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Ford picks Grand Rapids for “City of Tomorrow” Project


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Thought this was interesting. $100,000 to the best pitch for solving our transportation woes  As far as I know, Ford never had much of a History without Grand Rapids from a manufacturing perspective, but maybe we’re a good test bed for new technologies?

https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/27/ford-city-of-tomorrow-challenge-grand-rapids-michigan/

Joe

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I think more people should take the bus and not drive on 131 or division. 

You joke about this but it's true. If more people used the bus traffic would flow easier for everyone. So thank you for proving my point. I have a car and take the bus to and from work everyday. I don

I think they should too then there would be a lot less traffic when I drive on them.

  • joeDowntown changed the title to Ford picks Grand Rapids for “City of Tomorrow” Project
On 6/28/2018 at 8:20 AM, GRLaker said:

So can any Joe Schmo submit an idea to this then? Or will proposals come from area organizations that actually have the ability to implement the ideas?

Sounds like it could be either. 

There's also this

"....but bike-sharing kiosks, more bike lanes and wider sidewalks are probably safe bets. The statement also mentioned the Challenge would accept ideas that use infrastructure and transportation data to enable "smart transportation choices." Exactly what those mean in a mid-sized Rust Belt city are anyone's guess at this point.

Wider sidewalks are going to relieve traffic congestion? 

Maybe this is the place for me to propose my enlarged metro-area "DASH-like" commuter bus idea. :)

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12 minutes ago, jonrapley said:

I think more people should take the bus and not drive on 131 or division. 

I think it’s funny when every year, The Rapids counts the ridership as 2 million or so. If they counted ridership of regular cars by the same standard, it would be in the billions for Grand Rapids. In the real world, not the ideal world, people will always prefer independent autonomy. That’s the baseline of success for proposals: Increase flow for regular vehicles. I would pitch longer ramps on 131, especially near downtown. It’s the speed differenctial that slows down and causes backups near downtown. 

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You joke about this but it's true. If more people used the bus traffic would flow easier for everyone. So thank you for proving my point. I have a car and take the bus to and from work everyday. I don't worry about paying for gas or parking, and I don't get stressed driving in all the traffic, so there is my ideal world. 

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20 hours ago, jonrapley said:

You joke about this but it's true. If more people used the bus traffic would flow easier for everyone. So thank you for proving my point. I have a car and take the bus to and from work everyday. I don't worry about paying for gas or parking, and I don't get stressed driving in all the traffic, so there is my ideal world. 

Same here. I don't feel any less autonomous when I leave my vehicle at home.

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20 hours ago, jonrapley said:

You joke about this but it's true. If more people used the bus traffic would flow easier for everyone. So thank you for proving my point. I have a car and take the bus to and from work everyday. I don't worry about paying for gas or parking, and I don't get stressed driving in all the traffic, so there is my ideal world. 

You're fortunate that you live near a bus stop and work near a bus stop. For most people this is not an option (as evidenced by only 5% of the population commuting by transit in GR).  It also helps if you have a job that punches in at 8am and leaves at 5pm every day. 

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In all honesty I think the low % of public transit users is down to a wider issue of how buses are viewed in the US. I know numerous people that live along bus routes and work on bus routes but refuse to use public transport as it is viewed as a "poor" persons mode of transport. I am hopeful the city can increase their park and ride lots and serve the community that do not live by bus routes. 

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8 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

You're fortunate that you live near a bus stop and work near a bus stop. For most people this is not an option (as evidenced by only 5% of the population commuting by transit in GR).  It also helps if you have a job that punches in at 8am and leaves at 5pm every day. 

Jeff, 

I could not agree with you more.  In 2008 I worked on Oak Industrial Drive.  I lived on Madison and Hall an I had no car at the time.  To take the bus I had to catch it at Duthler’s Foods and go all the way to the central terminal where I had to transfer to another bus to take me to Plymouth and Oak Inustrial where I had to walk a block and a half to get to work.  On a good day it took me 50 min to get to work.  Finally I chose to ride my bike  5 miles there and back every day and it only took me about 20 min.

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On 7/7/2018 at 10:40 AM, GRDadof3 said:

You're fortunate that you live near a bus stop and work near a bus stop. For most people this is not an option (as evidenced by only 5% of the population commuting by transit in GR).  It also helps if you have a job that punches in at 8am and leaves at 5pm every day. 

This is especially the case in the suburbs as well. I knew people who would take the bus from Wyoming/Grandville to downtown and it took almost two hours (walking to a nearby stop, waiting for every stop on the way to the central terminal, transferring to another bus,  waiting for every stop again). I can see why someone wouldn’t want to spend about 8% of their day just traveling, though this is an extreme case.

The bus is great, but if you live near a destination it can be faster to just use a bicycle or some other means than waiting for multiple stops or transfers. If you live far from a destination, it’s a pretty grueling process. 

So I understand the stigma that some associate with riding the bus, but there is also a concern about the time consumption as well.

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