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Rizzo

the small things

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Lets make a list of small ideas that would help GR.

-Legalize street performing.

-Retrofit rundown buildings for use as car ramps.

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-In-fill as many surface parking lots as possible, especially parking lots on important streets, preferable with residential space

-Plant more trees

-Do interesting patterns/colors with sidewalk pavers

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Mandate that all buildings in the smaller business districts must restore all of their original windows.

Bring back that little structure on Monroe Center that was used for public telephones.

What ever happend to that?

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Fix the broken parts of the riverwalk please--it is an embarassment, and I bet every single conventioneer that stays at the Amway notices it, since it is the first natural place to explore when you get a break from a meeting--certain things just ought to be fixed before others, and this is one of the things that makes a terrible impression that is taken away by visitors and told to others outside of the city...

:(

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Simply maintaining city streets would be a good start. This city has the worst basic infrastructure in West Michigan. Is there any systematic plan for repaving or reconstruction?

I've worked downtown for nearly 20 years and they've torn up and completely replaced Michigan Street between the bridge and the hill 4 or 5 times, while doing nothing more than throw "slurry seal' on Ottawa north of Michigan. It's a shame. Winter potholes still haven't been filled in some areas.

Even smaller cities like Holland have a coordinated plan to replace/repave 5% of their city streets each year, which means that no street ever goes more than 20 years without at least a resurfacing. Often it involves a complete replacement from ROW to ROW including sidewalks, curbs, water, storm sewer sanitary sewer, and even underground electric.

This is Grand Rapids' greatest embarassment because it is the first thing that every visitor sees.

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well this thread went from small things, to medium priced redesigns to holy crap thats gonna take a lot of money :D

For the small things (AKA cheap things to implement),

I would like to see more places to sit in parks and public places.

I would like to see more businesses open up downtown.

I would like to see more grenspace

I would like to see more adults-only entertainment (Thats not strip clubs, or adult bookstores)

Now for the people and government:

I want to see the city worry about itself, and not its image to the suburbs.

I want to see people worry less about their what a program is going to do to their taxes and begin to have more concern about their community.

I want to see the day that Grand Rapids will look to the future, but still remember the past.

I want to see the Planning Commission be expunged and replaced with people who actually care about planning a city.

I want to see a place where people can come together pull up a laptop and murder themselves virtually :lol: (what a way to ease the tension)

I want to see the day that people wont go into certain neighborhoods and lock the doors of their car because of their preconcieved irrational notions of "crime"

Now for everyone else:

I do not want to see Grand Rapids fall into the same trap that other cities have

I do not want to see Grand Rapids open its doors to the wrecking ball of big box development.

I do not want to see Grand Rapids become like every other city in the nation; Cold, suburban, and forgotten.

I do not want to see Grand Rapids again fail where it failed before.

And for myself:

I pledge that I will travel more to the Downtown area

I pledge that I will do my best to influence as many people as I can to avoid the pitfalls I described earlier

I pledge that one day I will find living space downtown.

I pledge that I will erase my previous misconceptions of the city, and educate myself to the reality of Grand Rapids as it is.

I pledge that I will contribute as many resources as I can towards achieving these gaols.

errrr woops I babbled too much. ah well. Its the small things I think we can all work on :P

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well this thread went from small things, to medium priced redesigns to holy crap thats gonna take a lot of money :D

For the small things (AKA cheap things to implement),

I would like to see more places to sit in parks and public places.

I would like to see more businesses open up downtown.

I would like to see more grenspace

I would like to see more adults-only entertainment (Thats not strip clubs, or adult bookstores)

Now for the people and government:

I want to see the city worry about itself, and not its image to the suburbs.

I want to see people worry less about their what a program is going to do to their taxes and begin to have more concern about their community.

I want to see the day that Grand Rapids will look to the future, but still remember the past.

I want to see the Planning Commission be expunged and replaced with people who actually care about planning a city.

