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Connections - Getting from Point A to Point B without a car

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I rode to and from a class held at the downtown library last evening. During both trips, I noticed many more bikes on the streets compared to say, a year ago. And I mean serious, ADULT riders, wearing helmets and using headlights and taillights! All configurations, too, from multi-speed mountain bikes to beach cruisers tricked out to look as comfy as a porch swing. (I'm not a fast rider, so I make a point of noticing such things.) I felt on the cusp of something big, Big, BIG!

I raise a glass of champagne in honor of the bicyclists of Grand Rapids.

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I bought a new bike this summer for commuting my three miles through dowtown. I love it! I'm usually been able to bike 4 out of 5 days a week. I'm getting nervous as fall and winter approach, but I'm going to try and bike as much into winter as possible. My wife and I are trying to get down to one car, so it may not be an option.

My commuter set-up is:

-Bike = Kona Smoke (converted to a 7 speed)

-Flashing Lights (front and back)

-Fenders (front and back)

-Bike Lock

-Rear Rack

-Bar Extenders

-Horn

-Helmet

-Cyclocomputer (nothing better than adding up your weekly milage and seeing the money you saved on gas)

I also built my bike to ride on the road to force cars to acknowledge my rights as a biker.

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It definitely a trend. You also are seeing more motor scooters, mopeds, and E-bikes throughout town. I dont know if it's gas prices or just wanting some exercise, but it is a wonderful thing to see. :thumbsup:

Now if only drivers will be a little more cautious and learn to share the road. :o

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I rode to and from a class held at the downtown library last evening. During both trips, I noticed many more bikes on the streets compared to say, a year ago. And I mean serious, ADULT riders, wearing helmets and using headlights and taillights! All configurations, too, from multi-speed mountain bikes to beach cruisers tricked out to look as comfy as a porch swing. (I'm not a fast rider, so I make a point of noticing such things.) I felt on the cusp of something big, Big, BIG!

I raise a glass of champagne in honor of  the bicyclists of Grand Rapids.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

same here--I always honor bikers, even though I am only a "recreational biker"--once or twice a week for exercise...

there is no reason the city should not convert one major non-prominent street coming in from each direction, and actually create painted bike lanes there--

I nominate Fountain or Lyon as a potential bike corridor from the East, and Jefferson or Prospect as the corridor from the South, for example... Some of you may have better suggestions....

Don't any city leaders ever visit places like Boulder or Salt Lake City where such configurations are the norm?

:)

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could we get a cool cities grant for this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The DDA does have a bicycle/pedestrian plan, but it looks like it could use some help:

http://www.ci.grand-rapids.mi.us/index.pl?page_id=2665

Or get with the Rapid Wheelman and see if you can put a proposal together ;)

http://www.lmb.org/rapidwheels/

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I take Madison and Lafayette as my North/South route. I like it because it's less busy than Division, you ride through some great housing, the roads are wide and in decent condition, hills are moderate, and you can hit good lights to get across busy streets (Franklin and Fulton).

However, in the last 3 days, I have been honked and yelled at by a passing car in the same section of this route. This hasn't happened all summer. Maybe fall brings out the bike-haters.

Getting some bike lanes painted on Madison makes a ton of sense. The intersections would also need to become more biker friendly. There is a group putting together a design charette for the Madison/Hall area, and I hope that pedestrian/bike traffic is a big part of it.

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Anyone here involved in the project to link all of the Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon County bike trails together? I saw an article today in the press about the upcoming $5 Million first phase fundraiser for West Michigan Trails & Greenway Coalition.

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Who in Kent County is working on issues related to biking and pedestrian planning? Are there any nonprofits, associations, or agencies dedicated to these types of issues? Who is advocating for bike paths, street calming, crosswalks, pedestrian bridges at the State and City level?

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Who in Kent County is working on issues related to biking and pedestrian planning? Are there any nonprofits, associations, or agencies dedicated to these types of issues? Who is advocating for bike paths, street calming, crosswalks, pedestrian bridges at the State and City level?

North Country Trail, Kent Trails, and probably various parks and rec departments for local municipalities.

