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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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Posted

Governor, legislative leaders agree on transportation package...

...Two bills allowing the funding to go forward for the local roads projects were passed Thursday by the Senate and are headed to the House.

The agreement between Granholm, GOP House Speaker Craig DeRoche of Novi and GOP Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema of Wyoming also affects mass transit.

It allows communities to ask voters to approve taxes that would raise money to match federal mass transit funds. Federal money already has been set aside for engineering work on a Detroit-to-Ann Arbor light rail system and a study on the need for a rail system in Grand Rapids, but the work can't continue without the match from local governments.

http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/michigan/in...st=newsmichigan

Here was the previous discussion thread: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=14924

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Posted

Good to hear that everyone came to an agreement and projects are moving forward. Maybe we can plan/start a Mass Transit/Light Rail system :dontknow:

Thanks for the update Dad :thumbsup:

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Posted

thats good news GRdad, maybe someday they will start to plan a GR light rail line, that would be great!!!

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Posted

Governor, legislative leaders agree on transportation package...

...Two bills allowing the funding to go forward for the local roads projects were passed Thursday by the Senate and are headed to the House.

The agreement between Granholm, GOP House Speaker Craig DeRoche of Novi and GOP Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema of Wyoming also affects mass transit.

It allows communities to ask voters to approve taxes that would raise money to match federal mass transit funds. Federal money already has been set aside for engineering work on a Detroit-to-Ann Arbor light rail system and a study on the need for a rail system in Grand Rapids, but the work can't continue without the match from local governments.

http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/michigan/in...st=newsmichigan

Here was the previous discussion thread: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=14924

:yahoo:

Granholm and the legislature compromise for the benefit of the state :blink:

First time for everything I guess.

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Posted

yay for impending election year!

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Posted

yay for impending election year!

<wipes Diet-Pepsi off the monitor>

Thank you for that. ;) Ahh Friday.

Yes - this is great news. Benefit to the citizens. :)

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Posted

It's my understanding that part of this deal includes a line from DT GR to the airport and extending US-131 to Indiana.

If something actually does happen on US-131 south of Portage, something will need to be done with the US-131/I-94 interchange.

And that goes without mentioning three lanes of I-94 between US-131 and I-69. Oops, I just mentioned it. But perhaps an extended US-131 would offset the need of an I-94 widening.

Light rail between GRR and downtown? A good start! Make it a system between GRR and Grand Haven, through downtown GR and Allendale, and we have a great start!

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Posted (edited)

Light rail between GRR and downtown? A good start! Make it a system between GRR and Grand Haven, through downtown GR and Allendale, and we have a great start!

I would like to see additional lines added also. We must learn to crawl before walking and running. From reading this article from Wood TV8, it sounds like the first two lines woud be 1) Downtown GR to the airport and 2)Downtown to Cutlerville via Division Ave. This could be a good thing for the new Kroc Center off of Division between Alger and 28th St. :thumbsup:

Article Link

Edited by GRDadof3

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Posted

Here is the Chamber's press release:

Chamber Wins on U.S. 131

Grand Rapids Transit Legislation Gets Green Light

GRAND RAPIDS

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Posted

I like both those proposed routes to start of with; they both seem to be very logical choices.

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Posted (edited)

At the turn of the millennium (and the century), MBEI's Transportation Study Committee created a vision for what they said would " . . . . enable the majority of the people to access the majority of the metropolitan landscape with maximum independence and minimal personal cost . . . . ". At this time in our metro development when there is definitely a developmental quickening occurring that is surpassing the small expectations of some of our transit planning officials (i.e. - ITP), it is my hope that many of you will press these same officials to re-assess some of the more high-capacity AND grade-seperated (READ: REMOVED FROM STREET LEVEL WITH GRIDLOCK TRAFFIC) fixed-guideway options that were removed from consideration early on (due soley upon perceived expense and what was being proposed for regional development at that time).

That vision document is copied below for all those who missed its placement elsewhere within the UP-GR forums and is based upon a heavy-rail elevated system like Metrorail in DC, MARTA in Atlanta or Skytrain in Vancouver (with three underground stations at GVSU Main Campus Little Mac Bridge ravine, under Medical Hill adjacent to the Medical Hill underground ramp and under Davenport University at Fulton):

LIGHT-RAIL TRANSIT: A Tool for Abating Urban Sprawl in Metro Grand Rapids

by MBEI Transportation Study Committee

March 1, 2000 (Revised May 29, 2000)

Fortune Magazine, in its 1998 listing of America

Edited by metrogrkid

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Posted

Nice to hear from you again metrogrkid! :thumbsup:

Although today's news was definitely good news, there is still a long journey and a lot of work to do. Upward and onward!!