I want to see a place where people can come together pull up a laptop and murder themselves virtually  :lol: (what a way to ease the tension)

I want to see the day that people wont go into certain neighborhoods and lock the doors of their car because of their preconcieved irrational notions of "crime"

Now for everyone else:

I do not want to see Grand Rapids fall into the same trap that other cities have

I do not want to see Grand Rapids open its doors to the wrecking ball of big box development.

I do not want to see Grand Rapids become like every other city in the nation; Cold, suburban, and forgotten.

I do not want to see Grand Rapids again fail where it failed before.

And for myself:

I pledge that I will travel more to the Downtown area

I pledge that I will do my best to influence as many people as I can to avoid the pitfalls I described earlier

I pledge that one day I will find living space downtown.

I pledge that I will erase my previous misconceptions of the city, and educate myself to the reality of Grand Rapids as it is.

I pledge that I will contribute as many resources as I can towards achieving these gaols.

errrr woops I babbled too much. ah well. Its the small things I think we can all work on :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow! You got me a little choked up there, snoogit :P

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Snoogit wrote:

"I would like to see more adults-only entertainment (Thats not strip clubs, or adult bookstores)"

Let me firmly second that sentiment! Nothing contributes more to the blanding of a city than an emphasis on "famleeee-friendleeee" entertainment, restaurants, or anything else. The very phrase makes me want to puke broken glass!

You want family-friendly? That's what playgrounds, daycare centers, and backyards are for.

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Snoogit wrote:

"I would like to see more adults-only entertainment (Thats not strip clubs, or adult bookstores)"

Let me firmly second that sentiment! Nothing contributes more to the blanding of a city than an emphasis on "famleeee-friendleeee" entertainment, restaurants, or anything else. The very phrase makes me want to puke broken glass!

You want family-friendly? That's what playgrounds, daycare centers, and backyards are for.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As a father of small children myself, I will try not to take offense to that ;)

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"puke broken glass" hmm...very graphic :lol:

I think what he means is that corny hamfisted stuff you see in the burbs. It is a good idea though. While progress is being made, we still need a better mix of businesses. Sometimes I think we have too many bars and banks.

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You can't really have too many banks, banks are a sign of a good neighborhood. Usually, the first businesses to move out when a neighborhood goes bad are banks, consider their moving out of an area as early warning.

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Lets make a list of small ideas that would help GR.

-Legalize street performing.

-Retrofit rundown buildings for use as car ramps.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is street performing illegal? I honestly don't know.

I meant to bring this up a while ago, but did anyone see the ads in the paper for Downtown Holland how they have a specific night for street performers and they advertise it? I'd love to see that here - there just needs to be a lot of them to make it something. I'm sure there are enough musicians to fill Monroe Center certain summer nights (there are even some pretty incredible HS jazz combos that would love it!)

I know I've been to places (Santa Monica, CA comes to mind) where people just stoll around and check out the performers, stop for dinner, stroll around some more. How great would that be?

(and it would be family friendly...)

Kidding aside, it would be a great opportunity to spend a nice summer night with the family downtown. (Since now at night, you can either go to a concert or a bar)

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I know it's not necessarily in the city of GR, but please someone clean up the trash along 131, especially near 36th St. It looks terrible.

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The trash along 131 at 36th street is called Wyoming. W-Y-O M-I-N-G. Home of Wy-man.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:rofl::rofl: That is funny! Poor Wyoming :P

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My list would include:

-Putting 4 lane roads on Road Diets (convert to 3 lanes w/ bike lines and parking)

-The City should provide funding opportunities for neighborhoods that incentivize planning (give us the money and we will hire the consultants)

-The City should recognize neighborhood groups for funding, even if they are not official neighborhood associations.

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Another thing I'd like to see is a Planning/City Commision backed architectural detail that was strongly recomended for all new construction in the city. For example, require a pediment that has elements from a designated historical style, but also let the architect encorporate other elements of the building design. I think this could create a recognizable style for an era of the city, and after a period of years the specific architectural element defined regulated by the city could be changed.

So, first off, do you guys understand my idea (I dont know how well I have articulated my idea)? And if so, do you like it?

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So if I understand what you are saying, your proposal would eliminate buildings like Beta Design's new building with a sail boat lobby in a brick warehouse district?

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