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About demhem

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    Grand Rapids, Michigan

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  1. demhem

    GVSU Downtown Development

    Those pedestrians and their incessant walking! VectorPrime is correct, there will be a mid-block crossing (FINALLY) as part of the Laker Line platform construction. I'd love to carry a median across the entire bridge so that it would slow traffic (currently, it seems like people speed up to 40/50 mph across it at times) which is obviously extremely dangerous in a downtown area and adjacent to a campus with pedestrians and bicyclists. Traffic calming or a road diet along that entire stretch would make the whole area more walkable.
  2. demhem

    Highway and Road Construction Updates

    Those are temporary (i.e. literally glued down)
  3. demhem

    Highway and Road Construction Updates

    I'm not sure why the City is so dedicated to further eliminating connections between Monroe North and Downtown. We should be reestablishing the traditional grid, not continue to remove it. Dumping all of the traffic onto only Monroe and Division is not how you reduce traffic congestion.
  4. demhem

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    The Laker Line will also have pre-board pay stations and higher capacity buses. To be fair, most BRT lines in the United States aren't true BRT.
  5. demhem

    Predictions for the coming year

    Speaking of student apartment trash. Will it look better or worse than this fine East Lansing gem?
  6. Having no available street parking at 6:15 is precisely why paid parking (or first-hour free parking) on street being extended to 8 should be considered as an option in the central business district. People can leave their cars parked on the street all night after 6pm for free. This does not encourage turnover for those running an errand or grabbing dinner or drinks for an hour or two and pushes those seeking short-term parking to the parking structures.
  7. demhem

    Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

    I I don't think that you need data to prove that Detroit has historically had a race problem which has led to poor urban and metro policy (even though plenty of evidence exists in formal and informal research). The narrative exists and still contributes to what goes on over there.
  8. They can't afford the taxes and fees? I live in GR because it is cheaper than living in the suburbs. My property taxes are a quarter of what my parent's pay on their half-acre suburban lot and my commute to work is an 8 minute drive/10 minute bike ride/15 minute transit ride (compared to my dad's 40-minute work commute). I mow my 4,000 square foot lot in 10 minutes with a push mower vs. my parent's 1.5 hour riding mower/push mower combo. Are we living in the same universe? Financial choices can be made which favor an urban or suburban argument. It depends on what your priorities are.
  9. I never suggested living without a car. I suggested living with one less car than you normally would to save upwards of $10k per year per vehicle. Having grown up in a family of four with four cars (while my sister and I were in high school) I found the amount that we paid out of convenience (due to our location) to be ridiculous, regardless of my family's six-figure income.
  10. Gas, vehicle maintenance, and time could easily account for a good chunk of that if you are in the $100,000 range. Per the US Dept of Labor, the average vehicle costs nearly $10,000 per year to own and operate. Eliminate a car from a family of four and reduce gas, wear/tear, and time from commuting with other vehicles and the tax benefits are likely marginal.
  11. Parking meters (as well as duration maximums) encourage parking turnover, which is a good thing in busy retail/restaurant corridors with street parking. Ideally, those who need to be in and out of a business or restaurant will opt for the quick street meter parking in front of a business (shorter duration means cheaper), while those who want to linger will walk a bit further to free or cheaper parking or parking without duration maximums. This also discourages employers/employees from taking up prime parking on the street in front of storefronts.
  12. demhem

    New projects on the West Side

    I have multiple friends in GR that either share one car (as a couple) or don't have a car at all. In one instance they put all of the money they would have spent on a second a car into paying down student loans.
  13. demhem

    New projects on the West Side

    Looking at the Accela permit map, it looks like 1220 West Fulton is being renovated to be Squibb Coffee and Rise Bakery. Not sure if anyone can confirm this. If so, this is a great location for a coffee shop. The Laker Line will have an inbound and outbound platform within a stone's throw of the building.
  14. demhem

    Woodland Mall to get $100 Million makeover

    I've been waiting for this day since moving to GR 10 years ago. REI is a fantastic company. I'm a little bummed they chose to locate out there (I was hoping for an urban store like Denver, albeit, not a flagship store), but an REI is an REI!
  15. demhem

    What are Grand Rapids' best assets?

    Cost of living is a rational index and we certainly beat Denver there. Without knowing what rational indexes you're referring to, i'm not sure I can agree with your catch-all blanket statement.