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Yankee Fan

Development & Infrastructure

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With everything being built, renovated, and/or built out downtown, I have to assume that there is a lot of effort occuring behind the scenes with infrastructure upgrades.

Without turning this in to a discussion about infrastructure improvements for traffic needs (in other words, let's provide that its own thread all together), ...

...where are the greatest needs in downtown Grand Rapids for infrastructure improvements?

As a follow up question: What kinds of proactive infrastructure improvements would actually help to attract new tenants to the downtown area?

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I dont know if this fits into that but there really needs to be more free parking downtown. I went saturday night downtown and had to drive around for about 10 minutes just to find parking it was crazy. and when we finally did find parking it was a god to blocks away and it was freezing out on top of it all. I really dont think big retailers will come downtown til this problem is addressed.

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Bury all utilities, not just downtown but in the central city neighborhoods too.

Better signaige for pedestrians

Better trash cans and more of them, how about recycling cans too

More street furniture (benches, bike racks, public art)

More ADA compliant crosswalks (for the hearing and visually impaired too)

Bigger street signs WITH block numbers

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Those are great ideas! I would love to see additional heated sidewalks. Why not heat them all?! Yeah, I know, not very cheap. But very useful!

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I dont know if this fits into that but there really needs to be more free parking downtown. I went saturday night downtown and had to drive around for about 10 minutes just to find parking it was crazy. and when we finally did find parking it was a god to blocks away and it was freezing out on top of it all. I really dont think big retailers will come downtown til this problem is addressed.

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I dont know if this fits into that but there really needs to be more free parking downtown. I went saturday night downtown and had to drive around for about 10 minutes just to find parking it was crazy. and when we finally did find parking it was a god to blocks away and it was freezing out on top of it all. I really dont think big retailers will come downtown til this problem is addressed.

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But would things like the wireless initiative truly help to draw people and businesses downtown?

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I read that some areas of the city still have the old wooden sewer pipes running through them?? Replace those.

Continue the storm sewer/sanitary sewer separation project, or move it up a couple of years.

Many of the streets need new curbs, gutters, increased sidewalk widths, traffic calming bulb-outs, and more metered parking (Division especially). Every street that has seen rebuilding has also seen redevelopment.

Add more planters and green areas, and plant more trees.

Bury all utilities like GRGridGirl mentioned.

Make the whole city free wireless.

I see all of those as being a good investment that will have a good return.

I would say the lack of parking on Saturday was a good sign.

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There have been a lot of great ideas mentioned here. I think its important to remember that there are many communities who would absolutely love to pursue them but due to financial/physical/other constraints cannot do so.

For instance, 2 weeks ago Georgetown Township passed an agenda item which approved the installation of decorative street lighting along the eastern portion of Baldwin in the Jenison district to coincide with the new ramp. Part of that initiative was to bury the utility lines. Unfortunately, it could not be done so because the ROW that would've had to have been purchased would've extended to, in some cases, the front porch of some residents.

Sort of a random notion but I thought it was interesting.

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I found parking to be no problem on Saturday night. Isn't it mostly a question of how free it is and whether the parking is less than 10 steps from your final destination?

There is no parking problem in downtown Grand Rapids.

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well im not saying its non existant but its hard to find it in front of ur destination. all the suburban stores have up front parking im just saying that it needs to be closer. we live in a lazy society no one wants to walk that far especially winter time when it is cold like it gets here.

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I don't think parking is really a problelm downtown. No it's not 10 feet from the door, but it's not really that far of a walk. Saturday I went to Meijer on Knapp, and boy was it busy; we had to park a ways away, but nobody complains about that. Later that evening we went downtown to a Civic show, and parked a couple of blocks away; not bad at all. In reality, it was probably a shorter hike than in the Meijer lot. :thumbsup:

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I found parking to be no problem on Saturday night. Isn't it mostly a question of how free it is and whether the parking is less than 10 steps from your final destination?

There is no parking problem in downtown Grand Rapids.

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I think boulevards look excellent and I'd like to see more of them. Lake Michigan, just west of Grand Valley would look great with a boulevard-like park coming right into downtown. I would also like more parks in the dowtown area. Rosa Parks is okay but the green space is less than adeqaute to throw a frisbee. If the Calder area could be sodded I think i would frequent the area for picnics, frisbee, etc. Chicago parks would be the ideal model.

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I'd like to see some improvements done in the Monroe North area. The roads, sidewalks, everything are in pretty bad shape IMPO.

I had an interview in that area the other day, and I parked in a very bad parking lot.

Theres some rails there which might be useful if GR ever needs them, but please do something to make them safe! I nearly tripped! (Although maybe blame that on my bad dexterity)

Also some areas in the Heartside district could use some TLC as well. especially some of the sidewalks.

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I went on a walk tonight with my friend Jes to Martha's Vineyard. We decided to take the Michigan Street route becuase I wanted to see how it "felt" to walk down Michigan ST at night. It was quite the scary experience due to the four lanes of speeding traffic zooming by us. There is about a six foot setback from the curb to the buildings, which is not alot of space when you have two people walking side by side. In order to make Michigan Street a walkable corridor, the streetscape/infrastructure needs to be improved 100%.

Examples? (More wayfinding signs, better wayfinding signs, or what?)

..........

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Design better more uplifting transit stops. Have a unique design at key locations, each design done by a different local architect.

Start reconfiguring ROW to accomodate street cars or light rail.

Stop worrying about parking and street building.

The only parking crisis in this city, is that there is TOO much.

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That would be a cool idea for transit stops.

It appears some of you are painting quite a different picture than downtown agencies on this parking issue. I was under the impression from an epacket passed on UP-GR that there was an impending crisis or an existing one almost as if it was matter of urgency. :dontknow: In fact I think it mentioned alternative transit into the city other than bus.

It's really frustrating because it appears as though it's always talk of planning for the planning. It feels as though there's a point of complacency to just sit on it and look at the issue a decade from now and plan some more. Planning for rails isn't exactly a new thing for GR, its decades old.

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More ornamental street lighting

More ornamental (decorative) traffic signal poles

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How about more lighting in general! The more light, the longer people will feel comfortable walking around at night (at least that's my opinion).

Also, I would like to see more lighting on the sides of buildings. That has always been something that I have enjoyed in New York and Chicago.

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Maybe a communication system offering more transparency between government services, the people and businesses.

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That would be a cool idea for transit stops.

It appears some of you are painting quite a different picture than downtown agencies on this parking issue. I was under the impression from an epacket passed on UP-GR that there was an impending crisis or an existing one almost as if it was matter of urgency. :dontknow: In fact I think it mentioned alternative transit into the city other than bus.

It's really frustrating because it appears as though it's always talk of planning for the planning. It feels as though there's a point of complacency to just sit on it and look at the issue a decade from now and plan some more. Planning for rails isn't exactly a new thing for GR, its decades old.

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I went on a walk tonight with my friend Jes to Martha's Vineyard. We decided to take the Michigan Street route becuase I wanted to see how it "felt" to walk down Michigan ST at night. It was quite the scary experience due to the four lanes of speeding traffic zooming by us. There is about a six foot setback from the curb to the buildings, which is not alot of space when you have two people walking side by side. In order to make Michigan Street a walkable corridor, the streetscape/infrastructure needs to be improved 100%.

Better & more wayfinding signs.

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Those are great ideas! I would love to see additional heated sidewalks. Why not heat them all?! Yeah, I know, not very cheap. But very useful!

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