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GRDadof3

Highway and Road Construction Updates

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Well, Mr. Hoekstra himself probably didn't vote for the original law that requires TE funds to be spent on things like 'turtle" fences

:offtopic: I can't resist interjecting the infamous Turtle Fence video at this point just for comedy relief. YouTube Turtle Fence

Edited by trongrr
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Here is a phrase hardly EVER thought possible in West Michigan:  there is a freeway stretch in Metro Detroit whose example would have a greatly more powerful outcome if used as a urban development concept in central Metro Grand RapidsPOINT IN CASE: In lieu of the tremendous opportunity for downtown progress represented with the new expansion plans for GVSU on the north side of I-196 and given the presence of highly populated neighborhoods on each side of the recently widened stretch of the same corridor between Fuller and Belknap Lookout, an opportunity presents itself for GR to utilize the template of the I-696 Pedestrian Plazas (platforms that cover the airspace above I-696 with usable greenspace).

 

It struck me on a recent trip to SE Michigan through that corridor that the I-196 corridor between Fuller NE and Fairview NE could similarly be covered with two comparable platforms; one platform between Fuller NE and College NE <bisected by Eastern NE> and a second smaller one between Coit NE and Fairview NE <a gap between College and Coit would be necessary due to I-196 rising to pass over Lafayette NE>.  The result would create opportunities to build new parks, vertical mixed-use developments of housing, retail, entertainment, office space, and educational uses above I-196 while ERASING the disconnecting effect that I-196 has inflicted on this beautiful stretch of the City since its 1957/1958 opening (and before with its construction).

 

Interstate_696_pedestrian_plazas_Oak_Par

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Metrokid- 

 

I drove the same stretch of road several weeks ago and thought the same thing. It'd be great to build something similar over I-196 to make the north and south sides more connected. We had also discussed it way back when they announced the "fix of I-196". I still think it is a great idea.

 

Joe

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Back three years ago in post #339 of this thread I posted a link to a paper that explained how the landscaped decks on I-696 came about.  That link is broken, so here is a good link to the same paper for anyone who'd like a refresher:

 

http://www.ciatrans.net/Community_Impact_Mitigation/CIM_MI3.html

 

It took a lot of political clout to get it done.  So it's possible I suppose if the right people want to do it and the stars are all aligned properly.

 

Here is a phrase hardly EVER thought possible in West Michigan:  there is a freeway stretch in Metro Detroit whose example would have a greatly more powerful outcome if used as a urban development concept in central Metro Grand Rapids. . . 

It struck me on a recent trip to SE Michigan through that corridor that the I-196 corridor between Fuller NE and Fairview NE could similarly be covered with two comparable platforms

 

Interstate_696_pedestrian_plazas_Oak_Par

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Back three years ago in post #339 of this thread I posted a link to a paper that explained how the landscaped decks on I-696 came about.  That link is broken, so here is a good link to the same paper for anyone who'd like a refresher:

 

http://www.ciatrans.net/Community_Impact_Mitigation/CIM_MI3.html

 

It took a lot of political clout to get it done.  So it's possible I suppose if the right people want to do it and the stars are all aligned properly.

 

 

Not to burst anyone's bubble, but apparently those parks over 696 (in Southfield) are notorious from crime and illegal activity. Might be that the surrounding area is crime ridden, don't know. From the picture it appears to be surrounded by some older (section 8?) apartment complexes.

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Not to burst anyone's bubble, but apparently those parks over 696 (in Southfield) are notorious from crime and illegal activity. Might be that the surrounding area is crime ridden, don't know. From the picture it appears to be surrounded by some older (section 8?) apartment complexes.

 

Maybe GR could float another parks millage to cover security.  Heck, it only took 8% of the voters to approve the one Tuesday.

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Who owns / maintains the parks above the freeway in Southfield? The city or MDOT?  And who polices them? The city or the MSP?

 

I'm just reminded that how underneath the overpasses in Grand Rapids the sidewalks are covered in sand and garbage is everywhere,  And when the question was asked why the city doesn't clean it up, the answer was that MDOT owned it and was responsible for it.   I just can't picture MDOT taking very good care of a park on their property.

Edited by Gorath

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Posted by Whistle-Stop 11/7/2013, 11:42 AM

 

"....Maybe GR could float another parks millage to cover security.  Heck, it only took 8% of the voters to approve the one Tuesday....."

 

****  ****  ****  ****

 

The key to any successful GR use of the I-696 platform concept is to utilize them above I-196 between Fuller NE and Fairview NE as additional space for vertical mixed-use developments of HOUSING, OFFICE SPACE, HOTEL SPACE, RETAIL SPACE, ENTERTAINMENT SPACE and EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION SPACE.  The parks component - due to the highly populated and urban nature of this portion of the I-196 corridor - should be of a complimentary and secondary nature to the more high-use components proposed here <see examples below of GA Route 400 Xway passing below a mixed-use development platform in Buckhead Atlanta; NOTE - scale is, of course, different, but concept is the same>

 

400S_Buckhead_Underpass.JPG

 

2793354009_f1891a98e5.jpg?v=0

Edited by metrogrkid

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AHEM

COUGH

Seriously.

