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Transit Updates for Greater Grand Rapids

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Well, then I suspect that the potential draw for park and ride on this route would be very low. I'm thinking a max of 2-3 miles for cutoff, but that's generous. Regardless, the Feds got 7,000 boardings for the average weekday.

For an anecdote, all I can say it that I knew of a nurse, some GRCC people and a graphic designer who lived near Division that also worked downtown.

Just for clarification, ITP nor The Rapid can politic the millage campaign. Only Friends of Transit et. al. So your hostility is misplaced. Also, I don't know who here is calling out 'no' voters as 'backwoods goons.'

Are you sure? I thought it was projected at 1600 riders/day first year.

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Are you sure? I thought it was projected at 1600 riders/day first year.

Sorry, according to this document it would have been 7,300 boardings. I don't know the difference between a boarding and a rider. Although, just below the number in the document it says 1,300 daily new riders. :dontknow:

Edited by Rizzo

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With all due respect, that attitude is what will keep losing you votes or support on things you want.

You guys want to keep trashing people of this area like we are all a bunch of backwoods goons? Then you are going to see even heaver opposition next time around. People on the NO side gave valid reasons why they said no. We are not here to ensure some "young person" can have a BRT toy to play on. If they leave GR over something so flaky then good riddance, because they are spoiled brats that really need to get some perspective on life. And if you can't love this area over something like this, then you never really loved it anyway.

That my way or the highway stuff wont get you far no mater where you go.

No "solid case" for this thing was made. Like we said before, it is a bus that ran through a rundown part of the area, full of nothing that was a draw for anyone, and served no immediate need, but taxes would still go up to keep the thing running in the hopes that all types of cool stuff was going to result. Just dont ask what that is cause the ITP couldn't name anything. It reeked of an effort just to put a bullet point in a brochure to send out to companies looking to relocate. Come to GR: We have a BRT! Just dont ask us where it runs to...

But who cares about those little things that we small-minded folks actually considered when voting no. We are all just stupid people who reinforce the stereotypes of actual small-minded people in other cities that look down on us for not having a BRT.

Come up with a better plan, in small stages, that has a BRT or whatever, run to someplace where people live and want to go. Build it small, and build it right. Work with all the people and address their VALID concerns with things like townhalls and better presentations.

Where was the 7:00 special on WoodTV detailing BRT and how it would be good for us?

Where were the developers in ads stating that they had projects on the drawing boards along this route?

Where were the renderings of the stations that would have been built? Would have been pretty inspiring to see all of this stuff drawn out. Would have won you some votes.

What the heck did ITP do for 5 years when they should have been educating the public?!

It's not my responsibility to reward them for a shoddy effort. Maybe they thought yard signs and a snotty attitude towards dissenters would win the day? Sorry.

You are entirely too hostile for conversation. Just as you indeed have a choice to vote however you choose. I have a choice to seek out a way of life that seems sustainable to me. I had hoped with all our collective interest in sustainability and environmentally conscious development that GR would say YES to the ONLY transit project that met the FTA requirements. Yes, transit is a big deal to me. I look at the damage that an auto-centric world is leaving to my young children and I get a bit emotional about it. I would submit that it has been the post-war generations that are spoiled (if you want to start down that road). We have been spoiled by cheap oil and automobile subsidies that are not up for public vote. Michigan can only say good riddance for so long...

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With all due respect, that attitude is what will keep losing you votes or support on things you want.

You guys want to keep trashing people of this area like we are all a bunch of backwoods goons? Then you are going to see even heaver opposition next time around. People on the NO side gave valid reasons why they said no. We are not here to ensure some "young person" can have a BRT toy to play on. If they leave GR over something so flaky then good riddance, because they are spoiled brats that really need to get some perspective on life. And if you can't love this area over something like this, then you never really loved it anyway.

That my way or the highway stuff wont get you far no mater where you go.

No "solid case" for this thing was made. Like we said before, it is a bus that ran through a rundown part of the area, full of nothing that was a draw for anyone, and served no immediate need, but taxes would still go up to keep the thing running in the hopes that all types of cool stuff was going to result. Just dont ask what that is cause the ITP couldn't name anything. It reeked of an effort just to put a bullet point in a brochure to send out to companies looking to relocate. Come to GR: We have a BRT! Just dont ask us where it runs to...

