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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids


GRDadof3

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In your write-up you mention the commuter rail into the terminal would be raised on berms taking up more then half the park land. What if that last stretch was instead put underground. That would be more expensive, but it would not take away park land. I would think a lot of people would not be happy to see park land removed.

Yeah, there would be significant loss to park space. Most of the space would be taken the closer you get to the terminal.

Do it elevated, because it would only have to be a 16 or so feet grade without depressing Cherry ST. If you do it underground, MDOT would want the roof of the subway high up and the grade would need to be much steeper in the same distance. Might have to see what Raildude's Dad says -- he's quite the book of knowledge in engineering. :thumbsup:

Also that plan would demolish an old rail depot building now used for offices. May have to place the concourse under the park to avoid that.. and try to get ROW from MDOT to connect both sides of the highway for both pedestrians and the streetcar.

The idea was to create synergy directly on Area 4/5 and have the terminal built at the expense of the developer. Developer sets aside a portion of space on the lower levels for concourse and platforms and reaps the rewards of having much foot traffic. There's largely no point in routing tracks through Heartside unless it meets up with a development. Otherwise MDOT should just route tracks to Rapid's station.

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Yeah, there would be significant loss to park space. Most of the space would be taken the closer you get to the terminal.

Do it elevated, because it would only have to be a 16 or so feet grade without depressing Cherry ST. If you do it underground, MDOT would want the roof of the subway high up and the grade would need to be much steeper in the same distance. Might have to see what Raildude's Dad says -- he's quite the book of knowledge in engineering. :thumbsup:

Thanks for providing your reasoning for having it elevated, although I still think the loss of park space would turn a lot of people off to the idea.

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Thanks for providing your reasoning for having it elevated, although I still think the loss of park space would turn a lot of people off to the idea.

Its just an idea. I suppose it could be elevated by super structure so that the park space can remain mostly intact. Or, the lost space could be made up on another lot near the current location.

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Its just an idea. I suppose it could be elevated by super structure so that the park space can remain mostly intact. Or, the lost space could be made up on another lot near the current location.

Yeah, I know it's just an idea, I'm just saying I know how pissed off some people get if park space has the chance of being lost, even if the person has never been in the park before.

A super structure was another thing I was thinking about. The berms would take up more space since they are sloped. Also, with something like steel supports people would still be able to walk underneath them.

I didn't mean to sound critical, I think overall your plans are great and I can tell you've spent a lot of time thinking about this. I'm just voicing my thoughts on it.

Edited by Eridony
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Yeah, I know it's just an idea, I'm just saying I know how pissed off some people get if park space has the chance of being lost, even if the person has never been in the park before.

A super structure was another thing I was thinking about. The berms would take up more space since they are sloped. Also, with something like steel supports people would still be able to walk underneath them.

I didn't mean to sound critical, I think overall your plans are great and I can tell you've spent a lot of time thinking about this. I'm just voicing my thoughts on it.

I didn't think you were critical. Although, critiques help move things along. The whole vision has just been a casual thought in my mind for a year or so.

Ah, there goes Raildude's Dad again! :D

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I was reading that the city had bought property off ionia between logan and wealthy for use with the Dash. I have seen very little other information about this and would like to see if you guys had a better idea of what is going on with this. Also, given the fact that GR almost has to take advantage of the funding by the US govmt for the BRT idea, do you all think this is a done deal and we will see a BRT run through the city on Division by 2012-2013. How could we turn down that kind of backing when this project is the first in the state to ever get offered these funds?

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I was reading that the city had bought property off ionia between logan and wealthy for use with the Dash. I have seen very little other information about this and would like to see if you guys had a better idea of what is going on with this. Also, given the fact that GR almost has to take advantage of the funding by the US govmt for the BRT idea, do you all think this is a done deal and we will see a BRT run through the city on Division by 2012-2013. How could we turn down that kind of backing when this project is the first in the state to ever get offered these funds?

Probably will be paved over and serviced by a DASH route for South Side commuters.

For the BRT, right now it's up to the Feds and The State. Not sure the BRT is a done deal on the federal end, but from my understanding its only been approved to compete in a contest for funds. However, if they do win out with the Feds, a criteria to unlock the funding is a match of $7 Million by The State of Michigan. The State will get it through, barring any reprisal, but there will be opposition from the anti-spend crowd around the state.

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Probably will be paved over and serviced by a DASH route for South Side commuters.

For the BRT, right now it's up to the Feds and The State. Not sure the BRT is a done deal on the federal end, but from my understanding its only been approved to compete in a contest for funds. However, if they do win out with the Feds, a criteria to unlock the funding is a match of $7 Million by The State of Michigan. The State will get it through, barring any reprisal, but there will be opposition from the anti-spend crowd around the state.

