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GRDadof3

Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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12 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

The LL already wins from having DT GR on one end, GVSU on the other, and Standale in the middle.

Walker could really cement in a significant number of students and GVSU workers living there with a dense complex of apartments and townhouses behind the Standale Meijer, as well as other residential at strategic points going back to the GR border.

Add in some pedestrian bridges, and make the area a little more walkable. Walker could really win big time with this. The GVSU buses already has solid ridership, so this isnt going to be a gamble like the Silverline.

 

The only thing I confused on is if this is going to be any more of a true BRT than the SL is. M-45 doesn't have room for a dedicated lane, and if you eliminate that center turn lane, you will have a riot from drivers. But it may not matter since M-45 is a pretty swift-moving street, and doesn't get that congested that often.

There's no way MDOT will give up any lanes of LMD for dedicated bus lanes. Having traveled that route 2 - 3 days a week for a year and a half, it's one of the busier routes in the area, mainly from the I-196 exit to just West of Wilson. I don't know that I would call it "congested" but there are many days where you are in a steady wall of cars through that 3 or 4 mile portion.  Once you get out to where it becomes a divided boulevard it lightens up considerably. (You guys all know this).

In other words: Laker Line = Silver Line-esque

As mjlo pointed out, MDOT's traffic count map shows that it's higher than 28th Street and about the same as the East Beltline.

1363320548_LMDtraffic.thumb.JPG.6c885321b254eaf0c836d13dd796072d.JPG

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https://mdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e48aa2a7804845c4aee71fd7344db54a

9 hours ago, VectorPrime said:

There appears to be some serious confusion regarding the origin of the funding for the study. The bulk of the money comes from the FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning https://www.transit.dot.gov/TODPilot , which is a competitive funding source for implementing TOD across the country. The rest of it comes from the required state and local matches for projects like these. Thus, the money being invested is for the sole purpose of studying TOD, and the idea as some have suggested that the money could be used on other things in the region is akin to a child being sent to the store with money to buy milk and thinking it would be okay to spend it on candy instead. This is a situation where you either get $1 million to spend on one particular thing or you don’t get the money at all, so The Rapid saw an opportunity to gain some additional funding and went for it.

Now granted, it does raise the question at the national level if this program is a wise use of FTA funds, but that’s another discussion for another day.

I think your analogy is correct, but I look at it more like "The community needs milk (other investments) yet finite resources are being allocated to candy bars (TOD studies)."  :)

But like you said, if the FTA is driving through neighborhoods giving out candy bars, how can you blame the kids for taking them. 

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I've been a lurker here for a long time, enjoying the dialogue.  This Laker Line/Silver Line conversation is the thing that finally prompted me to jump in...  

I live along LMD on the LL route.  My twenty-something kid uses the rapid often.  This route will be hugely successful.  Partly because of the choices they've made in the process.  If they'd tried to get a dedicate lane, it would still be tied up in battles.  And on the lower part of the route (John Ball to downtown) it wouldn't work anyway. 

Standale and Walker are undoubtedly going to reap HUGE benefit from LL.  Four stops out there were planned carefully.   by contrast, they opted not to put a stop at LMD/Collindale and I wonder if Family Fare will regret that...  The stop at Covell will be a pretty big deal.  What would you all do with the former Westdale building on that corner if you were looking at being TOD strategic?

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54 minutes ago, cstonesparty said:

I've been a lurker here for a long time, enjoying the dialogue.  This Laker Line/Silver Line conversation is the thing that finally prompted me to jump in...  

I live along LMD on the LL route.  My twenty-something kid uses the rapid often.  This route will be hugely successful.  Partly because of the choices they've made in the process.  If they'd tried to get a dedicate lane, it would still be tied up in battles.  And on the lower part of the route (John Ball to downtown) it wouldn't work anyway. 

Standale and Walker are undoubtedly going to reap HUGE benefit from LL.  Four stops out there were planned carefully.   by contrast, they opted not to put a stop at LMD/Collindale and I wonder if Family Fare will regret that...  The stop at Covell will be a pretty big deal.  What would you all do with the former Westdale building on that corner if you were looking at being TOD strategic?

Per the usual, landowner wants way too much for that corner. You'd have to build a 12 story building to make the numbers work. I think it's owned by the Westdale family estate? They probably want even more now than even a few years ago. 

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How does the Laker Line become even loosely defined as BRT without dedicated lanes and right of ways?  Putting in a fancy looking articulated bus with fancy stops will not cut it.

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43 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

You'd have to build a 12 story building to make the numbers work

Whats wrong with that ;) The complex across the street is 9-10 stories.  Just sayin...

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My thought has been that a transit-oriented project there would be a great fit since any use with vehicular orientation would be incredibly complex for ingress/egress traffic.  Such a convoluted intersection on top of high volume at peak times.  

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmo said:

Whats wrong with that ;) The complex across the street is 9-10 stories.  Just sayin...

