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New census definition puts Metro Grand Rapids at 1,000,000+

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Posted

The article pretty much says it all. Ottawa county is now included due to commuting patterns, which accounts for most of the population increase, but Kent County's population increase over the past 2 years is nothing to sneeze at. The article points out that the main benefit of this new definition will put Grand Rapids on the radar of businesses and industries that would otherwise dismiss a population of under 1 million

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/metro_grand_rapids_tops_1_mill.html#incart_river_default

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Posted

It is interesting the shifting commuting patterns, especially to see that Barry County shrank while Kent grew by about 12,000 in two years.

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Posted

Well, that's terrible news.  All those people commuting to Grand Rapids.  Driving cars and needing places to park them. 

 

:whistling:

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Posted

Well, that's terrible news.  All those people commuting to Grand Rapids.  Driving cars and needing places to park them. 

 

:whistling:

Well, once the Lakerline BRT is up and running someday to compliment the Silverline, they can all park in Kentwood and Allendale in the excess big box store lots.

 

:good:

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Posted (edited)

I would love for them to scrap the Silverline and run a BRT from GR to Grand Haven.

 

 

Make it look like this (maybe even longer or a double-decker), have 4 running all day, and make it comfortable.

 

brt_vehicle.jpg

 

They will not only have lots of workers taking it, but you will also get tons using it during the summer months to the lake. It will make L. Michigan a part of the metro area instead of a still "far off" place for people that dont have a car.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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Posted

I would love for them to scrap the Silverline and run a BRT from GR to Grand Haven.

 

 

Make it look like this (maybe even longer or a double-decker), have 4 running all day, and make it comfortable.

 

brt_vehicle.jpg

 

They will not only have lots of workers taking it, but you will also get tons using it during the summer months to the lake. It will make L. Michigan a part of the metro area instead of a still "far off" place for people that dont have a car.

 

The problem with this theory is that most people commuting from Ottawa into Kent County don't work downtown GR. What do they do when they get there? Hop a transfer out to their place of employment? You're talking an hour or more, when you can drive it in 35 minutes.

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Posted

Interactive map showing the change in population in Michigan counties over the past year - http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013130313114

 

Just 25 of 83 counties gained population but I think the overall state population is slightly higher.  Makes you wonder just how old the average year round resident in those rural counties will be if these population trends continue. 

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Posted

I think what you're seeing is a typical trend throughout the country,  people leaving the rural areas for the cities.  The counties that lost population are overwhelmingly rural.  (Exceptions being the same urban counties that have struggled for decades.)  The state also gained population which makes county by county migration rates less significant.  Rural flight isn't a new phenomenon, those same rural counties have had flat or negative growth for decades as well.   Michigan is growing again,  the growth is centered around, and seems to be condensing on the I-96 corridor.  I would imagine that the majority of the negative migration from those rural counties to be internal migration within the state.  People moving from the country to the city, but not leaving Michigan. 

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Posted

A metro area of 1,000,000 and it still has that abomination known as the northbound offramp to Wealthy on 131.

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Posted

A metro area of 1,000,000 and it still has that abomination known as the northbound offramp to Wealthy on 131.

what's wrong with that? I've taken it a bunch of times and never had a problem.

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Posted

I'm really happy about the new MSA designation... Any metric standard that you impose on the whole country is going to have biases, and they're going to work against some MSAs while working for others... I'm glad the data is working for Grand Rapids instead of against it.

 

 

 

A metro area of 1,000,000 and it still has that abomination known as the northbound offramp to Wealthy on 131.

 

I've never had a problem there either.  At least, not as a motorist.

 

I would posit that metro areas tend to add abominations as they grow, not subtract.  We'll know the minute GR is truly booming, because immediately we'll start hearing great ideas like the new "South South Beltline" or the "S-Curve Bypass" or an express tunnel to Nunica or whatever.  If the Wealthy offramp is a problem, it's just the beginning...  :P

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Posted (edited)

About the Wealthy interchange DT:

what's wrong with that? I've taken it a bunch of times and never had a problem.

Those of us who did the Arena area tour a couple weeks ago were treated to discussion on how this is like a mini-S curve cutting through the area, imposing a barrier on the streetscape, not needed, used mainly by partiers heading to the arena or the bars while urban form has to contend with it. 

 

My group had an M-DOT guy who spent much time explaining some of the rationale (and everything). Meanwhile, a citizen planner (hi Mark!!) proposed removal of 131 and the S-curve and the exit ramps (and everything). If you go stand near the parking lot just under the S-curve and take a look at the absence of pedestrian access, all will become clear.

 

Er, it was a walking tour.

