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GRDadof3

M-6 Corridor Growth and Sprawl

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Since someone brought this up, here are my impressions:

The M-6/Kalamazoo interchange:

One big cluster-f**k of sprawl. Not even attractive sprawl.

The new Meijer complex - A sea of parking lots, unattractive storefronts, big ugly privacy fences to buffer the neighboring homes, stagnant detention ponds, SAME OLD SAME OLD

Northwest of the interchange - more of the same, suburban style strip malls, suburban style apartment complex, gigantic setbacks from Kalamazoo

Northeast - not quite as bad, smaller setbacks, but that's about it

At least MDOT did the new highway interchange system which preserved some of the land

The M-6/Byron Center interchange

Will look exactly the same as the Kalamazoo interchange in 5 years

Only redeeming quality is the Metro Health Village, which we will check back in 5 years to see if they stick to the village plan

Just sayin my 2 cents :thumbsup:

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i know most people on here are urbanists (obviously) but im a guy who actually doesnt mind sprawl, as long as its not ugly. auburn hills is a great example, i like all the office building parallel to the I-75, and the little "village" commercial developments. i havent been down to the south beltline in a while, though so i dont know what its like.

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The M-6/Byron Center interchange

Will look exactly the same as the Kalamazoo interchange in 5 years

I agree.

Is it just me, or is the driving factor behind many new highways to spur development? The stated reasons for M-6 were to alleviate traffic along 28th St, 44th St, and other east-west routes and to provide a fast bypass to the south of Grand Rapids. However, with all of the development cropping up along M-6, there will soon be a need for a "South South Beltline", somewhere south of M-6.

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^Advertising ability :) Think about having your business near an exit that has xx,xxx drivers daily... I think this gives further proof that no matter how many friggin highways you're going to build, it's not going to eleviate congestion. Hell, it's almost made it worse. :dontknow:

For what its worth I remember being in that part of town five years ago. The area consisted of a few houses, farmland, tree filled properties; now its a massive pile of :shok: How a couple of years can make on a section in Kentwood/Gaines change. Near that interchange there's like 4-5 banks all lined up on K'zoo Ave......... The banks are like a Mickey D's fighting with BK! I think you also have to realise that one of the area's largest High Shools is just a stones throw away... Think a population of 1500 with plenty of cash.

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I'm really surprised that people seem to be against M-6 altogether. Are you not glad that less big rigs are travelling on I-196 through downtown?

M-6 is a bypass and the development along it is going to be similar to what happens with a bypass highway in any large city. It's going to be many, many years before there's a need for another "south beltline" further south, if ever. The benefits of M-6 far outweight the drawbacks. Driving on 28th is horrible. The central stretch of 44th also stinks.

It'll be interesting to see if anything is done about Wilson Ave. and East Beltline.

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I'm really surprised that people seem to be against M-6 altogether. Are you not glad that less big rigs are travelling on I-196 through downtown?

M-6 is a bypass and the development along it is going to be similar to what happens with a bypass highway in any large city. It's going to be many, many years before there's a need for another "south beltline" further south, if ever. The benefits of M-6 far outweight the drawbacks. Driving on 28th is horrible. The central stretch of 44th also stinks.

I didn't read anyone say they are against M-6 altogether. I definitely see a difference in the number of trucks along 28th St and 44th St. But you have to admit that there is little that is attractive with the developments that have gone in, wouldn't you?

If current trends continue, there will definitely be another South Beltline. Look at larger cities like Houston, Dallas and Minneapolis (or even Detroit), with multiple rings of bypasses:

twin_cities_map.gif

dallas_map_1.gif

houston-map.jpg

With growth of the GR Metro pushing out to the South and West, it's just a matter of time (20 - 30 years).

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I think some of you may be suprised but I can see a push to the SE out to Charlotte.

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I'm really surprised that people seem to be against M-6 altogether. Are you not glad that less big rigs are travelling on I-196 through downtown?

M-6 is a bypass and the development along it is going to be similar to what happens with a bypass highway in any large city. It's going to be many, many years before there's a need for another "south beltline" further south, if ever. The benefits of M-6 far outweight the drawbacks. Driving on 28th is horrible. The central stretch of 44th also stinks.

It'll be interesting to see if anything is done about Wilson Ave. and East Beltline.

Very nicely said.

Also would like to add - now that 44th street has a median all the way from Gerald R. Ford Intl' to Grandville - the drive across that stretch is much more bearable, now. (Although, I *am* seeing the orange barrels of evil setup along the sides of 44th between Kalamazoo & Breton - looks like more work this summer...)

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I didn't read anyone say they are against M-6 altogether. I definitely see a difference in the number of trucks along 28th St and 44th St. But you have to admit that there is little that is attractive with the developments that have gone in, wouldn't you?