But who cares about those little things that we small-minded folks actually considered when voting no. We are all just stupid people who reinforce the stereotypes of actual small-minded people in other cities that look down on us for not having a BRT.

Come up with a better plan, in small stages, that has a BRT or whatever, run to someplace where people live and want to go. Build it small, and build it right. Work with all the people and address their VALID concerns with things like townhalls and better presentations.

Where was the 7:00 special on WoodTV detailing BRT and how it would be good for us?

Where were the developers in ads stating that they had projects on the drawing boards along this route?

Where were the renderings of the stations that would have been built? Would have been pretty inspiring to see all of this stuff drawn out. Would have won you some votes.

What the heck did ITP do for 5 years when they should have been educating the public?!

It's not my responsibility to reward them for a shoddy effort. Maybe they thought yard signs and a snotty attitude towards dissenters would win the day? Sorry.

Hey...supporters are doing some wound licking today :lol::cry: ...we'll get there...it just might take another decade...many people see no urgency/value to this issue.

No one's being particularly snotty toward NO voters...I was more lamenting the LOST TIME toward putting SOMETHING in place that gets us moving around the city and is a solid catalyst for private investment.

It's a free country...there's plenty of reason to vote no on any issue...but I demand you remove "urbanist" from your user name :D (kidding)

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You are entirely too hostile for conversation. Just as you indeed have a choice to vote however you choose. I have a choice to seek out a way of life that seems sustainable to me. I had hoped with all our collective interest in sustainability and environmentally conscious development that GR would say YES to the ONLY transit project that met the FTA requirements. Yes, transit is a big deal to me. I look at the damage that an auto-centric world is leaving to my young children and I get a bit emotional about it. I would submit that it has been the post-war generations that are spoiled (if you want to start down that road). We have been spoiled by cheap oil and automobile subsidies that are not up for public vote. Michigan can only say good riddance for so long...

"hostile for conversation"? That's cute.

Like I said, run that attitude up on a billboard the next time you want a millage passed and see how many fewer votes you get.

People aren't going to support a BRT based on emotional outburst like that. In fact, if this was the attitude of many on the YES side, and they let it slip out, they would have lost in a landslide.

Lots of people on the NO side have given suggestions and ideas on what the other side can do to make something like this easier to sell, or make a better attempt at it. You can take defeat as a learning opportunity and lean from what people on the other side is saying, or you can pout, curse us, and threaten to leave because you didn't get your way.

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Like I said, run that attitude up on a billboard the next time you want a millage passed and see how many fewer votes you get. People aren't going to support a BRT based on emotional outburst like that.

People who judge projects on emotional outbursts of a talking head instead of on the project's merits, shouldn't be voting at all. Not even in regards to the BRT. Just in general.

Edited by temporary.name

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Sorry, according to this document it would have been 7,300 boardings. I don't know the difference between a boarding and a rider. Although, just below the number in the document it says 1,300 daily new riders. :dontknow:

Ah, it says there are 7200 weekday average riders now on the Division route, and they anticipated it adding 1300 new riders.

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I asked for someone to help me understand, not to scold me like a child.

I happen to think that the case was made very well. Fixed guideway transportation draws investment, it's happened in other cities and I know of one major project that was into planning that will likely have to go back to the drawing board without the BRT. We would all like to have a crystal ball to see in advance but it doesn't happen that way. Developers rarely tip their hand first. I would like to know why Division is not a good candidate for redevelopment. And I would like to know why you're convinced that our city would not experience redevelopment just as other cities have?

Division is our heaviest volume bus route and 131 carries a lot of traffic to the south of town. Obviously people must want to go that direction. You may not, and perhaps that is the main issue, but lot's of people do. I witnessed on more than one occasion planners mention that it was their plan to work with developers to provide "park n ride" just as Meijers has been happy to do in other locations around town. Why build dedicated lots when you can get the same thing in partnership? I would like to know why you don't think there is a need for transit up and down Division? If you are just anti-transit in general, then okay but I hear some people denying that anyone wants to go south of town. The line would bring people to the single greatest asset of our city, the downtown and the health services that call DT home from our densest near suburbs. It would also connect with the 44, 28, 24 and 5, adding enormous value to those cross-town lines. I don't understand how you can say that it doesn't go anywhere people will want to go?