I know there's a lot of content here but this stuff was on the last TWO pages.

 

My comments were from a family member who lived not far from there for about 5 years. Albeit, it was 20 years ago. Maybe Southfield has gotten better since then...

 

I'm not saying all decked freeways in urban areas will become parks overrun with crime. I mean, it's not like downtown GR's parks are overrun..

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another thing is there are no pedestrian bridges over expressways in the area for better connectivity. They are everywhere in Detroit and even in Flint, Saginaw. There are not too many spots in GR where the expressway actually splits a neighborhood but they could be used in a few spots.

 

And any news on plans to continue to upgrade 196? The beginning of this thread shows plans for an upgraded intersection with 96/e. beltline as well as widened to Fuller Ave exit and a widened westbound bridge over the river. The stretch between 96 and Fuller would awesome to see better use of the median with barriers and landscaping in the middle like Ive seen in CA and MD. And on the westside, definitely needs to be widened. 

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The one fly in the ointment is that the highway crosses over Coldbrook Creek (this is the railway and Highland Park on the north side). Realistically, there remain two sections of the road that could potentially be covered: Diamond - Eastern and then possibly the College - Coit section, though with Lafayette going under the highway this would be a substantial undertaking.

Posted by Whistle-Stop 11/7/2013, 11:42 AM

 

"....Maybe GR could float another parks millage to cover security.  Heck, it only took 8% of the voters to approve the one Tuesday....."

 

****  ****  ****  ****

 

The key to any successful GR use of the I-696 platform concept is to utilize them above I-196 between Fuller NE and Fairview NE as additional space for vertical mixed-use developments of HOUSING, OFFICE SPACE, HOTEL SPACE, RETAIL SPACE, ENTERTAINMENT SPACE and EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION SPACE.  The parks component - due to the highly populated and urban nature of this portion of the I-196 corridor - should be of a complimentary and secondary nature to the more high-use components proposed here <see examples below of GA Route 400 Xway passing below a mixed-use development platform in Buckhead Atlanta; NOTE - scale is, of course, different, but concept is the same>

 

400S_Buckhead_Underpass.JPG

 

2793354009_f1891a98e5.jpg?v=0

 

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Who owns / maintains the parks above the freeway in Southfield? The city or MDOT?  And who polices them? The city or the MSP?

 

I'm just reminded that how underneath the overpasses in Grand Rapids the sidewalks are covered in sand and garbage is everywhere,  And when the question was asked why the city doesn't clean it up, the answer was that MDOT owned it and was responsible for it.   I just can't picture MDOT taking very good care of a park on their property.

The extended overpasses are in the city of Oak Park.

 

Found this in the CIA paper:

 

The network of pathways on and along the I-696 deck parks is paved, lighted, and cleared of snow in the winter; the park benches entice people to stop and chat.

 

I'll find out about maintenance, since I was able to refute the allegation about rampant crime (more than three years ago).

Edited by Veloise

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The extended overpasses are in the city of Oak Park.

 

Found this in the CIA paper:

 

The network of pathways on and along the I-696 deck parks is paved, lighted, and cleared of snow in the winter; the park benches entice people to stop and chat.

 

I'll find out about maintenance, since I was able to refute the allegation about rampant crime (more than three years ago).

 

I really don't care that much about it. Just raising the other side of the coin. But of course a city official is going to say their parks are crime-free. Would they say they are crime-ridden? :)

another thing is there are no pedestrian bridges over expressways in the area for better connectivity. They are everywhere in Detroit and even in Flint, Saginaw. There are not too many spots in GR where the expressway actually splits a neighborhood but they could be used in a few spots.

 

And any news on plans to continue to upgrade 196? The beginning of this thread shows plans for an upgraded intersection with 96/e. beltline as well as widened to Fuller Ave exit and a widened westbound bridge over the river. The stretch between 96 and Fuller would awesome to see better use of the median with barriers and landscaping in the middle like Ive seen in CA and MD. And on the westside, definitely needs to be widened. 

 

 

I too wondered what happened with that. Whether you love freeways or hate them, that spaghetti mix of on ramps and off ramps at 96/196/Beltline is horrible and dangerous.

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Oh, Oak Park then.  Actually checking Google map I'm 1/3 right on Southfield.  One of the freeway caps is in Southfield.  The other two are in Oak Park.

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I really don't care that much about it. Just raising the other side of the coin. But of course a city official is going to say their parks are crime-free. Would they say they are crime-ridden? :)

I would think that the municipality's director of public safety is a more reliable source than "a friend" who lived in the berg next door for five years 20 years ago.

 

Google searching: someone fell from a parking deck. A freeway overpass served as a launch point for something dropped onto traffic below.

 

My message went to the assistant city manager and a reply is in the queue.

 

FWIW, my first journalism gig was in 1980. I'm fond of fact-checking, accuracy, proofreading, rumor control, all that anal-retentive stuff.