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Posted (edited)

I think I remember Mr. Robert Cervaro pushing for BRT or Trolley. I'm curious to know, was Mr. Cervaro the only transit expert to be in GR pushing for these transit modes?

Edited by Rizzo

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Posted

I think I remember Mr. Robert Cervaro pushing for BRT or Trolley. I'm curious to know, was Mr. Cervaro the only transit expert to be in GR pushing for these transit modes?

:angry: YES :angry: Conveniently not having anyone else in underscoring the virtues of heavy-rail or some other proven, much more high-capacity/major-scale than trolley or BRT.

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Posted (edited)

I kinda felt that he was adamant on pushing BRT. Maybe a possible study through Kent County can shed a light on the other possibilities?

Edited by Rizzo

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Posted

No, no, no!! Not a BRT system or "enhanced bus" system of any kind. The Rapid busses have their necessary place, but Grand Rapids will need a Light Rail System. Maybe right now the density won't support it, but now is the time to build it BEFORE the density makes it too expensive. A BRT system just will not have the psychological effect of a true light rail system. The fact that there are rail lines and rail stations which are immovable cause compact development around them. Any system using the existing roadways is not seen a permanent and people won't build near them necessarily because the line can always be moved around to another area. I think that if GR moves forward with a BRT system instead of true light rail, in a couple of decades we will be revisiting it again and putting in a light rail system anyways at the cost of millions or billions more.

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Posted (edited)

If you're going to play the game, you better go for the gold. I think Dad said that it would be better for a LRT/rail system in the SE corridor because that seems to be the most dense/populated area. If LRT were to work there, it would really boaster the community perception for possible expansions.

Edited by Rizzo

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Posted

No, no, no!! Not a BRT system or "enhanced bus" system of any kind. The Rapid busses have their necessary place, but Grand Rapids will need a Light Rail System. Maybe right now the density won't support it, but now is the time to build it BEFORE the density makes it too expensive. A BRT system just will not have the psychological effect of a true light rail system. The fact that there are rail lines and rail stations which are immovable cause compact development around them. Any system using the existing roadways is not seen a permanent and people won't build near them necessarily because the line can always be moved around to another area. I think that if GR moves forward with a BRT system instead of true light rail, in a couple of decades we will be revisiting it again and putting in a light rail system anyways at the cost of millions or billions more.

Right on! As good as a BRT system may look on paper, I just don't see many in this community using it. Lets face it, Michigan is an automotive based society. The industry, the culture, the infrastructure.....We love our cars. Theres nothing cool or fun about taking the bus to work. Thats the intangible factor that light rail has that noone ever takes into account. Its fun to take a train. People just think its cool. After a LRT system is installed, Transit oriented development occurs around the line, and people even try to find housing closer to the line. Have you ever heard of someone moving to be closer to the bus stop?

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Posted

Right on! As good as a BRT system may look on paper, I just don't see many in this community using it. Lets face it, Michigan is an automotive based society. The industry, the culture, the infrastructure.....We love our cars. Theres nothing cool or fun about taking the bus to work. Thats the intangible factor that light rail has that noone ever takes into account. Its fun to take a train. People just think its cool. After a LRT system is installed, Transit oriented development occurs around the line, and people even try to find housing closer to the line. Have you ever heard of someone moving to be closer to the bus stop?

I think you're putting a little too much romance in commuting and trains. Like Risky Business?

If I'm with Rebecca DeMornay, then I don't know if I would take the stairs or an elevator.

Even light rail in GR will not be as nice as we want it. Trains will not run every 10 to 15 minutes like in Chicago or NYC.

And I mostly cannot see anything fun about commuting, no matter what conduit.

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Posted

Why wouldn't they run @ 15 or 20 minute intervals?

The current weekday Rapid Schedule (during commute hours) runs at 15min intervals on major routes or 30 mins on non-major routes. I don't know why a light rail wouldn't run at the same intervals as the buses?

I do like being able to come and go from work when I please by having my own vehicle, but I don't think it would be an issue (for me) to plan a little ahead to use a Mass transit system. For around $40 a month, I can have a unlimited Rapid Bus pass which is around one week (two at the most) of gas money.

- My two cents

I think you're putting a little too much romance in commuting and trains. Like Risky Business?

If I'm with Rebecca DeMornay, then I don't know if I would take the stairs or an elevator.

Even light rail in GR will not be as nice as we want it. Trains will not run every 10 to 15 minutes like in Chicago or NYC.

And I mostly cannot see anything fun about commuting, no matter what conduit.

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Posted

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!

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Posted (edited)

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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.

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