Edited by Veloise

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Posted

what's wrong with that? I've taken it a bunch of times and never had a problem.

 

Ugly, poor functional, and dangerous.  Take your life in your hands biking Wealthy over 131 and laugh at the view of trucks in the *right* lane trying to turn left or vice versa.  Then there's times traffic is so backed up getting on the ramp the last vehicle is poking into the northbound lane.  With an ever growing downtown and especially when the market goes online ... ditto to apartments, Wealthy will become a primary entrance/exit point, poorly equipped to meet the demand.  Something will need to be done, and soon.

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Posted

Ugly, poor functional, and dangerous.  Take your life in your hands biking Wealthy over 131 and laugh at the view of trucks in the *right* lane trying to turn left or vice versa.  Then there's times traffic is so backed up getting on the ramp the last vehicle is poking into the northbound lane.  With an ever growing downtown and especially when the market goes online ... ditto to apartments, Wealthy will become a primary entrance/exit point, poorly equipped to meet the demand.  Something will need to be done, and soon.

 

 

I think that's MDOT's next target, is 131 near Wealthy and the overpass. It's in bad shape and needs to be replaced. MDOT is starting the process of redesigning the bridge and on/off ramps. That's why this discussion of at-grade vs burial vs removal has started.

 

That bridge is horrible on a bike. The curbs are way too high and I've actually scraped my pedals on the sidewalk. And you can feel the entire bridge sway when trucks go over it. And yes, I've watched many a semi get wedged between the walls trying to make the turns.

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Posted (edited)

I think that's MDOT's next target, is 131 near Wealthy and the overpass. It's in bad shape and needs to be replaced. MDOT is starting the process of redesigning the bridge and on/off ramps. That's why this discussion of at-grade vs burial vs removal has started.

 

That bridge is horrible on a bike. The curbs are way too high and I've actually scraped my pedals on the sidewalk. And you can feel the entire bridge sway when trucks go over it. And yes, I've watched many a semi get wedged between the walls trying to make the turns.

During the afore-mentioned walking tour my group hiked across the bridge. Narrow sidewalks and no curb cuts. The only way I would ride across would be to wait for a "fresh" traffic light to halt the platoons, and take the lane, which is too narrow to allow passing.

 

My tour included a traffic engineer, who pointed out the condition of the fencing. We discussed closing the ramps, which really aren't needed due to the number of other DT interchanges.

Edited by Veloise

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Posted

Well, once the Lakerline BRT is up and running someday to compliment the Silverline, they can all park in Kentwood and Allendale in the excess big box store lots.

 

:good:

 

There are big box stores in Allendale?

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Posted

My group had an M-DOT guy who spent much time explaining some of the rationale (and everything). Meanwhile, a citizen planner (hi Mark!!) proposed removal of 131 and the S-curve and the exit ramps (and everything). If you go stand near the parking lot just under the S-curve and take a look at the absence of pedestrian access, all will become clear.

 

Er, it was a walking tour.

 really what we need to get rid of is 196 between college and 131.  the only people who need that are folks traveling from Ada towards Holland. everyone from further east can take 96 or M-6.  people trying to get to the ottowa exit can easily take college to wherever they need to go.  I think 131 serves a much more valuable purpose as it is the only way to easily get from south of town to the north.

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Posted

During the afore-mentioned walking tour my group hiked across the bridge. Narrow sidewalks and no curb cuts. The only way I would ride across would be to wait for a "fresh" traffic light to halt the platoons, and take the lane, which is too narrow to allow passing.

 

My tour included a traffic engineer, who pointed out the condition of the fencing. We discussed closing the ramps, which really aren't needed due to the number of other DT interchanges.

 

I think that's MDOT's next target, is 131 near Wealthy and the overpass. It's in bad shape and needs to be replaced. MDOT is starting the process of redesigning the bridge and on/off ramps. That's why this discussion of at-grade vs burial vs removal has started.

 

That bridge is horrible on a bike. The curbs are way too high and I've actually scraped my pedals on the sidewalk. And you can feel the entire bridge sway when trucks go over it. And yes, I've watched many a semi get wedged between the walls trying to make the turns.

 

 

First, all bridges "sway' to a certain extent.  I would describe it more as a "bounce" when heavy trucks go over them. They all do it, it's normal.

 

Wealthy Street is not an ideal exit / entrance but you need to keep this in mind. The ADT on US 131 in the late 50's was about 10% of what it is today. The trucks of that era had 32 foot trailers, a 40 foot trailer was rare as they were just coming into existance. Today's 53 foot trailers were not even thought of. The ramps certainly don't meet today's standards but they did in the 50's

 

Underneath 131 and Wealthy was all railroad tracks and the northbound ramps were on the left side to accomodate the "downtown" ramp on the right side that went to Fulton St.