I guess I'm not sure what people's expectations or hopes are regarding development along these types of roads. The eye candy development I would expect and hope is going to be focused on downtown. Metro Health Village is looking to be nicer than what I would have expected. I haven't paid much attention to M-6/Kalamazoo, so I don't have much of a response as far as comparing it to M-6/Byron Center. But my gut feeling is that there's going to be a focus on health care for M-6/Byron Center and M-6/Wilson that is lacking at M-6/Kalamazoo. I don't think you'll see as many big box type stores in comparison. But maybe I'll be proven wrong.

If current trends continue, there will definitely be another South Beltline. Look at larger cities like Houston, Dallas and Minneapolis (or even Detroit), with multiple rings of bypasses:

With growth of the GR Metro pushing out to the South and West, it's just a matter of time (20 - 30 years).

I will admit that my saying "if ever" was flat out shortsighted of me. 30 years would fall just outside of what I term "many, many years". In 30 years, yes maybe there will be another outer bypass. First, we need to talk about extending M-6 to go north on the west and east sides (e.g. parallel to Wilson and East Beltline, but further out). Then I would expect development to occur along those stretches. But there's just so much undeveloped land inside that whole hypothetical semi-circle that I am really finding it hard to fathom how there could be another E-W highway further south before 30 years are up.

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Very nicely said.

Also would like to add - now that 44th street has a median all the way from Gerald R. Ford Intl' to Grandville - the drive across that stretch is much more bearable, now. (Although, I *am* seeing the orange barrels of evil setup along the sides of 44th between Kalamazoo & Breton - looks like more work this summer...)

44th really needs to be at least 3 lanes in each direction the whole way to get a better flow also alpine, e.beltline and 28th in certain area. One thing GR does not have is wide roads.

As for the south beltline and sprall, what did you expect? I don;t think it looks that bad or anything out of the ordinary, it looks like every other growing metro area in the midwest minus a mall, a some mid rise hotels. The kalamazoo intersections seems to look a little unorganized, it may have to do with the fact that the highway lays right under kentwood and Wyoming city limits so the building and zones are different in the townships, also EK high school being right at the exit is unique, they should have built the buitiful new stadium along the highway or at least cut down the trees along there so you can see the giant thing

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I guess I'm not sure what people's expectations or hopes are regarding development along these types of roads.
I would have rather seen nothing there that what is currently going in there. It sounds like you're saying your expectations were very low, and that's what occurred. Any thought to planning or foresight by Gaines Township or Byron Township? Think about how ugly these development look now, then imagine in 20 years. These will be suburban ghetto areas, I guarantee it. People are already selling homes in Crystal Springs for lower that what they paid. The thought process, like GRTownPlanner so eloquently articulated, is that current design only extends to the length of the mortgage.

First, we need to talk about extending M-6 to go north on the west and east sides (e.g. parallel to Wilson and East Beltline, but further out). Then I would expect development to occur along those stretches. But there's just so much undeveloped land inside that whole hypothetical semi-circle that I am really finding it hard to fathom how there could be another E-W highway further south before 30 years are up.

Although it may be hard to fathom, pretty much everything currently built in Gaines/Wyoming/Bryon Township South of 44th is less than 30 years old.

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M-6 is long overdue. It should have been part of the original Ike plans. And DONT get me started on US-131 not going all the way to Indy.

The biggest mistake, as I can see it, is that K'zoo Ave should have been made no less than seven lanes between 52nd & 68th. Major OOPS. While I personally could have done with less chain restaurants, I gladly welcome to my neighborhood Meijer and Staples. Especially Staples!!

As a resident of the area, I do not eat at the Logan's or Applebee's. I still go to the Rio Grande. Not fume about it in a forum. I let my $$ do the talking.

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44th really needs to be at least 3 lanes in each direction the whole way to get a better flow also alpine, e.beltline and 28th in certain area. One thing GR does not have is wide roads.

As for the south beltline and sprall, what did you expect? I don;t think it looks that bad or anything out of the ordinary, it looks like every other growing metro area in the midwest minus a mall, a some mid rise hotels. The kalamazoo intersections seems to look a little unorganized, it may have to do with the fact that the highway lays right under kentwood and Wyoming city limits so the building and zones are different in the townships, also EK high school being right at the exit is unique, they should have built the buitiful new stadium along the highway or at least cut down the trees along there so you can see the giant thing

From what I hear, M-6 / Byron Center is getting filled with health care, and I think the plan is to avoid the kind of crap we see at K-Zoo. The north side of M-6 at Wilson is getting a Spectrum project. I dont think there are plans for the south side M-6 at Wilson as of yet.

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I am surprised that the M6/broadmoore exit has not developed since opening. The new college is set back from the exit but you have to go almost a mile in either direction of the highway for a gas station.

