though it hasn't been named that in decades.

Edited by Khorasaurus, 26 April 2006 - 12:14 AM.


#23 MJLO

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:35 AM

It says it would complete the 131 to the Indiana border. Wouldn't it be up to the State of Indiana, to extend it the few extra miles to the 80/90?

I definately think the 131 should be extended to Traverse City, Although It would also make sense to extend it north and meet up before the bridge on 75.

#24 GR8scott

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 01:11 AM

right now 131 at the IN border is less than a mile to 80/90 and just to the east 80/90 is only a quarter mile from MI. I'm sure if they build an expressway it will be along side the current route not remaking the current route into an expressway either way it will end very close to 80/90 and there would be an exit. Federal money would probably be used to build and IN would be in charge of the short strech, which it would probably greatly benifift from since 80/90 is a toll and 131 expressway would bring more traffic to the toll.
This is a unique situation the only similar case I can think of is I24 near Chattanooga TN goes into GA for about a mile and connects with I59 then goes about 2 miles back into TN

#25 MJLO

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 01:17 AM

I agree that it would economically make sense, to turn it into a freeway all the way to IN, I just would have to think that IN would have to be in on it too, since no matter how close 80 is to MI it's still owned by the state of Indiana.

#26 Picture Michigan

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:10 AM

The Chattanooga situation is unique because of terrain. Mountains.

US-131 to I-67? AMEN!! An ideal situation would be a bypass for US-31 south of TC, joining an extended US-131/I-67, then meeting up with I-75 before the straits. (there are some that say the US-31 bypass south of TC is a waste, no doubt by those that have never driving through TC in the summer)

Not sure how it happened, but US-131 is a spur off US-31. US-31 is the "main" artery.

And yes, I agree, US-131 should go all the way to Indy, or at least connecting with I-69 near Anderson. I'm sure the state and local governments in and around Indy would cooperate with this idea.

Grand Rapids is indeed unique for the lower 48. It's is the only major city sitting on a major interstate (two digit) that never leaves the state.

As for light rail: trains are a lot more expensive to operate, and can hold many more passengers. To justify cost, I foresee something running every 30 minutes in GR. Just my opinion based on life as I see it.

#27 GRDadof3

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:19 AM

As for light rail: trains are a lot more expensive to operate, and can hold many more passengers. To justify cost, I foresee something running every 30 minutes in GR. Just my opinion based on life as I see it.


I'd be interested to see a comparison of operating costs between busses and light rail.

I would be interested in buying a home along a light rail line. And I'm sure there are a lot of other people who would as well.

#28 Rizzo

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:22 AM

^I second that... If property values go up on the account of a transit line then I can see a lot of people buying houses and property just to get in on the deal.

Personally I can see LRT changing the perspective of people as they commute. Imagine this sceneiro: you're stoped at a light on 44th and Eastern. ALL Traffic is suspended and zooming through the traffic light are LRT vehicles. After seeing that and having to wait while these privledge riders cruise by would greatly influence my decision to commute on a LRT line.

#29 GR8scott

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:29 AM

^I second that... If property values go up on the account of a transit line then I can see a lot of people buying houses and property just to get in on the deal.

Personally I can see LRT changing the perspective of people as they commute. Imagine this sceneiro: you're stoped at a light on 44th and Eastern. ALL Traffic is suspended and zooming through the traffic light are LRT vehicles. After seeing that and having to wait while these privledge riders cruise by would greatly influence my decision to commute on a LRT line.

yeah but then the LRT stops just down the street at a stop and the car goes right past it.

People who want to save time, have fexibility, and have control are not going to ride LRT regularly.
People who want to save money, the environment, or just think its cool are regular riders.

don't get me wrong I thing LRT is cool and would work here on a few routes but it woudl take time to catch on

#30 DwntwnGeo

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 11:06 AM

Changes don't happen overnight or as fast as some of us would like them. It will take time to change people's perception of things (transportaion, public schools etc.) I think it is good progress and starting with a few main lines and hopefully as time goes by, more and more people will gain interest and then we can branch out into more routes or further destinations.

yeah but then the LRT stops just down the street at a stop and the car goes right past it.

