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BostonianinGR

Walking in GR

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To paraphrase GRdadof3: I seem to have opened a pandora's box! Oops!

But I must say that this discussion is rather thrilling! Thanks for responding so enthusiastically.

Here's a another thought.

Perhaps we need to consider models of smaller cities that have successfully introduced public transportation and have made their cities pedestrian friendly. MSNBC recently had a list of the most pedestrian friendly cities with good public transporation. One of the top ranked cities was Madison-Wisconson.

Madison, I think, would be a great model for GR. They do not have light rail, but rely on buses, which from what I understand, run frequently and are used a lot.

Any thoughts?

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BostonianinGR,

Our public transportation (buses) were actually ranked #1 last year. I think the bussing system is good, however it would be good to get some more routes to the northern suburbs, etc.

Madison is a great city, but they have two things going for them that we don't. 1) A well established University downtown (though we're working on it) and they are the capital of Wisconsin.

I think you will find Grand Rapids to be fairly walking friendly. I would rank us high on Recreational biking and jogging as we have miles and miles of paved trails.

Joe

To paraphrase GRdadof3: I seem to have opened a pandora's box! Oops!

But I must say that this discussion is rather thrilling! Thanks for responding so enthusiastically.

Here's a another thought.

Perhaps we need to consider models of smaller cities that have successfully introduced public transportation and have made their cities pedestrian friendly. MSNBC recently had a list of the most pedestrian friendly cities with good public transporation. One of the top ranked cities was Madison-Wisconson.

Madison, I think, would be a great model for GR. They do not have light rail, but rely on buses, which from what I understand, run frequently and are used a lot.

Any thoughts?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Wow! Strange coincidental timing :blink: We are on the cutting edge:

Bus service key to local economy, study finds

Thursday, June 23, 2005

By Rick Wilson

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- A ridership survey showing a significant majority of riders rely on The Rapid to get to work is evidence the state should not cut state funding to public transportation, say leaders of bus system.

According to an April survey of 517 Rapid riders, 56 percent reported they use the bus all the time to get to work while another 6 percent consistently drive or are driven to a bus stop and use the bus for the rest of their commute.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...41872162810.xml

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Come on. Madison is home to a 40,000 student University and the downtown is pretty muck locked in. Madison has an incredible amount of density downtown, which promotes walking. However, the area is quite small.

Madison is somewhat of an anomoly.

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"Rebecca the church going minivan mom from comstock park can barely handle making a lane change on Alpine Ave. Let Alone Drive all the way to 28th st. And she has never heard of downtown. And honestly GR is full of little dutch Rebecca's, and there four blond children."

I didn't realize you'd met my wife. Although we only have one kid and we have a no minivan/SUV rule.

We might be an overwhelming exception, but we seek out the unique places to shop, usually downtown. I would love to take a train to work and I make it a point to vote yes on any mass transit ballot items. We go to church downtown, eat downtown, and find entertainment downtown. We think the atmosphere is way more interesting than 28th street.

I think this is one of the hardest issues GR is dealing with. Since we lost our mass transit (street cars, interurban trains) rather early last century our city has had a lot of time to sprawl. Growth in cities with good mass transit seems to be more high density. Adding mass transit to GR becomes an issue of finding a route that will get used enough. Once we had it I think our sprawl would slow, at least to some degree. I tend to agree that the downtown to airport route would make the most sense to start.

That's an interesting idea about the S-curve. Maybe if we just altogether stop maintaining the freeways people would start using mass transit!

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That's an interesting idea about the S-curve.  Maybe if we just altogether stop maintaining the freeways people would start using mass transit!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

tell it, brother

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A walkable tour for those with kids. Took my two oldest to the Children's Museum yesterday, but instead of parking right in front like we have in the past, we had a great adventure:

Parked at the Ford Museum (free parking)

Checked out the big fountain there (girls loved it, and you can put your feet in)

Walked across the pedestrian bridge to Lyon Street

Pointed out the Griffins on the Fine Arts Building to the girls and all of the other detailing on the Amway Grand

Went up Monroe to Monroe Center and they loved the construction going on at the Grand and the big crain at the Art Museum

Checked out the mist fountain at Rosa Parks Circle and played in it for awhile

Continued up Monroe Center with a lot to see

Went to the Children's Museum

Then we headed over to the Ryerson Library and checked out the new kids area in the newly renovated section, which had story telling going on

We then made our way over to Calder Plaza and I took them on the DiSuvero Swing, which they said was their favorite part

Got back to the car just before it started raining :D

They kept telling the whole story to their friends after we got back. The whole afternoon was only $12 ;)

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If you have kids, make sure you take them to Heartside Park's sprinkler area. My kids have loved it both times we've been there. Saturdays it's open along with an art and music fair in the park. Parking is free and easy to find on Saturdays in that area and the sprinkler park usually only has a handful of kids.

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If you have kids, make sure you take them to Heartside Park's sprinkler area. My kids have loved it both times we've been there. Saturdays it's open along with an art and music fair in the park. Parking is free and easy to find on Saturdays in that area and the sprinkler park usually only has a handful of kids.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks coleco. I have also noticed that Cherry Park has one of those spray parks and wading pools too, but I haven't taken them there yet.

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