BRT is real mass transit, it works and it's permanent. I traveled to Cleveland to try it out and made a video to show others. It's been posted on this thread. Did you watch it? I hear a lot of people dismissing it just because of the shape of the vehicle it utilizes. I've ridden mass transit in nearly every major city in this country and I think BRT has more in common with San Diego's modern "trolley" than with a regular bus route. There is ample evidence around the net of this if you distrust the local supporters trying to say the same thing.

At the moment, I've received two responses: 1. a thorough scolding and been labeled a spoiled child throwing a tantrum over a lost toy and, 2. someone reiterated that it's simply that people wanted to vote no because they're frustrated with the economy. I find neither of these answers helpful and so yes, I remain disappointed.

Does anyone else find that we as a city are sending a mixed signal? We care about sustainability in building and industry. We accept the praise when we get noted as having the most LEED buildings per ca pita yet we vote down a transit project already approved and funded by the FTA (not an easy task).

How about backing up some of the claims of this being an ill-planned and poorly-designed project? The burden is on you to explain why this would not attract development. Transit works. It has worked in cities all around this globe, why won't it work here? Do you really think Division or 131 will remain the same over the next 3 to 4 years and beyond? Division is exploding southward already and I don't think that traffic congestion on 131 will magically get better instead of worse on it's own, never mind an increasing demand for the choice to live in or near transit oriented development.

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You are entirely too hostile for conversation. Just as you indeed have a choice to vote however you choose. I have a choice to seek out a way of life that seems sustainable to me. I had hoped with all our collective interest in sustainability and environmentally conscious development that GR would say YES to the ONLY transit project that met the FTA requirements. Yes, transit is a big deal to me. I look at the damage that an auto-centric world is leaving to my young children and I get a bit emotional about it. I would submit that it has been the post-war generations that are spoiled (if you want to start down that road). We have been spoiled by cheap oil and automobile subsidies that are not up for public vote. Michigan can only say good riddance for so long...

+1

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And by the way, I would also challenge anyone serious about having a conversation about this to post their real name. We could be neighbors for all I know. You all know who I am and believe me it makes a difference in how I write on this board. I think there is far too much mudslinging from the safety of an avatar sometimes.

I'll even go so far as to buy a round for anyone willing to talk about this in person like civilized human beings, that is with a pint in hand ;-)

Edited by dragt

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Yeah...

Way to start lashing out at people for voting no.

If you want to call us stupid, good luck on expecting YES votes in the future.

The responsibility lies with ITP for not making a better case or having a better plan. As far as I saw, we either got hyperbole or half-baked promises, and no honest to goodness idea of why this was needed. To sum up their campaign:

1) Build BRT.

2) ???

3) Profit!

They had 5 years to get this right, but they arrogantly just assumed that people will go along with anything they say, foolishly thinking that we saw mass transit as a no-brainier that we will toss cash at. All they had to do was to stick it on a ballot. We are not a guarantee source of funds, and we dont appreciate being insulted for making a free decision. I think a lot of people saw this as an effort by, for, and of BRT activists, and not something that really tried to honestly benefit the majority of people.

Come up with a better plan next time, use reasonable language, and respect opposition as being valid and not a bunch of hicks who are burying their head in the sand.

So in other words, if there's no immediate short term gain for you personally then it's a bad idea. Forget the community, forget the environment, forget the future, it's all about you and anyone who says otherwise thinks you are a hick and is arrogant? Since this is all about you, perhaps you should change your moniker to GR_Narcissist.

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I think there could have been more support of reasons from Friends of Transit and The Rapid to vote yes for this and I do believe as someone who voted yes for it that it was somewhat rushed together. Although I believe it was rushed together for good reason. Im not sure if there was even a BRT planned before the national stimulus package was announced??? So in reality it was far from 5 years that somebody mentioned.

The economy as mentioned I am sure played apart in the vote also. People who were unemployed, going through rolling layoffs, getting paycuts, or simply scared for there job like so many people around here recently simply had to vote 'no' on it and probably for good reason for themselves.

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I think there could have been more support of reasons from Friends of Transit and The Rapid to vote yes for this and I do believe as someone who voted yes for it that it was somewhat rushed together. Although I believe it was rushed together for good reason. Im not sure if there was even a BRT planned before the national stimulus package was announced??? So in reality it was far from 5 years that somebody mentioned.

