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Everything posted by DwntwnGeo

  1. Looking for some additional information on the internet, I came across this site on MDOT for public input: "MI Transportation Plan MI Transportation Plan, also known as the State Long-Range Plan, is a 25-year plan for transforming Michigan's transportation system. With input from stakeholders and the public, MDOT is developing a vision for our future transportation system. The draft plan will be released in late spring 2007. "There are a couple links to some current MDOT visions and goals. There is also a link for public comment. This is our time to let the State of Michigan know how we feel about transit issues in our State. The MDOT link is here: http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/1,1607,7-151-...4809---,00.html
  2. Most all of Division south of downtown is at least 4 lanes wide (two lanes of traffic each direction)and 5 in some places. What if the City were to dedicate one lane in each direction for tansit (LTR or BRT)? Wouldn't it be possible for the City to "curb" off this transit lane so drivers could not jump lanes? This would create a dedicated ROW for a tranist system. There are additional services that Cities have put on BRT to "adjust or change" stop lights on cross streets to make the transit lane more effient and on time by not having to stop at each and every light. Of course the major down side to this plan would be the adjustment required by drivers to have one lane in each direction instead of two. Another option in some areas where street side parking is available is to loose the parking lane verses the driving lane. Maybe the frustration of driving on only one lane would encourage additional users of the transit system? or maybe it would encourage them not to go downtown?
  3. I understand that the current rail line is owned by frieght, but Amtrak doesn't own their rail lines either, they share/lease them with freight, right? I was just mentioning that if a trial works over on the East side of Michigan where Amtrak, frieght, and passenger can share the same rail, than maybe it would/could be an option here on the West side of the State. Would it be a perferct, probably not, because they wouldn't own the rails, but maybe it would spur more interest into rail transit increasing ridership and showing the Feds that it would be a good investment to give us Federal monies to build our own dedicated lines. As the Detroit article mentions, it would cost $3Billion to build a dedicated system, but only $5Million/year to share/lease with Amtrak/frieght. The $5Million being something more managable by local & state governments. It will be interesting to see if they can get something like this to work or not. I know plat maps show land/ROW owned by power companies for their main transmission lines. You can buy them on a county by county basis. It would be great if there was an online version...
  4. Is anyone planning on attending the: 2) The Rapid
  5. "So teaming up with Amtrak for a demonstration rail project -- using existing track, stations and renovated passengers cars -- makes the most sense. SEMCOG is negotiating with Amtrak to provide several limited-stop daily round trips between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Stops might include Ypsilanti, Metro Airport and Dearborn." "Building a light-rail system from Detroit to Ann Arbor would cost an estimated $3 billion. By contrast, the Amtrak demonstration project includes no direct start-up costs and perhaps $5 million a year to operate. Money would most likely come from state grants, local communities and counties that benefit from new service for students, commuters, airline passengers, sports fans and entertainment seekers."If sharing track/stations with Amtrak works out for SE Michigan maybe they can do something simular on the SW side. Wouldn't it be great if share the Amtrak line between Grand Rapids and Holland for commuters? Or to create a route between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo with stops in Wayland (future Casino?), Plainwell and Kalamazoo. If things were timed right, people from Grand Rapids area could take a commuter train to Kalamazoo and transfer to one of the four Chicago bound Amtrak trains.
  6. Isn't there an on/off ramp for I-196 on the Western side of Division Ave across from the RDV construction site? Maybe they would go a little further west and build on top of the GR Press building
  7. I see your point. From what I have read on the net, it sounds like there will be two systems, the downtown circular street car and more of a commuter system that The Rapid will choose from the Great Transit Grand Tomorrows study group. One system will help people get around the core area while the other will help bring people to and from the core area. For example: If The Rapids decides the route will be down Division, they could construct/build Park and Rides at various stops that have access to US131 (ie: Divsion & 36th or Division & 44th or Divsion &54th or somewhere by the US131/M6 interchange). Doing this may help with some of the congestion for parking/driving downtown for people coming from the South.
  8. An article in today's Rapid Growth talks about the recent trip to Portland. Sounds like it must have gone well. "local leaders are now planning a second, larger expedition to Portland later this year to continue to build local interest, particularly among developers, in the streetcar revolution." The complete article can be read here: http://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/features/pland36.aspx
  9. I heard/read somewhere the automated system replaces the need for a live person at the gate to take your money. The gate will have a way to accept cash, coins, debit and credit cards for payment before letting you exit the ramp. Does the Kinko's surface lot have one of these gates? If so, I wonder if it is working well for them.
  10. Maybe they will snow melt the sea of parking too. We wouldn't want anybody to experience winter in Michigan and get their Italian shoes wets. I would have rather seen some of these shops downtown, but I forgot we have a aweful parking problem and not enough people that spend money I guess.
  11. Maybe there is something more to this.... they(MDOT etc) are going to rebuild Michigan Street starting next year. Maybe they can build something that will work with a transit system the city (and others) are looking at in Portland. Whether it be partially underground or changing the slope somehow to make it work. Maybe the section of the loop along Michigan will be a cable car? Do they make an interchangable street & cable car? (ok, back to reality).