 

Closing the NB exit ramp is not really a viable option. Wealthy Street is vital for NB trucks to Market or Wealthy west of Market - the industrial area west of the river.  Franklin Street doesn't work well, no good route to Market. There's no NB exit at Market Street anymore.

 

I'm afaid MDOT is only going be be able to put a "bandaid": on it in the form of a modified SPUI or a diverging diamond. The Rapid, the new Amtrak station, the new Market and the park have the interchange pretty well constrained to improvement only in the existing foot print.

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Posted

Here's something weird, if you hadn't seen - a poster at the City Data forum noticed that the Allegan Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA) is now the Holland µSA, and is still comprised of Allegan County.  It's true (Link to PDF):

 

26090 Holland, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area

          Principal City: Holland

               Allegan County 

 

So Holland went from being the principal city of an MSA (Ottawa County) to the principal city of an µSA (Allegan).  Meanwhile, most of Holland's population, north of Allegan County, is in the Grand Rapids MSA.  How messed up is that?

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Posted

Here's something weird, if you hadn't seen - a poster at the City Data forum noticed that the Allegan Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA) is now the Holland µSA, and is still comprised of Allegan County.  It's true (Link to PDF):

 

 

So Holland went from being the principal city of an MSA (Ottawa County) to the principal city of an µSA (Allegan).  Meanwhile, most of Holland's population, north of Allegan County, is in the Grand Rapids MSA.  How messed up is that?

That's why I think Urban area is a more accurate gage of how big a city is.

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Posted

Sounds like it should be based off of city/township rather than just county.

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Posted

 really what we need to get rid of is 196 between college and 131.  the only people who need that are folks traveling from Ada towards Holland. everyone from further east can take 96 or M-6.  people trying to get to the ottowa exit can easily take college to wherever they need to go.  I think 131 serves a much more valuable purpose as it is the only way to easily get from south of town to the north.

 

Word.

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Posted

Here's something weird, if you hadn't seen - a poster at the City Data forum noticed that the Allegan Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA) is now the Holland µSA, and is still comprised of Allegan County.  It's true (Link to PDF):

 

 

So Holland went from being the principal city of an MSA (Ottawa County) to the principal city of an µSA (Allegan).  Meanwhile, most of Holland's population, north of Allegan County, is in the Grand Rapids MSA.  How messed up is that?

 

 

The whole definition process of MSA's is twisted. The Right Place is saying that site selection reps looking for new locations to expand their business use qualification processes that include questions about the size of your MSA. Some won't even look in an MSA of less than a million.

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Posted (edited)

That's why I think Urban area is a more accurate gage of how big a city is.

The whole definition process of MSA's is twisted. The Right Place is saying that site selection reps looking for new locations to expand their business use qualification processes that include questions about the size of your MSA. Some won't even look in an MSA of less than a million.

 

Yep... I suspect most people think of MSAs as a measurement of urban population, but it's really a measurement of a city's economic footprint... Which is a lot further sprawling in today's commuter culture, and way too fluid to measure with any real precision.  So standards for determining boundary lines or commuting thresholds are always going to be arbitrary, no matter what.  

 

That being said, I really don't see how thinking of Allegan County as Holland's geographic economy is helpful.

 

So while some complain that lopping Ottawa into our MSA seems arbitrary, it's not THAT arbitrary, because it reflects the regional economy. If West Michigan's economy was firing on all cylinders, it would bring more steady commuters from the adjacent counties, including Muskegon and Allegan; the MSA would jump to 1.3 million just like that, without a single person selling or buying a house.  In other words, MSAs feed on economic growth in addition to population growth, and the two are intertwined.

 

It's amazing to think that 1.3 million people actually live here.  We should start acting like it.

 

Sounds like it should be based off of city/township rather than just county.

 

Agree in principle; the problem is there'd be no way to do that uniformly in the US, because different states have different civil divisions.  States have their own ways of defining a township...  The 6x6 squares as we think of them are (generally) unique to the Great Lakes region.  A lot of states don't have townships at all, and people living outside of any city's limits are just residents of the county.  And as we all know, with suburban sprawl and all that jazz, the non-city county populations are where MSAs are growing the fastest, so they have to be counted.  The only thing that (almost!!) all states have in common are counties.

 

...Or zip codes, maybe?

Edited by RegalTDP

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Posted

New census estimates for 2012 place the City of Grand Rapids as the fastest growing community in the state of Michigan. GR gained 1,386 residents last year as estimated by the Census department.

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