The economy as mentioned I am sure played apart in the vote also. People who were unemployed, going through rolling layoffs, getting paycuts, or simply scared for there job like so many people around here recently simply had to vote 'no' on it and probably for good reason for themselves.

Sorry JoeSchmo. That answer is not good enough. :)

Like mgreven, I'm not in the service area so I didn't get a chance to vote on it. If I had a chance, I don't know that I would have voted for it. I'm pro transit. I'm just not convinced that this particular proposal was the right one. Just because I believe in alternative energy doesn't mean I support each and every alternative energy idea.

So in other words, if there's no immediate short term gain for you personally then it's a bad idea. Forget the community, forget the environment, forget the future, it's all about you and anyone who says otherwise thinks you are a hick and is arrogant? Since this is all about you, perhaps you should change your moniker to GR_Narcissist.

Can we all take it down a notch please.

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I think there could have been more support of reasons from Friends of Transit and The Rapid to vote yes for this and I do believe as someone who voted yes for it that it was somewhat rushed together. Although I believe it was rushed together for good reason. Im not sure if there was even a BRT planned before the national stimulus package was announced??? So in reality it was far from 5 years that somebody mentioned.

Just because you believe it was rushed together does not make it true. This thread is evidence enough that it was not. It was submitted more than 2 years ago and won approval from the FTA about 16 months ago. Friends of Transit is a organization with limited resources who employed record numbers of volunteers to get the word out this time around. There are many many ways to find out detailed information in support of and in opposition to the project both in print and online.

"We the people" can not always count on WOOD spoon feeding us our information with a '7:00 o'clock special' (whatever that is). I do not accept that there was a lack information made available (from either camp): http://lmgtfy.com/?q=grand+rapids+BRT+silver+line

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Just because you believe it was rushed together does not make it true. This thread is evidence enough that it was not. It was submitted more than 2 years ago and won approval from the FTA about 16 months ago. Friends of Transit is a organization with limited resources who employed record numbers of volunteers to get the word out this time around. There are many many ways to find out detailed information in support of and in opposition to the project both in print and online.

"We the people" can not always count on WOOD spoon feeding us our information with a '7:00 o'clock special' (whatever that is). I do not accept that there was a lack information made available (from either camp): http://lmgtfy.com/?q=grand+rapids+BRT+silver+line

Andy, you can't get mad and frustrated with people who didn't buy your idea. You either need to A) Communicate the features/benefits better B) Come up with a better idea or C) Figure out a different way to pay for it.

I'm sorry, but the burden is not on the opponents on this one. That is not a democracy (or a republic).

Besides, what does getting pissed at people now solve?

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Does anyone else find that we as a city are sending a mixed signal? We care about sustainability in building and industry. We accept the praise when we get noted as having the most LEED buildings per ca pita yet we vote down a transit project already approved and funded by the FTA (not an easy task).

How about backing up some of the claims of this being an ill-planned and poorly-designed project? The burden is on you to explain why this would not attract development. Transit works. It has worked in cities all around this globe, why won't it work here? Do you really think Division or 131 will remain the same over the next 3 to 4 years and beyond? Division is exploding southward already and I don't think that traffic congestion on 131 will magically get better instead of worse on it's own, never mind an increasing demand for the choice to live in or near transit oriented development.

This is a good question.

But the concept of sustainability is really a hard thing to grasp. What is sustainability? What does it mean for a city to be sustainable? Is a city sustainable if it has the most LEED buildings per capita? Is it sustainable if everyone living in it changes their light bulbs? Is it sustainable if everyone rides transit?

I have no idea, but I would say that the number of LEED buildings means very little, except maybe for stroking an ego. Making a LEED building is easy. It is low hanging fruit. Changing a light bulb, likewise, is low hanging fruit. It is easy. It requires no sacrifice.

It is not enough, however.

But chaning the way we live, via dumping our cars and lowering our VMTs is a harder, more systemic change. We are not currently as sustainable as we think despite all the green smoke and mirrors .......and we are doing too little and we are too late.