I know there were plans for an 8-10 floor hilton garden at the exit, and peterbuilt/mack truck dealership at that abanded credit union, those muct have fallen through.

because of the location i really expected to see a gas station or two, some hotels, and a few restraunts in that area.

There could also be a few infastructure improvements in that area with the patterson intersection, lighting at the interchange, and continue the devided highway to Caladonia.

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I am surprised that the M6/broadmoore exit has not developed since opening. The new college is set back from the exit but you have to go almost a mile in either direction of the highway for a gas station.

I know there were plans for an 8-10 floor hilton garden at the exit, and peterbuilt/mack truck dealership at that abanded credit union, those muct have fallen through.

because of the location i really expected to see a gas station or two, some hotels, and a few restraunts in that area.

There could also be a few infastructure improvements in that area with the patterson intersection, lighting at the interchange, and continue the devided highway to Caladonia.

Some of the problem is in the property owners in that area.

Take a look at some of the parcels currently listed around M37/M6. Prices are steep.

Now look at some of the current owners.....make sense now?

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M-6 is long overdue. It should have been part of the original Ike plans. And DONT get me started on US-131 not going all the way to Indy.

Agreed, or at the very least, extend 131 through 80/90 to 331 for easy travel to South Bend and Elkhart.

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It'll be interesting to see if anything is done about Wilson Ave. and East Beltline.

The next "M-6" will be along the western side of the city. I wouldn't be shocked to see a highway that cuts through Hudsonville up to Allendale, and ends in Coopersville connecting I-96 to I-196 going north-south, kind of like continuing where M-6 left off.

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The next "M-6" will be along the western side of the city. I wouldn't be shocked to see a highway that cuts through Hudsonville up to Allendale, and ends in Coopersville connecting I-96 to I-196 going north-south, kind of like continuing where M-6 left off.
There has been some talk of this. One proposed idea is to widen 48th Avenue to at least four lanes, with a median (much like East Beltline), and connect the segment north of the Grand River to the segment south of the Grand River, via a new bridge across the river. There's already a highway interchange for 48th Avenue on I-96 near Coopersville. It be nice if they could implement this plan and somehow connect it to M-6.

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There has been some talk of this. One proposed idea is to widen 48th Avenue to at least four lanes, with a median (much like East Beltline), and connect the segment north of the Grand River to the segment south of the Grand River, via a new bridge across the river. There's already a highway interchange for 48th Avenue on I-96 near Coopersville. It be nice if they could implement this plan and somehow connect it to M-6.

or turn 48th into an M-6 type of highway with the aformentioned connection.

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This was drawn out by the West Michigan Strategic Alliance back in 2004, showing what growth patterns and transportation routes would look like by 2025:

http://www.wm-alliance.org/Brix?pageID=26

127625346_0c0661c64a_o.jpg

Transportation routes including 48th Avenue expanded and M-45 expanded, as well as 31 bypass

127625345_5c35d6af1f_o.jpg

Projected growth patterns

127625347_a1d0c6b770_o.jpg

Current urbanized areas

127625348_c2e1ff3db3_o.jpg

Population gainers and losers

Not a very pretty picture when you see it like that :sick:

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127625348_c2e1ff3db3_o.jpg

Population gainers and losers

Not a very pretty picture when you see it like that :sick:

Is that dark red gaining, or loosing? I would assume loosing.

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Is that dark red gaining, or loosing? I would assume loosing.

Dark red is HIGH population gain.

Peach is moderate population gain.

Light blue is moderate population loss.

Dark blue is high population loss.

Taken from census data.

Sorry, I'll repost it here with the key:

127641751_bad0a0cc47_o.jpg

This shouldn't come as a surprise. You only need to travel around Georgetown/Jamestown/Allendale Townships to see proof.

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This was drawn out by the West Michigan Strategic Alliance back in 2004, showing what growth patterns and transportation routes would look like by 2025:

Not a very pretty picture when you see it like that :sick:

Anyone remember Constantinos A. Doxiadis? He was a planner/futurist who was hired by Detroit Edison in the mid-60's to define growth patterns through 2000 (30 years in the future at the time his work was published), primarily in the Detroit area, but his work included much of lower Michigan. I recall that there were 3 big volumes titled "Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region: The Developing Urban Detroit."

Doxiadis used the word "megalopolis" to describe the continuous city that he predicted between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. It didn't happen as fast as he imagined, but the WMSA work continues the same prediction.

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I don't think the light blue areas along 131 are going to prove accurate. I know for a fact that Burton/Division to the south is seeing the largest property value gains in Grand Rapids. This map also indicate a loss in downtown. I think we are going to see huge population gains downtown over the next couple decades.

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