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Rebuilding the street? :shok: I thought it involved painting bus symbols in lanes and putting up signs! :lol:

I assume the $40 Million price tag includes at least some new curbs and repaving in some sections. Certain parts of Division along that route are pretty bad, IIRC. Plus, they will probably do new curbs/planters/streetscape enhancements around the stations. :dontknow: (or were you being sarcastic?) :)

The way the ITP broke it down earlier was:

$2.0 Million in 2009

$17.3 Million in 2010

$19.3 Million in 2011

$1.5 Million in 2012

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All this talk about rail made me find these from the library

Fancy new Laker Line stop at the zoo!

Proposal to establish regional bus line gets support from Grand Rapids metro group. https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/08/proposal-to-establish-regional-bus-line-gets-support-from-grand

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Actually, I misunderstood how this project was going to travel down the street. I fear my idea was a little more simplistic. :blush:

It's going to be interesting to hear if the BRT will displace any traffic. That's something I've wondered, but unsure of because the entire route isn't going to be a bus lane.

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Several of the board members again raised concerns about the proposed route (probably because it doesn't serve Medical Mile). Since DMJM Harris is coming out against putting streetcars on Michigan Hill due to ice and snow in the winter, has there been consideration of adding some kind of heating element to the streetcar track to reduce slippage? Last I heard, steel and iron very easily conduct heat. Just attach some heating elements to the underside and VOILA! clear tracks.

I agree that there always ways around problems. The big question is who pays the price for the work around. When I read over the report. It seemed (at least to me) that the point of making this "first" phase of the project simple and cost effective in order to get it passed and started. They mentioned they wanted to keep the grade level etc. I believe they also mentioned looking at going up or down Ottawa, but didn't because of the construction work that would have to be done at Michigan & I-196. To you or I we may not see this has a huge issue, but you are always going to have people out there who will see it as an issue. Already I have read blogs on WZZM or WOOD where people don't think $76 or $80 Million is even worth it, even if it is private dollars and not public. If we added extras to go up Michigan or down Ottawa, would we have more people in favor of the Street car with a price tag closer to $100 Million? On the other hand, I would want to make sure the route that is choosen is a good route and will serve the public. Basically there has to be some give and take. Most of us would rather have a Caddy over a Pinto, but wouldn't an average car get us everywhere we needed to go?

my $.02 :lol:

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Actually, I misunderstood how this project was going to travel down the street. I fear my idea was a little more simplistic. :blush:

It's going to be interesting to hear if the BRT will displace any traffic. That's something I've wondered, but unsure of because the entire route isn't going to be a bus lane.

Bus only lanes during rush hour, shared lanes during non-peak hours.

I hear what you're saying DwntwnGeo and I understand that was what the majority of the board felt. I still disagree. I don't feel like rehashing the entire argument again though. Minds have been made up.

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Since DMJM Harris is coming out against putting streetcars on Michigan Hill due to ice and snow in the winter, has there been consideration of adding some kind of heating element to the streetcar track to reduce slippage?

Duh - maybe DMJM Harris ought to look back in history http://hometown.aol.com/chirailfan/grrmapt.html. Back in the day the streetcars went up Michigan and Lyon. If they could do it then, they can do it today. IMHO: Their only claim to being an expert is they from out of town :angry: It doesn't make them any smarter than the rest of us.

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Did that line run in winter? Also, back then Division/Plainfield didn't run under Michigan, there was no bridge there. Perhaps the biggest concern is with ice forming on the bridge coupled with structural integrity?

Yes it did run in the winter. I wasn't around then :rolleyes: but my dad talked about using the streetcars since their family along with most other families didn't have cars.

Edited by Raildudes dad
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That line up Michigan Street hill was actually a "Cable Car" like San Francisco.

My dad was born in 1919. His dad died in 1929 and the family never had a car. I could be wrong but he talked about his mother & siblings riding the streetcars from Spencer & College to everywhere they had to go. I never heard him talk about riding any cable cars. He passed away in 1982 but I've talked to others his age and I've not heard anyone reminisce about cable cars, street cars and the interurban cars yes.

This is the 1st thing I found on google. I'm confident there is a solution that would allow streetcars up Michigan Street hill. http://stephenrees.wordpress.com/2008/05/0...rs-for-langley/

Edited by Raildudes dad
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I'm sure there will always be the possibility of a streetcar/cable car going up Michigan again, but to keep cost down for the "initial spine" of the system, the Michigan/Bridge streetcar will have to wait until the public fully supports the system and tax dollars are filling the coffers. That being said, those commisioners that are against the proposed main route better not vote against it due to that reasoning.

Edited by d8alterego
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. They should run this streetcar down Division Ave. Then you have no hills to deal with, and it touches the base of MSU (which connects to the rest of the hill), VAI, GRCC, and Kendall. I'm guessing you'd increase daily ridership by 1000 riders or more by connecting all these employment centers and campuses to the ITP central station.