Transit will make us more sustainable and this would have been a big step in the right direction. But realistically, many of the people that voted "no" have valid points and I think that bringing these folks over to the "yes" column can be accomplished, but not by attacking them or ridiculing them. I voted yes and am willing to be taxed to have a better future for my kids, but this BRT was not conveyed as the solution very well and I honestly think that the commercials reinforced that. They had very vague cartoony images that frankly may have appealed to young people, but anyone questioning the nuts and bolts of this was left wanting something else - more hard information - and less cartoon busses running along a cartoon street.

Andy, your video was far more compelling, at least to me. But there needs to be more compelling information.

And why is BRT better than light rail? Why was this being pushed instead of light rail? When I had dinner with John Norquist (president of CNU) and we talked about BRT - his response was to not build it. Build rail instead. I think we were pushing BRT because that is what the feds would fund. I think this corridor was chosen because that is what the feds would fund.

Is that the right way to make this decision? Because that is what the feds would fund and that if we don't get this funding, someone else will?

We need to be better than that. Again, I am a supporter of this, but I do think there are better solutions and we should be seeking them and doing some hard planning, some hard compromises and some real scenarios about what the route is, where the route is and why that is sustainable.

This no vote is an opportunity for both sides to work together for the future and to come together to make the right transit project, in the right place, for the right reasons.

We need transit. We need transit now. If we don't start thinking about it and getting some of it built, all the LEED buildings in the world are not going to save us.

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Andy, you can't get mad and frustrated with people who didn't buy your idea. You either need to A) Communicate the features/benefits better B) Come up with a better idea or C) Figure out a different way to pay for it.

I'm sorry, but the burden is not on the opponents on this one. That is not a democracy (or a republic).

Besides, what does getting pissed at people now solve?

Jeff, I said "I'm disappointed". I'm not mad or frustrated with people who honestly didn't buy an idea. I might be a little frustrated with people who apparently didn't even consider the idea, but that's not people on this board.

And I said the burden is on the opponents to explain why they think something that has worked in dozens of cities around the globe would not work on Division? I want to understand so that next time I can help communicate better. So far, I been scolded and told 'it's the economy'. If you're not convinced on BRT even after the many videos I know you've watched, is there anything that would help convince you? I suspect it simply comes down to a preference for rail and a distaste for anything having the word 'bus' attached to it. That's fine, but then there's nothing that supporters can do to change your mind on that, but the fact remains that it does work and has worked and I think you should explain why you think it won't work here. Something more than "i don't like bus" ;)

I'm not pissed, I'm disappointed. I'm not mad, I offered to buy beer! I want to understand better, but I'm not going to pretend that I don't wish we didn't have to wait for "next time".

And someone saying that they don't even know if BRT was planned 'pre-stimulus' on this thread is beyond simply inaccurate.

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I too was very disappointed to see that this failed, although it is not difficult to see why. Ever take a look at the Route 1 bus, or any bus for that matter, anywhere near the suburbs? No one rides the damn thing. Sure, it fills up as you get closer to town, but I'd bet that a lot of people think that they are not getting enough bang for their buck with the current system. Why then, would they fork out more money for another bus line that will two-thirds empty most of the time?

The Rapid's ads have been horrible for a long time. They have a great chance in their advertisements to really talk about benefits of mass transit. This time around, they could have talked about how the Silverline would have addressed some of the problems people have with the regular bus system (i.e. it takes too long, etc), but instead we got whiz-bang cartoons for a fleet of shiny new buses that can somehow control stop lights.

I agree with others here that people need to stop getting pissed off about this. The sustainability/urbanism proponents are already viewed by many as a bunch of elitists looking to ram one-sided public policy down everyone's throats, acting like they know what is best and unwilling to listen to other points of view. Getting all indignant over the rejection of BRT in a community that, generally, has widely supported mass transit until now, is only going to enhance that opinion.

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Hey everybody. Long time listener, first time caller :thumbsup:

I voted Yes, and I'm disappointed too, but it's not the end of the world. GR needs to plan on improving mass transit for the future, but we won't live or die on this proposal alone.

Honestly, I feel the information campaign was underwhelming. Dragt, it's easy to say here on UrbanPlanet that all the information was out there, but it really wasn't. Maybe it was on these forums, but not in the mainstream media, and BRT opponents were much better at controlling their message on that forum.

For people on the fence over this issue, a common theme was "Why Division? Don't we already have buses there?" and spokespeople never addressed this directly.