People who want to save time, have fexibility, and have control are not going to ride LRT regularly.
People who want to save money, the environment, or just think its cool are regular riders.

don't get me wrong I thing LRT is cool and would work here on a few routes but it woudl take time to catch on



#31 Rizzo

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:03 PM

yeah but then the LRT stops just down the street at a stop and the car goes right past it.

People who want to save time, have fexibility, and have control are not going to ride LRT regularly.
People who want to save money, the environment, or just think its cool are regular riders.

don't get me wrong I thing LRT is cool and would work here on a few routes but it woudl take time to catch on


But if you're going down 44th, how many lights would you have to hit just to get between the area out near the airport and Eastern or Division? LRT might only have 2-3 stops.

For me flexibilty is knowing that there would be a service that is affordable and runs every 10 minutes.

Edited by Rizzo, 26 April 2006 - 12:08 PM.


#32 GRDadof3

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:18 AM

Kooiman reintroduces ITP bill....

Now that an agreement has been reached in principle, the bill has been put forward. :thumbsup:

#33 GRDadof3

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 07:52 AM

Bill is SIGNED.

This month's Grand Rapids Magazine (in the intro from the editor) says that in talking with The RAPID, they hope to have preliminary engineering work done and a plan in place by next July. From there, then it's off to the FTA to apply for funding.

#34 Rizzo

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

That was fast. Now the real wait is upon us.

#35 tSlater

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 12:13 PM

*dances*

That wait is going to feel like forever. =[

#36 Nitro

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 02:32 PM

Bill is SIGNED.


I wish election years came around more often............ :thumbsup:

#37 tamias6

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:12 PM

I think this is a good direction for GR to take. We need to build a good mass transit system while there is still enough land to allow it to be done. BRT might be a good option. But LRT is what I would like to see. Its proven technology which provides a smoother ride and is very rebust which is need to accomadate increasing demand. Plus doing BRT Buses on fixed guidways is just as expensive as going all out with a an LRT system. I also support extending US-131 to the border to gain better access to two other GR sized metros Ft. Wayne and South Bend. Lasting I agree with the image stigma of taking the bus. People just don't take buses. Trains on the other hand has a curtain coolness factor to it to lure atleast some out of their cars.

One more thing I'd like to see happen is the state and local governments to pass laws placing hard limits on urban sprawl. (Look at Oregan and Portland as examples) This would forces cities to reinvest in themselves and save green spaces. It would also make it easier to implement and maintain mass transit options since the hard limits would force density to increase and thus provide the need number of riders to turn a profit.

#38 CK1

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:30 AM

One more thing I'd like to see happen is the state and local governments to pass laws placing hard limits on urban sprawl. (Look at Oregan and Portland as examples) This would forces cities to reinvest in themselves and save green spaces. It would also make it easier to implement and maintain mass transit options since the hard limits would force density to increase and thus provide the need number of riders to turn a profit.


Has there been talk in the past of having a "greenbelt" tax? Do you think the area could / would support such a millage? There was one passed in Washtenaw Country (Ann Arbor area) a few years back, and from what I have read, a lot of prime farmland and otherwise undeveloped land has been saved from backhoes and cement trucks.

#39 torgo

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:23 AM

In Ann Arbor, the City and Township have a special millage that all the residents pay, and the funds are used to buy development rights for farmland on the outskirts. I believe the City has a department that evaluates and ranks all the potential pieces of land to determine which ones get purchased. Of course, the landowner has to be willing to participate, too. It seems to work, but its rather controversial. Its detractors say that all it does is push the sprawl out another ten miles, which seems like a valid point to me. But this seems a lot more workable then drawing a line on a map and saying "no development on the other side of this line". You gotta give them credit for trying something, though! Sorry, I'm getting a little off topic. :blush:

Edited by torgo, 14 June 2006 - 10:23 AM.


#40 DwntwnGeo

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:25 AM

Here is an article published in Rapid Growth-Grand Rapids

http://www.rapidgrow.../newmobile.aspx

The article talks about the growth in ridership on the Rapid over the past few years. Also mentions that the Grand Rapids Metro area is continuing to look into a larger Mass transit system for the area.




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