With this reconfiguration, it appears that only about 1500 feet more of track would be needed. North Division has more than enough room to allow for one lane of trackage.

2665230774_c1583d7a3a_o.jpg

It sounds like the group is betting highly on people from the hill riding the new BRT to downtown instead of the streetcar.

2664443731_7fe932747e_o.jpg

Are "hill" people really going to pay BRT fares when all they really need is a "connector" (glorified DASH) to get to downtown? Especially when, if all goes as planned and the BRT fulfills its role, the BRT should be packed full of people by the time it gets that close to downtown. No?

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. They should run this streetcar down Division Ave.

I have always thought that, too. It's like there could/should be a station for busses/pedestrians/streetcars on Division at the base of the MSU building/garage. Now it's just a loading dock, but it seems like an easy way into the medical complex without hiking/riding up the hill. Sure there's a walk and an elevator ride, but it's all indoors for those rainy/cold days. It always seems like it was built for that, but now it certainly isn't.

I like that plan you drew up...it's a keeper! =)

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My dad was born in 1919. His dad died in 1929 and the family never had a car. I could be wrong but he talked about his mother & siblings riding the streetcars from Spencer & College to everywhere they had to go. I never heard him talk about riding any cable cars. He passed away in 1982 but I've talked to others his age and I've not heard anyone reminisce about cable cars, street cars and the interurban cars yes.

This is the 1st thing I found on google. I'm confident there is a solution that would allow streetcars up Michigan Street hill. http://stephenrees.wordpress.com/2008/05/0...rs-for-langley/

For a short time there was an operating cable car company in Grand Rapids but it was well before anyone Edited by walker
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I have always thought that, too. It's like there could/should be a station for busses/pedestrians/streetcars on Division at the base of the MSU building/garage. Now it's just a loading dock, but it seems like an easy way into the medical complex without hiking/riding up the hill. Sure there's a walk and an elevator ride, but it's all indoors for those rainy/cold days. It always seems like it was built for that, but now it certainly isn't.

I like that plan you drew up...it's a keeper! =)

The sweetest part is that there is a grassy area that runs between N. Division and Ionia all the way from Newberry to Michigan. Great place for a Barcelona style tram/streetcar, with a great view of downtown:

2665507919_cd8f00b31a_o.jpg

2666336788_ab7ea586a5_o.jpg

Lots of underutilized parcels along N. Division, Ionia, Newberry and Fairbanks as well.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...1&encType=1

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The sweetest part is that there is a grassy area that runs between N. Division and Ionia all the way from Newberry to Michigan. Great place for a Barcelona style tram/streetcar, with a great view of downtown:

2665507919_cd8f00b31a_o.jpg

Lots of underutilized parcels along N. Division, Ionia, Newberry and Fairbanks as well.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...1&encType=1

Yeah, I definitely like your idea a lot.

Do we get the palm trees, too? :) I've been thinking that downtown GR has a dire shortage of palm trees. Maybe we could get some in the new Campau plaza as well.

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Yeah, I definitely like your idea a lot.

Do we get the palm trees, too? :) I've been thinking that downtown GR has a dire shortage of palm trees. Maybe we could get some in the new Campau plaza as well.

Sure. We could probably find some cold-hardy palms for just such an occasion. :) d8alterego, you bring up a good point. Plus, there is the large Ellis parking lot by the courthouse and 5 Lyon, and everyone's favorite Lyon & Ottawa lot that could be great spots for future development.

And this goes well with MOBL NOBL's vision for the Belknap stairs:

http://www.moblconnects.com/Site/Home.html

I think this idea has enough merit to forward along to some people. :thumbsup:

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Yeah, I definitely like your idea a lot.

Do we get the palm trees, too? :) I've been thinking that downtown GR has a dire shortage of palm trees. Maybe we could get some in the new Campau plaza as well.

Electric palm trees are all the rage - good for any weather.

palm_tree_green_night.jpg

(seriously, google "electric palm trees")

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Electric palm trees are all the rage - good for any weather.

(seriously, google "electric palm trees")

Or we could use Integrated Architecture's....

One flaw in my plan: Putting the streetcar on the grassy area between Division and Ionia puts in on the wrong side of the street for the hill people. Hate to have to run the streetcar across the street for obvious safety reasons. Maybe a station could be built at Michigan and Division at the Southwest corner, with handicapped accessible elevator and stair tower from Division up to the Michigan Street level. Or maybe run the train in the opposite direction on the East side of Division (?) Not as much fun but still workable.

Here's a view looking South on Division:

2668203816_9cd2213aa0_b.jpg

(photoshop anyone?) I was there for a good five minutes and maybe counted five cars go by on Division. I bet there's more traffic on Monroe Ave.

And here's a view of downtown from Division just North of I-196. Very nice, IMO!

2667377565_a9cfede6d1_b.jpg

FULL SIZE

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^Let me preface what I'm going to suggest by first saying I realize that this is a streetcar and not a el/subway and that the idea is cost prohibitive anyway but...