"The Feds are funding it" - Not good enough, because that doesn't mean it's a good idea. I, for one, hate to see this money get lost to another city, but I understand voters aren't going to be persuaded by this alone. This may be the only project that could get funds under Fed guidelines, but that doesn't make it a good idea. I mean, The People Mover got federal funds too, and... yeah.

"It worked in Cleveland, Portland, et al" - Doesn't matter to voters in GR. They want to know why the 10 mile eyesore bisecting our city known as "Division Ave South" needs this. What are the projections of growth in South GR, and how is that going to affect traffic? We have buses now. Why aren't our current buses enough?

I know you did your homework on all this, dragt, but from watching the media, all that info just wasn't there. The flowery and vague TV spots presented this as more of a "Nice-to-Have" and not a "Need." If supporters could have portrayed this as a real solution to a freshly blossoming problem, maybe voters would have responded. I know Friends of Transit has limited resources, but all opponents had to do was make it look like this project was unnecessary, and that's what happened.

Honestly, I'm surprised the millage even mustered 48% support. I think the community, overall, supports the Rapid, and despite all our differing opinions on what "sustainability" is, our community leaders are enlightened enough to want to improve mass transit and will work on it some more. We'll get more bites on the apple.

Understand now? ...Actually, now I'm not sure I do anymore... :unsure:

Edited by RegalTDP

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I work downtown, but live in Holland. I was excited about GR getting a BRT line, even though I'd probably never use it.

But I have to say, I don't think the line was sold very well at all. I read the materials from ITP, I follow Friends of Transit on Twitter, I've driven the corridor in question and I've seen first-hand in Chicago how public transit can improve development in a community. I also watched the Cleveland video!

I thought the messaging for development was completely understated. I don't know who said it previously, but if a group of developers had been interviewed for the commercials explaining how rapid transit could bring their projects to Division, or if there was greater explanation of how people could use it, ie. Park & Ride, or specifically listed its convenience to multiple destinations (which is Cleveland BRT's selling point), I think you probably could've sold more people. And I never saw anything about the Salvation Army's Kroc Center which is being built at Division/Alger.

Look at the SilverLine website. Everything is written in generic terms. Even the result in development--all abstract percentages. More specificity and you would've pulled more votes. Even the Cleveland video was short on specifics and weak on messaging. There was construction on the video, but what was the construction? Who was building it? Where were the testimonials from Cleveland developers?

It also didn't help that The Silver Line was perceived as going nowhere. It went from downtown to.... 60th? (meh). Rapid Transit planners need to think about anchor destinations. Look at Chicago. The northwest stretch of the Blue Line is the second most popular L line. It is anchored by downtown and O'Hare Airport. The Red Line (arguably the most heavily used route in the CTA) is anchored by Evanston/Northwestern University and downtown. It also serves both baseball stadiums and Soldier Field in between. The Green line serves IIT, and UofC. Specific destinations!

There's a trend here. Anchor the Silver line on BOTH ends. Showcase the destinations. Talk candidly with developers. Give people specifics to vote for, and they'll support your cause. Hope this helps.

(BTW, a BRT line btw Holland and GR would be golden. I can't handle carpooling--forced to talk to people--but create regular, consistent bus service, and I'll be all over it)

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Okay what can I do to show what needs to be an anchor for the Southern section. Well lets see how about park and ride areas. The first thing that pops into my head for the burbs. The next thing is a large residential area that is of light density. This area can then hop into the area. I can see that it is hard for people on the burbs want to leave there cars there. I just dont see any means to really sell that area without saying Park and ride. I mean we have over 100,000 cars per day on US 131 heading into downtown. I still think we should try to take a car ride one day and time it for a drive at 7AM with two cars. Both starting at Townline Elementary, one goes North to Jefferson then to GRCC and finally the Federal Building. The other takes US 131 at 54th Street. This would be our Kentwood Vote message. For Wyoming, start from Wilson and 52nd. One goes to the Park and Ride at 54th and Divison. The other would take M6 to 131 then to downtown. Both going downtown need to find a parking spot at a lot that is not a DASH lot. That would be my version of a message to both Kentwood and Wyoming.