  12. With some talk about the DASH systems, here are the three routes it currently has in the CBD.
  13. Now that my mind is thinking about a possible downtown transit systems instead of work this afternoon, what are some ideas for possible routes in downtown? Do you think there will be one consitant loop, or multiple loops that intersect eachother? Like one North/South loop and one East/West loop intersecting at points for transfers. Would they consider going North along Ionia and South along Ottawa since both of these streets are already one-way, it would be easier to block or dedicate a lane for a transit car. Do you think they will cross the River to pick up GVSU and the YMCA? The East/West crossing can be on Fulton, Pearl or Michigan/Bridge Streets. I am curious to hear what routes you guys/girls think are important in the downtown/core areas. I will have to get my downtown maps out and figure out how many places I can get to in under 3 miles.
  14. Maybe MSU will want to use this space as a construction staging area when they build the new school building/complex. When everything is completed, they will make/pave it into parking for possible future expansion.
  15. nevermind..... GRDad beat me to it again. I just need to be faster on the computer
  16. Does anyone know if they this "certain" group visited Portland, Oregon? I hope they did and I wonder how impressed they were of the transit system out there.
  17. There was a meeting this afternoon at the RAPID. "Officials of The RAPID bus service are looking at renewing a millage that was passed in 2003, which funds this system. They are also talking about asking for an additional 0.2 mills - about $2.2 million - to make more changes. The 0.2 mill increase would cost residents an extra $10 a year if they own a $100,000 house. The Interurban Transit Partnership Board met to talk about a plan that asks voters for a renewal and increase. More routes would be added to new areas of service, particularly to the northwest side of Grand Rapids. Plus, there would be extra weekend service." The complete story is on WoodTV8: http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5775687
  18. Isn't that open lot across from the Civic right next to the Fountain building in question? Maybe they could build a parking struction on the lot like we have talked about before? The parking structure could be connected to the building at different floors. It might not be Iconic, but it is along Division Ave. Isn't that large parking lot behind the McDonalds owned by Spectrum or the GVSU building? This MSU property is just across the street (Sinclair) from this large lot. They would own the entire area along I-196 from the GVSU building to College. In time they will probably buy out McD's and the others so they can obtain Michigan Street frontage.
  19. This might be a little off topic, but it is about transit and also in Michigan: "DETROIT -- Regional transportation planners have ruled out light rail and other options for a mass transit connection between Detroit and Ann Arbor, but still believe there is potential for a streamlined commuter rail." The complete article is here: http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5656550 From the same article: "Bourgeau said a revised model should be ready by January and regional officials could conceivably have a proposal ready to submit to the federal government by March." Sounds like they going to beat us to the punch for submitting a proposal for Federal monies? I thought our studies were further along. Maybe I am thinking about two different things. Either way, it sounds like they are having a hard time to justify Federal monies for the system they would like to build. Great Pictures too Rizzo!
  20. It wouldn't surprise me if MSU or Spectrum won't own or have options to purchase the remaining parcels in the block bound by College, Michigan, I-196 and Sinclair in the next few months/years.
  21. I agree that being closer to downtown would be a better location, but I don't know all the circumstances or needs for such a school/building. It will be a nice addition both along I-196 and Michigan St. As times move along, I hope people continue to fill in along Michigan and create a solid Medical Corridor. I also hope with the added interest in the area they will take another look at the transit problems we may have in the near future.
  22. There have been some questions about what will happen to the "old" hospital site. In today's Business Journal the last paragraph mentions some of the current thoughts and plans. "Childress said the old hospital, which is being replaced by the eight-story, $150 million facility in Byron Township, is expected to be torn down and either condominiums or an assisted living center built on the site. A 20,000-square-foot medical building will probably be left standing, Childress said. " Website link for the article: http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/ArticleArchive/20...apid+Growth.htm
  23. What if they had a dedicated lane for the BRT? I know it doesn't sound much/any better and you will run along side auto traffic. When I heard of this the first time, I thought the same thing, how is this going to be any better than the bus running down the street now. Looking at some of the examples posted on the site there are ways to section off BRT from the main street. Cities build curbs and sometimes line them with trees etc. At the last meeting I was at with the Rapid, I asked about this particular question. There response was very simular to the examples we have seen on here. For example, along the Divsion route, where there are 4 lanes and one turning lane in the middle, they would more than likely, because we cannot move buildings etc, reduce the lanes to two and possible still have a turning lane in some areas. This would all depend on how much "stuff" (trees, shurbs, benches etc) we would like along the sidewalks and route. Another option would be to loose the "on stree" parking along division. They mentioned there would be some protests about the parking lose. To keep the flow of traffic with the BRT in order to make them faster and more relieable on time, the busses would be equiped with electronics to control street lights along their routes, so they wouldn't have to stop unless there was a need to. I guess my point is that there is more to a BRT system than just putting another bus on the road.
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