That's correct. I believe the Sonnevelt building will be demolished, the few old brick buildings on that block will be preserved for possible redevelopment, and the DASH service will be extended to that lot. I think there's a thread about it here somewhere.

Aha:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/DASH-lot...tml&hl=dash

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This sounds like a GR program: a public/private partnership that encourages mass transit, environmentally friendly, and is cost-effective. So why is it being installed in Washington DC first?

"The bike-sharing programs that have transformed Europeans into two-wheeled travelers are now en route to the U.S.

Clear Channel Outdoor, an outdoor advertising company, will launch the country

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Calling all current participants and interested visitors!

You will notice that this thread is no longer pinned to the top of the front page. There is now a clearinghouse thread ("Info Center") for members and visitors in place of this thread. The goal of the Info Center is to be a central distribution point of information to effectively inform members and visitors. What will be noticeably absent from the Info Center is discussion -- the thread will soon become locked. The reasoning behind this move is that things will not get buried and fragmented which is currently happening here. If members present something new in discussion, it will be prioritized and made way to the Information Center thread.

So the idea is that folks new to the transit discussion can get the gist of what's going on by visiting the new thread without the clutter. From there they can decided whether or not to jump into the discussion. We ask that things continue on here as usual.

Speaking of transit, WZZM is reporting that Harbor Transit will be up for a vote.

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Just read this:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of commuters who use public transportation in Los Angeles County is 7% (10% within the borders of the city of Los Angeles), far lower than in other major American cities: 30% of San Franciscan workers use transit, 25% within Chicago, and 54% in New York City.

Source: http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/04/los-angeles-fut.html

BTW...Love the info center idea! Thanks! I don't post often (even though I read every thread via RSS feed), but I want to learn about all of it, and having a single source for hot info will be very useful for me.

Edited by Sailor
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Looks like transit in Allegan County might expand. This would give folks connections from Allegan, Holland, Fennville, Plainwell, Pullman, Wayland and Dorr to South Haven and Saugatuck. The head of Allegan transit is working on a plan to connect their system with van Buren county (South Haven.)

And, I can't believe we missed this, but the Grand Haven Trib reported that there is a West Michigan Transit Study Technical Committee set up to investigate transit metro wide.

Funded through the Michigan Department of Transportation, the $110,000 study will provide bus route options linking the cities of Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland — as well as smaller communities in Ottawa County.

It's officially a start :yahoo:

Edited by Rizzo
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Just read this:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of commuters who use public transportation in Los Angeles County is 7% (10% within the borders of the city of Los Angeles), far lower than in other major American cities: 30% of San Franciscan workers use transit, 25% within Chicago, and 54% in New York City.

I'm not surprised about LA. I think I remember reading the claim that there are more registered cars in LA than people. People are used to spending a lot of time driving there. I remember being a bit flustered the first time I drove there, with the amount of traffic and how close the cars would be to each other despite going at a relatively high speed. Also, there are some stretches of freeway where they added a couple of lanes without widening it, so the lanes were much more narrow than what I was used to. But the people there are just used to it all, and they are very comfortable driving under those conditions. Now that I've been there more, I do enjoy driving there. It's just great when you have six lanes of freeway to maneuver and no potholes.

Public transportation there sucks, but a lot of that is due to how spread out the metro area is.

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I've driven in LA, too, and it gets hairy! Those narrow lanes are wicked.

Interesting to see the Chicago numbers. Not as much of a transit town as some would expect. That said, to make Grand Rapids public transportation reliable enough, affordable enough, and convenient enough to get 25% of commuters would be a tremendous accomplishment.

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Heads up, The Rapid has been in contact with Google. I can't give an exact date to expect the whole thing to be completed, as they are currently working out the technical kinks.

I've always wondered why the Rapid didn't have a trip planner on their site. The Ann Arbor bus system has a great feature where you type in where you are, where you want to go and what time and it tells you where to walk to, when the bus will show up, when to transfer and plan your return trip for you. Made getting around AA without a car really easy...

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An awesome feature The Rapid will be working on sometime later this year will give you realitime updates on routes, timetables, schedules, trip planners, etc. I think they will employ GPS on all buses to allow for all these goodies. It will be the first of its kind in Michigan. :)

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All of those features would be incredible. I hate it when I get out to the bus stop right around the time the bus is supposed to show up and I don't know if it showed up early or not... If I call The Rapid's office, they can currently only tell you when the bus is supposed to be there... not actually if its already been there or not.

I'm excited for these improvements! It will make bus-riding planning much easier

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The buses aren't supposed to be early at all. Either on time or late. On really slow nights the drivers on route 16 will usually drive 5 under the speed limit so that they don't arrive anywhere before they're supposed to. Other drivers intentionally leave late so they will reach the destination right on time.

Although I did catch a driver running early on Route 2 once, and I suspect the same once on 44 when the bus seemed to never arrive. It's not SUPPOSED to happen, though.

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