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Who in Kent County is working on issues related to biking and pedestrian planning? Are there any nonprofits, associations, or agencies dedicated to these types of issues? Who is advocating for bike paths, street calming, crosswalks, pedestrian bridges at the State and City level?

I am! (Someone put up the link to "my" bicycle plan.)

GVMC has a bike & ped committee and they are looking at long-range fixes to bottlenecks.

Rapid Wheelmen is donating SHARE THE ROAD signage to various jurisdictions. (Kent County flat out refused them but most of the cities are happy to have them.) We bought a mess 'o these from Jade Cycles in Zeeland.

WMich Trails Alliance & Greenways Coalition is coordinating trail issues. Partners include the usual suspects: White Pine, Walker, other Friends groups.

Got a particular issue that you need a boost with?

--Veloise

previously a temp at 300 Monroe

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I am! (Someone put up the link to "my" bicycle plan.)

GVMC has a bike & ped committee and they are looking at long-range fixes to bottlenecks.

Rapid Wheelmen is donating SHARE THE ROAD signage to various jurisdictions. (Kent County flat out refused them but most of the cities are happy to have them.) We bought a mess 'o these from Jade Cycles in Zeeland.

WMich Trails Alliance & Greenways Coalition is coordinating trail issues. Partners include the usual suspects: White Pine, Walker, other Friends groups.

Got a particular issue that you need a boost with?

--Veloise

previously a temp at 300 Monroe

The reason I made the original post was:

1) I was just part of a design charette for a section of Madison Ave near Hall and felt a lot of resistance from Traffic Safety to designated bike lanes. I wish I would have done my research and invited some of the folks mentioned above to this charette.

2) I live in Belknap Lookout and we have kicked around the idea of having a spur for Kent Trails that would run through our neighborhood parks and connect up near 6th Street bridge. I would love to talk with some folks about how realistic this might be. Our neighborhood recently wrote a grant to work on neighborhood connections and walkability, if funded, we would need some "experts" around the table.

3) I am a newly converted bicycle commuter (just flipped 400 miles on the odometer) and would like to be part of any advocacy efforts to make GR more bike friendly.

Thanks for the response and leads.

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It seems like when Sixth Street/Canal Street Parks were being built, there was talk of converting that abandoned rail line to a paved trail (the rail line that runs up the riverbank North of there and crosses the river right near Baker Furniture), with eventual hopes to take it to Riverside Park and connect with the White Pine Trail. Is that the area to which you were referring bwindi?

I think that would be awesome! And if Baker could move into a facility a little more modern, that could open up that old factory for some great bikepath/riverfront living. That old rail bridge could be converted into a pedestrian bridge as well.

Another idea would be to build a bike/pedestrian bridge over Division (like the White Pine Trail bridge over West River Drive) to take people from Belknap Park into the Monroe North area. Which you guys have probably already discussed :blush:

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It seems like when Sixth Street/Canal Street Parks were being built, there was talk of converting that abandoned rail line to a paved trail (the rail line that runs up the riverbank North of there and crosses the river right near Baker Furniture), with eventual hopes to take it to Riverside Park and connect with the White Pine Trail. Is that the area to which you were referring bwindi?

I think that would be awesome! And if Baker could move into a facility a little more modern, that could open up that old factory for some great bikepath/riverfront living. That old rail bridge could be converted into a pedestrian bridge as well.

Another idea would be to build a bike/pedestrian bridge over Division (like the White Pine Trail bridge over West River Drive) to take people from Belknap Park into the Monroe North area. Which you guys have probably already discussed :blush:

I would like to see a path/route that connects Highland, Coit, Lookout Parks using the hillside and freeway right-of-way. This could then connect over Division perpendicular to the Sixth Street/Canal Park bike bath. (then finish the link to Riverside).

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The reason I made the original post was:

1) I was just part of a design charette for a section of Madison Ave near Hall and felt a lot of resistance from Traffic Safety to designated bike lanes. I wish I would have done my research and invited some of the folks mentioned above to this charette.

2) I live in Belknap Lookout and we have kicked around the idea of having a spur for Kent Trails that would run through our neighborhood parks and connect up near 6th Street bridge. I would love to talk with some folks about how realistic this might be. Our neighborhood recently wrote a grant to work on neighborhood connections and walkability, if funded, we would need some "experts" around the table.