As for Grandville, I would say our next line would hit the GV downtown plus Rivertown Crossings. As for Walker I would suggest they look put the 3rd line on Alpine. Each line would be named after metals. For EGR say a line on Lake Dr would be looked at in the future. Say we will not forget their first vote.

Thats all I would do. BTW Platinum line would be the 28th St line I been mentioning as a good possibilty. As for the Alpine line I would suggest the Gold Line. As for the EGR I would say Copper Line.

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I work downtown, but live in Holland. I was excited about GR getting a BRT line, even though I'd probably never use it.

But I have to say, I don't think the line was sold very well at all. I read the materials from ITP, I follow Friends of Transit on Twitter, I've driven the corridor in question and I've seen first-hand in Chicago how public transit can improve development in a community. I also watched the Cleveland video!

I thought the messaging for development was completely understated. I don't know who said it previously, but if a group of developers had been interviewed for the commercials explaining how rapid transit could bring their projects to Division, or if there was greater explanation of how people could use it, ie. Park & Ride, or specifically listed its convenience to multiple destinations (which is Cleveland BRT's selling point), I think you probably could've sold more people. And I never saw anything about the Salvation Army's Kroc Center which is being built at Division/Alger.

Look at the SilverLine website. Everything is written in generic terms. Even the result in development--all abstract percentages. More specificity and you would've pulled more votes. Even the Cleveland video was short on specifics and weak on messaging. There was construction on the video, but what was the construction? Who was building it? Where were the testimonials from Cleveland developers?

It also didn't help that The Silver Line was perceived as going nowhere. It went from downtown to.... 60th? (meh). Rapid Transit planners need to think about anchor destinations. Look at Chicago. The northwest stretch of the Blue Line is the second most popular L line. It is anchored by downtown and O'Hare Airport. The Red Line (arguably the most heavily used route in the CTA) is anchored by Evanston/Northwestern University and downtown. It also serves both baseball stadiums and Soldier Field in between. The Green line serves IIT, and UofC. Specific destinations!

There's a trend here. Anchor the Silver line on BOTH ends. Showcase the destinations. Talk candidly with developers. Give people specifics to vote for, and they'll support your cause. Hope this helps.

(BTW, a BRT line btw Holland and GR would be golden. I can't handle carpooling--forced to talk to people--but create regular, consistent bus service, and I'll be all over it)

That's a fairly well rounded point.

Also, pretty good analysis from Jeff Cranson and Ed Golder at the Press.

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Hey everybody. Long time listener, first time caller :thumbsup:

I voted Yes, and I'm disappointed too, but it's not the end of the world. GR needs to plan on improving mass transit for the future, but we won't live or die on this proposal alone.

Honestly, I feel the information campaign was underwhelming. Dragt, it's easy to say here on UrbanPlanet that all the information was out there, but it really wasn't. Maybe it was on these forums, but not in the mainstream media, and BRT opponents were much better at controlling their message on that forum.

For people on the fence over this issue, a common theme was "Why Division? Don't we already have buses there?" and spokespeople never addressed this directly.

"The Feds are funding it" - Not good enough, because that doesn't mean it's a good idea. I, for one, hate to see this money get lost to another city, but I understand voters aren't going to be persuaded by this alone. This may be the only project that could get funds under Fed guidelines, but that doesn't make it a good idea. I mean, The People Mover got federal funds too, and... yeah.

"It worked in Cleveland, Portland, et al" - Doesn't matter to voters in GR. They want to know why the 10 mile eyesore bisecting our city known as "Division Ave South" needs this. What are the projections of growth in South GR, and how is that going to affect traffic? We have buses now. Why aren't our current buses enough?

I know you did your homework on all this, dragt, but from watching the media, all that info just wasn't there. The flowery and vague TV spots presented this as more of a "Nice-to-Have" and not a "Need." If supporters could have portrayed this as a real solution to a freshly blossoming problem, maybe voters would have responded. I know Friends of Transit has limited resources, but all opponents had to do was make it look like this project was unnecessary, and that's what happened.

Honestly, I'm surprised the millage even mustered 48% support. I think the community, overall, supports the Rapid, and despite all our differing opinions on what "sustainability" is, our community leaders are enlightened enough to want to improve mass transit and will work on it some more. We'll get more bites on the apple.

Understand now? ...Actually, now I'm not sure I do anymore... :unsure:

Regal, great post. I understood what you were saying. :)

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