GR_Urbanist

The Grand River?! You mean GR has a River?

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Ehhh, i dont know if i like that. Instead of naturalizing it, they should just spruce up, or install new, floodwalls. Then, have a riverwalk type of thing. One with cafes, retail, and resaurants.

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Sombody here suggested the idea of naturalizing the DT stretch of the Grand. So here's a quick 20 minute photoshop project I did to visualize the idea. Thank Goodness for Wacom tablets! I would simply bury the floodwalls with the naturalization work. So We'ed have a nice natural looking bank and still have the protection of the floodwalls.

naturalizedriverbanksf5.jpg

The source photo came from a shot I pulled from the JW Marriott thread.

I love it!

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Ehhh, i dont know if i like that. Instead of naturalizing it, they should just spruce up, or install new, floodwalls. Then, have a riverwalk type of thing. One with cafes, retail, and resaurants.

The city just finshed rehabbing all the floodwalls a couple years ago so I don't think that's going to happen. The river has a unique odor during low flow periods & high humidty :sick: - not condusive to riverwalk activites IMHO :(

Edited by Raildudes dad

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Is the smell from sewer water, or algae?

Based on my experiences with the Grand, Rogue, Flat, Thornapple Rivers over the years, I 'd have to say it's due to what happens when the stuff normally underwater is exposed to air. How's that for a very unscientific description of a naturally occcuring process :silly: :silly:

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Is the smell from sewer water, or algae?

The only smells I've witnessed in the summer, it smelled like fish. Not great, but not the same as sewage aroma.

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That smell is fish carcasses, and their umm "left overs"

Its 100% natural! :thumbsup:

Every two years I do an inventory of the river crossings in Kent County. Very rarely do I see dead fish. I see and smell far more poached deer than dead fish :(

Edited by Raildudes dad

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I have lived in the GR area for 20 some years and every time I've been to the Grand River I've never noticed any bad smells.

That smell is fish carcasses, and their umm "left overs"

Its 100% natural! :thumbsup:

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I have lived in the GR area for 20 some years and every time I've been to the Grand River I've never noticed any bad smells.

If you go riverside during late August and low water where there's exposed bottom on a hot humid windless morning, your olfactory senses will tell you what I'm talking about :whistling:

Edited by Raildudes dad

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Sombody here suggested the idea of naturalizing the DT stretch of the Grand. So here's a quick 20 minute photoshop project I did to visualize the idea. Thank Goodness for Wacom tablets! I would simply bury the floodwalls with the naturalization work. So We'ed have a nice natural looking bank and still have the protection of the floodwalls.

naturalizedriverbanksf5.jpg

The source photo came from a shot I pulled from the JW Marriott thread.

Yeah, like the other side (by GVSU). I like it. Also, the smell is an important part of the experience.

Trees next to skyscrapers next to rivers. Put the rapids back in, and it'd almost be...grand.

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Yeah, like the other side (by GVSU). I like it. Also, the smell is an important part of the experience.

Trees next to skyscrapers next to rivers. Put the rapids back in, and it'd almost be...grand.

The problem with naturalizing the river through downtown is that the river has been artificially narrowed, which makes the current deeper and stronger than elsewhere. It'd be quite a trick to remove the retaining walls, and then any fill to make new banks would be at risk of erosion due to an even stronger current caused by more narrowing.

I think the key is to acknowledge that we can't get that back, do the best with what we have, and to protect the parts of the river that are still "natural."

That being said, it seems like we are only just beginning to realize what an asset our river is - I'd love to see a more extensive riverside biking/running trail.

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Speaking of the riverbank, what's up with it over by the Presidential Museum?

I was there for the first time a week after GRF's funeral and there are pieces of metal sticking up out of the bottom, caving in blacktop walking path, cement pylons just sort of sticking up out of nowhere. Very nasty looking stuff.

Is that because the water level is low and that stuff is normally hidden? Or is that stretch just in need of an overhaul? I was disappointed because the view of the new hotel would have been great (well it still was) but for the mess on the river-bank.

Just wondering.

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I was there in that area shooting some video. I would have to say it needs a ton of TLC. ...uh Now! :sick:

Speaking of the riverbank, what's up with it over by the Presidential Museum?

I was there for the first time a week after GRF's funeral and there are pieces of metal sticking up out of the bottom, caving in blacktop walking path, cement pylons just sort of sticking up out of nowhere. Very nasty looking stuff.