:P It's Section 8 too I believe. 

1 hour ago, cstonesparty said:

My thought has been that a transit-oriented project there would be a great fit since any use with vehicular orientation would be incredibly complex for ingress/egress traffic.  Such a convoluted intersection on top of high volume at peak times.  

You're totally right.  I don't even think the building is being used right now? Just parking for GVSU students. Welcome to the forum btw. There's actually another building in that vicinity that I think would be a great spot for a restaurant/brewpub. 

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Has anyone actually seen the bus lane only restrictions enforced during the set time periods?  I know I sure haven't.  Is that the GRPD's responsibility?  I would think that would be a very low priority for them.

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20 hours ago, MJLO said:

How does the Laker Line become even loosely defined as BRT without dedicated lanes and right of ways?  Putting in a fancy looking articulated bus with fancy stops will not cut it.

I think the Laker Line buses have signal priority and the elevated loading stations should increase the efficiencies but its definitely a stretch to call it BRT. 

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6 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

I think the Laker Line buses have signal priority and the elevated loading stations should increase the efficiencies but its definitely a stretch to call it BRT. 

The Laker Line will also have pre-board pay stations and higher capacity buses. To be fair, most BRT lines in the United States aren't true BRT.

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15 minutes ago, Floyd_Z said:

I'm assuming all the GVSU students will just have to flash their ID?  

Probably the same for Spectrum Employees too

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13 hours ago, jonrapley said:

Probably the same for Spectrum Employees too

That's currently true system-wide (including the Silver Line), so I assume it would be true for the Laker Line as well. (source: former Spectrum employee, current[ish] GVSU student, frequent Rapid rider when I wasn't working from home)

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Survey results of the 50 major employers along the proposed WMX (West Michigan eXpress) commuter express route are in.  
A strong 38% of those surveyed are likely users of such a service.

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Spectrum employees account for over 1/3 of the respondents, but only 12% of respondents say their employer provides a bus pass. Spectrum has some educating to do.

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This certainly dresses up the Covell/LMD corner with that old Westdale office still there and falling apart. 

image.png.e954b96769910057788f91c2f2052026.png

14 hours ago, VectorPrime said:

Laker Line construction officially starts Monday!

The website has been updated with station renderings and construction start dates.

This one illustrates the median and signalized crosswalk that should alleviate complaints about students crossing under the overpass:

 

PewStation1.png

They show this image for GVSU Pew Campus. Do you know what it's illustrating? 

image.png.b70604a3f24796c9d9b5467a8d8467fa.png

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

They show this image for GVSU Pew Campus. Do you know what it's illustrating? 

image.png.b70604a3f24796c9d9b5467a8d8467fa.png

 

Huh, how strange. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that's the eastbound Fulton/Valley stop at the zoo.

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On 3/31/2019 at 10:57 AM, VectorPrime said:

Huh, how strange. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that's the eastbound Fulton/Valley stop at the zoo.

Yeah, except in the rendering the sky is bluer and the grass is greener, it matches closely this Google view:

Google View:looking into John Ball Park from Fulton and Valley

When I look at all the proposed stops I can find for the Laker Line , the closest is a block to the east at Garfield:

GOOGLE VIEW: Fulton at Garfield

Edited by walker

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17 hours ago, VectorPrime said:

This one illustrates the median and signalized crosswalk that should alleviate complaints about students crossing under the overpass:

 

PewStation1.png

If they already had a massive shelter in the form of the overpass, I don't see why they would build the crosswalk *just slightly* outside of its coverage. Wouldn't that just incentivize jaywalking under it to stay out of rain etc?

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1 hour ago, ZAP! said:

If they already had a massive shelter in the form of the overpass, I don't see why they would build the crosswalk *just slightly* outside of its coverage. Wouldn't that just incentivize jaywalking under it to stay out of rain etc?

So the crossing pedestrians are easier to see, maybe?

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I don't see any signalization at the Fulton crossing. The previous drawing I saw showed the crossing at the Mt Vernon intersection. If they want to control the the pedestrians, it will take a 42 inch high fence (bicycle height friendly) with an on-demand push button signal like on Monroe at DeVos Hall. The rendering as shown only puts a crossing where there currently is not one but doesn't solve the cross everywhere problem. The Eberhard building was designed long before I think there there was any idea of the campus going south of Fulton, so there is not a building entrance on the Fulton side.

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7 hours ago, ZAP! said:

If they already had a massive shelter in the form of the overpass, I don't see why they would build the crosswalk *just slightly* outside of its coverage. Wouldn't that just incentivize jaywalking under it to stay out of rain etc?

If you look up close you can see a fence down the median. 

20190331_192637.thumb.jpg.ebd4bff0710a056221fd0dd0e29ffb95.jpg

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21 hours ago, VectorPrime said:

Huh, how strange. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that's the eastbound Fulton/Valley stop at the zoo.

That makes more sense. Blame it on the intern. :)

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