3) I am a newly converted bicycle commuter (just flipped 400 miles on the odometer) and would like to be part of any advocacy efforts to make GR more bike friendly.

Thanks for the response and leads.

Traffic will resist any new signage, lane markings, and the like. The Plainfield re-striping makes a de facto bike lane, but it's not getting signed unless the bicycle club or other private parties donate funds/signs. Pat Bush has gratefully accepted all of the club's Share the Road markers, and they've been installed in the places that we suggested (including Plymouth between Michigan and Fulton, which doesn't need them, but that's what the hospice patient wanted).

There likely is not R-O-W or ground area in your 'hood for a separate designated facility like a Kent Trail. But there's no reason you couldn't scout some suitable streets, present to Traffic and Planning, and hand them some hardware. (If you have routes that should be marked on the next edition of the Bike GR map, let me know.)

Since the budget axe swung April 1, there has not been a strong presence in City Hall for bicycling. (In June they asked me to deliver the reprinted maps, and of course I did.) Most of the efforts come from outside.

Perhaps your 'hood could send a rep to the monthly meetings of the West Michigan Trails Alliance, usually held in Walker at a fire station at 5 pm on third Wednesday (i.e. Dec 21). They are a coalition of the various "Friends" trail groups and they have $$$M promised from various philanthropists to fund trail projects.

HTH

--Veloise

who landed a job on 28th Street, ick!

It seems like when Sixth Street/Canal Street Parks were being built, there was talk of converting that abandoned rail line to a paved trail (the rail line that runs up the riverbank North of there and crosses the river right near Baker Furniture), with eventual hopes to take it to Riverside Park and connect with the White Pine Trail. ...

That's part of the City's plan, along with the Trails Alliance folks.

--Veloise

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Thanks, I will get in touch with you through another avenue (phone or email). We just got some $$$ to do some walkability planning up here in Belknap. I would love to have a knowledgable/connected individual give us some advise as we start planning for more pedestrian development.

Traffic will resist any new signage, lane markings, and the like. The Plainfield re-striping makes a de facto bike lane, but it's not getting signed unless the bicycle club or other private parties donate funds/signs. Pat Bush has gratefully accepted all of the club's Share the Road markers, and they've been installed in the places that we suggested (including Plymouth between Michigan and Fulton, which doesn't need them, but that's what the hospice patient wanted).

There likely is not R-O-W or ground area in your 'hood for a separate designated facility like a Kent Trail. But there's no reason you couldn't scout some suitable streets, present to Traffic and Planning, and hand them some hardware. (If you have routes that should be marked on the next edition of the Bike GR map, let me know.)

Since the budget axe swung April 1, there has not been a strong presence in City Hall for bicycling. (In June they asked me to deliver the reprinted maps, and of course I did.) Most of the efforts come from outside.

Perhaps your 'hood could send a rep to the monthly meetings of the West Michigan Trails Alliance, usually held in Walker at a fire station at 5 pm on third Wednesday (i.e. Dec 21). They are a coalition of the various "Friends" trail groups and they have $$$M promised from various philanthropists to fund trail projects.

HTH

--Veloise

who landed a job on 28th Street, ick!

That's part of the City's plan, along with the Trails Alliance folks.

--Veloise

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Hoping someone knows more information about the Oxford Street Bridge and Trail that is in the works. Money was donated by the Frey Foundation to rebuild an old bridge that crosses a CSX rail line to be used as a bike trail, and the city is in the process of collecting bids and working with CSX, but I can't find where it's located. Anyone? Veloise? It's projected to cost a little over $1 Million.

It's on today's City Commission agenda, but not a lot of detail.

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Hoping someone knows more information about the Oxford Street Bridge and Trail that is in the works. Money was donated by the Frey Foundation to rebuild an old bridge that crosses a CSX rail line to be used as a bike trail, and the city is in the process of collecting bids and working with CSX, but I can't find where it's located. Anyone? Veloise? It's projected to cost a little over $1 Million.

It's on today's City Commission agenda, but not a lot of detail.

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I think there's an Oxford St. on the SW side in Black Hills.. It's near the CSXT line along Grand River. The Street butts into Woolsey Dr. SW.

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