Is that because the water level is low and that stuff is normally hidden? Or is that stretch just in need of an overhaul? I was disappointed because the view of the new hotel would have been great (well it still was) but for the mess on the river-bank.

Just wondering.

Edited by tamias6

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It's been like that for a while now. The dirt beneath got washed out by the river and the walkway collapsed. This is what happens when you don't have a floodwall.

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Speaking of the riverbank, what's up with it over by the Presidential Museum?

I was there for the first time a week after GRF's funeral and there are pieces of metal sticking up out of the bottom, caving in blacktop walking path, cement pylons just sort of sticking up out of nowhere. Very nasty looking stuff.

Is that because the water level is low and that stuff is normally hidden? Or is that stretch just in need of an overhaul? I was disappointed because the view of the new hotel would have been great (well it still was) but for the mess on the river-bank.

Just wondering.

That was one of my big complaints when the news of Ford's passing came. The DDA has had it on their radar for awhile, but nothing has been done about it. I believe the worst damage occurred during that massive ice jam a couple of years ago.

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The neglect the city has shown to the river in the past has been sad but I think things have come a long way. Fortunately I really don't think a project to the extent of something like Navy Pier or even San Antnoio's Boardwalk are necessary to save it. Tastefully designed flood walls with some river facing businesses and extended pathway would suffice. Perhaps some moderately designed public art just for flavor. I think the ultimate goal for the city and surrounding counties of the river would be to clean it up and one day have a summertime ferry which runs from GR to Grand Haven. Not only would this benefit these two communities but spur other communities to have an interest in taking care of their part of the river. No one would want to be the ugly spot on a cruise.

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A review of some upgrades to the riverfront today:

The buckled riverwalk around the Grand Rapids Public Museum is pretty much finished. New sprinklers look to be installed too, but no new landscaping (yet):

530324662_865147824e.jpg

New benches on the blue bridge (nice!):

530324674_8a078a0602.jpg

(which is bizarre because I think someone suggested that not long ago)

BTW: do NOT sit on the far West end of the benches or you'll be thrown to the ground. For some reason a leg was placed incorrectly. :whistling:

530338362_ae95888e78.jpg

Obligatory pic of the new parking ramp:

530324700_5a4134aa39.jpg

If you haven't been on the blue bridge and seen this sight yet, you are missing something!

530338342_3f67905f4a.jpg

Or this angle:

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They've spent quite a bit of time and energy renovating the landscaping around the granite waterfall:

530338492_6d4bac62ca.jpg

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Men at Work:

530338452_f9cd26338c.jpg

Powerwashing and sealing the West side of Plaza Towers now:

530352368_c9a7841ee6.jpg

The little park by PT (I hope this doesn't get totally destroyed):

530352214_a5d2527613.jpg

From the other side:

530352394_6a95f257af.jpg

The blue lights are on during the day?

530352384_e3de2cb9db.jpg

Obligatory trifecta shot :D :

530352374_e08ecc2b27.jpg

More updates as I see em.

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New benches on the blue bridge (nice!):

Those benches seem out of place being right in the middle. I would have expected them to be placed closer to the sides of the bridge. I guess this is so people don't have to fear falling over the edge somehow?

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Look what they are accomplishing in the 313:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...RES01/706070422

A river-themed carousel in a plaza, a glass map of the seaway, a granite depiction of the river on the walkway, a festival called River Days, free admission? Wouldn't that be awesome? We should have something like that right here in GR. Perhaps if we sold off the naming rights to the river we could get the funding needed.

"The Van Andel Grand River brought to you by Meijer" ...hmmmmmm, not sure about that.

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I've always felt like the Grand River "seawall" is a really unpleasant hodgepodge of cement and weeds along the east bank downtown. It's really disappointing because there's a lot of potential there.

grap18marriotconst2zf3.jpg

371210669a983389e8cbed1.jpg

Take Chicago's riverfront for example.

Beautiful, consistent stonework plus permanent stairway access to the esplanade which is landscaped with benches and planters. In Grand Rapids, the esplanade could be closed during high water and as for the openings in the side of the embankment in Chicago, in Grand Rapids this could lead to a sort-of spillway for the Grand River limiting the impact of the development on the water's course.

chicagoriver2004nr7.jpg

Really though, the main point of my argument is consistency. The wall along the grand river really needs a unified look.

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