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Just for the record I-196 East Beltline to Grandville was built 1962-63. It was I-96 at that time The I-196 that was built 57-58 is I-96 today. I rode my bike just about every summer day over to St Isadore's on Diamond then east and west to watch the construction (That's why I've been a civil engineer fro over 40 years :)

 

MDOT isn't doing anything west or east because they are spending their money on mill and fills. There is some type of scoping project going on for the I-196/US 131 interchange (Did some borings last fall)

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I would think that the municipality's director of public safety is a more reliable source than "a friend" who lived in the berg next door for five years 20 years ago.

 

Google searching: someone fell from a parking deck. A freeway overpass served as a launch point for something dropped onto traffic below.

 

My message went to the assistant city manager and a reply is in the queue.

 

FWIW, my first journalism gig was in 1980. I'm fond of fact-checking, accuracy, proofreading, rumor control, all that anal-retentive stuff.

 

Boy, if you could just put all that energy to good use. :) Moving on.

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My comments were from a family member who lived not far from there for about 5 years. Albeit, it was 20 years ago. Maybe Southfield has gotten better since then...

 

I'm not saying all decked freeways in urban areas will become parks overrun with crime. I mean, it's not like downtown GR's parks are overrun..

 

Your original statement was a comment on its current safety, but basing an opinion on 20 year old facts is a bit irresponsible isn't it? Especially when it is designed to criticize another community. 

 

20 years ago, Wealthy was a dump, East Hills didn't exist (in it's current form), downtown GR was quite, well, lame, and Grand Rapids was entirely off the map. We obviously wouldn't want others making definitive statements of our community if they are dated by two decades. 

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Crime in parks generally originates of lack of activity and poor CPTED design (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). A park capping a highway should not really be viewed any differently than a standard park. The crime is the consequence of other factors, not the cap

 

If the GR highway cap linked two dense activity centers, and had night-time uses nearby, it probably wouldn't be an issue. 

 

There are another example of park over highway in Seattle and discussions currently happening in Chicago and St Louis. 

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Your original statement was a comment on its current safety, but basing an opinion on 20 year old facts is a bit irresponsible isn't it? Especially when it is designed to criticize another community. 

 

20 years ago, Wealthy was a dump, East Hills didn't exist (in it's current form), downtown GR was quite, well, lame, and Grand Rapids was entirely off the map. We obviously wouldn't want others making definitive statements of our community if they are dated by two decades. 

 

I was talking about two parks, not an entire community. Plus it's just my opinion, responsible or not. I'd love to hear that the parks are doing wonderfully, from someone other than a person paid to say so. But I don't think Oak Park/Southfield has been spared from the mass exodus from the Detroit area.

 

I never made the claim that highway cap parks = crime. But I will say that re-tying neighborhoods together that were separated by a highway is not necessarily a good thing. I believe it was in Saginaw that they removed a highway pedestrian bridge over I-75 or 475 because it was a cause for "criminal activity" moving from one neighborhood into a school area. Of course, I heard that from someone who lives in that area so it's probably untrue. :)

 

It seems like these parks in Oak Park are a sore spot for people, so I'll capitulate that maybe there is no crime in them and that the area has moved in a positive direction. Said family member attended school for 6 years on Livernois in Detroit 20 years ago, so I thought I would swing by there a few months ago to see if the area around the campus had changed at all. Like you said, in 20 years a lot can happen. It was way worse than it was back then. Shockingly worse, and it wasn't a great area 20 years ago.

 

Moving on.

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. . . . If the GR highway cap linked two dense activity centers, and had night-time uses nearby, it probably wouldn't be an issue. . . .

 

Jippy!  BAM went your hammer on the head of the nail!   :camera:

 

Developing the Fuller/College cap with vertical residential-/retail-/entertainment-dominated uses (with complimentary greenspace) and then developing the Coit/Fairview cap with Medical District-/medical education-/student housing-/more retail-dominated uses (also with complimentary greenspace) would make that corridor one of the most dense and probably most popular near-downtown districts in the Greater Downtown Area.  Additionally, it would be hugely complimentary to the Michigan Street Corridor and make the densification of it between Lafayette and Fuller with projects like 740 Michigan that much more powerful.

 

:)

Edited by metrogrkid

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2014 Roads and Risks Reserve Fund projects have been announced. The only award in the City of Grand Rapids is $800,000 for Godfrey Street between Market Ave. and Chicago Dr. I'm currently working at one of the places off Hall Street in that area, so I travel this stretch every day. At least at the Godfrey & Hall intersection, the potholes have enlarged enough to expose the brick street underneath. Is there any chance that the street could return to brick, or would that just be a fantasy of mine (seeing as how the corridor sees heavy truck traffic)? Any one have any MDOT/GR Street Management connections?

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/OGA_Dec12_State_List_442695_7.pdf

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Since a lot of people here are design/development/infrastructure geeks, this is cool. Grand Rapids is getting its first Diverging Diamond (DDI) interchange, at Cascade Rd and I-96. Mainly due to increasing traffic loads and constriction of space to be able to build a true cloverleaf. 

 

15758143324_b053cd55e4_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

A video simulation.

 

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I really like this design - it seems incredibly efficient. I am bracing for the onslaught of screaming against this "European-inspired" design that requires us to drive on the wrong side of the road, however... :ermm:

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