Wouldn't it be neat if through there it could be elevated to a point where a ped bridge could stretch out from the hill to a station?

Anyway...back to reality. That corridor does really need some improvement in there. Hopefully some of the west side river development will hop over. I wonder if there has been any talk of discontinuing Ionia as a public ROW north of Michigan and extend any needed drives up to Division. Right now is nothing but a vertical parking lot.

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Perhaps some of the right-of-way south of I-196 could be used for the streetcar. Since it wouldn't be embedded in the road it could have a gentler slope or even be covered to keep snow off the tracks. Maybe a stop could be integrated into the parking ramps below the medical buildings.

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What you all fail to realize here is that FTA and The Rapid have danced now for over five years on this (including myself). We have been painstakingly pulling together what will - in effect - be the DEMONSTRATION fixed-guideway mass transit project to open the door to future and more significant funding from FTA's New Starts budget for BOTH Metro Grand Rapids and Metro Detroit initially (and subsequently the rest of urban Michigan that is ready for fixed-guideway systems).

The Division Corridor will ABSOLUTELY not get a streetrail system for three glaring reasons: 1] the segment of the Division Corridor accepted by FTA for New Starts funding is 9 miles long and would cost just over $177 million to develop in streetrail format as opposed to BRT's $59 million; 2] streetrail's top speed is around 20 mph <not good for a high-speed dedicated transit lane on Division> as opposed to BRT's being 65 mph; 3] with BRT going in on Division just like the Euclid Corridor BRT in Cleveland (Cleveland OH Euclid Avenue Corridor BRT Website), The Rapid will have all of the stations already put in place for future more high-capacity/high-speed fixed-guideway formats.

The last point is significant because once the Division Corridor's density warrants, the BRT vehicles can be removed, an elevated light-rail system can supplant it and the footprints for the needed new elevated stations will already be controlled by The Rapid and ready for immediate reconfiguration.

Small bits and pieces on the journey to world-class transit for new transit towns like us, grasshoppers. Small bits and pieces . . . . ;)

Edited by metrogrkid
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Sure. We could probably find some cold-hardy palms for just such an occasion. :) d8alterego, you bring up a good point. Plus, there is the large Ellis parking lot by the courthouse and 5 Lyon, and everyone's favorite Lyon & Ottawa lot that could be great spots for future development.

And this goes well with MOBL NOBL's vision for the Belknap stairs:

http://www.moblconnects.com/Site/Home.html

I think this idea has enough merit to forward along to some people. :thumbsup:

As long as you don't find cold, clammy palms :P

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What you all fail to realize here is that FTA and The Rapid have danced now for over five years on this (including myself). We have been painstakingly pulling together what will - in effect - be the DEMONSTRATION fixed-guideway mass transit project to open the door to future and more significant funding from FTA's New Starts budget for BOTH Metro Grand Rapids and Metro Detroit initially (and subsequently the rest of urban Michigan that is ready for fixed-guideway systems).

The Division Corridor will ABSOLUTELY not get a streetrail system for three glaring reasons: 1] the segment of the Division Corridor accepted by FTA for New Starts funding is 9 miles long and would cost just over $177 million to develop in streetrail format as opposed to BRT's $59 million; 2] streetrail's top speed is around 20 mph <not good for a high-speed dedicated transit lane on Division> as opposed to BRT's being 65 mph; 3] with BRT going in on Division just like the Euclid Corridor BRT in Cleveland (Cleveland OH Euclid Avenue Corridor BRT Website), The Rapid will have all of the stations already put in place for future more high-capacity/high-speed fixed-guideway formats.

The last point is significant because once the Division Corridor's density warrants, the BRT vehicles can be removed, an elevated light-rail system can supplant it and the footprints for the needed new elevated stations will already be controlled by The Rapid and ready for immediate reconfiguration.

Small bits and pieces on the journey to world-class transit for new transit towns like us, grasshoppers. Small bits and pieces . . . . ;)

That's all fine and good, but I'm not talking about the BRT. I'm talking about the current streetcar route. And I'm not talking about 9 miles of light rail. I'm talking about maybe a mile tops (and a mile that would already be covered on Monroe Avenue, just shifted over 4 streets), that would greatly increase the VALUE of the streetcar. Right now, it doesn't touch any of the major employment centers or campuses downtown. You're just handing this streetcar over to the anti-transit crowd on a silver platter (and for good reason). I've even heard pro-transit people question the proposed route. And apparently some of the ITP board feels the same.

And streetcars can go faster than 20 mph. They just usually don't because their stops are more frequent than light rail and BRT. It all to me seems like using flawed logic/rationalization to reach a goal that has already been set in stone (like you're backfilling your case that's already been decided by the judge, no matter how flawed it is).

Let me reiterate that I love the idea of streetcars downtown: full streetcars. Maybe not right away, but at least being used quite regularly in a reasonable period of time (ie not in a decade). People have short attention spans. If this streetcar isn't considered at least a partial success in 3 - 5 years, you guys are sunk. You won't get one dime more from people.

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