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GRDadof3

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Looks like Kent Trails is going to be closed until mid-April when they finish the project. That sucks because there's not a good alternate route around the section that will be closed./quote]

That's not Kent Trails. Kent Trails goes south on Ivanrest to Prairie and then east in Grandville.

Edited by Raildudes dad

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. Not sure 96 needs to be 5 lanes at the EB.

Yes it does. Right now all the merging and weaving WB is done in the thru lanes, that's why it backs up. Drivers are too impatient to get up to speed before they change lanes to go downtown, they just cut left into the thru traffic and slow traffic down:angry: EB I96 needs to be prohibited from exiting at EBL, now that will be popular :rolleyes: . The alternative there would be to exit right with an option to go west or go east over I 196 and reenter on the right side of I 196. to then exit at the EBL. Or get off at Leonard which have to become a loop of M44/37.

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Any report on how the meeting went and whether this vision will become a reality? From WOODTV8's news report it looked like there was a pretty good crowd at the meeting.

I was there for the latter portion of it. They are going to form a subcommittee, with neighborhood stakeholders, to review the issues regarding aesthetics and the Coit Ave bridge. One scenario thrown out in the meeting is the possible complete closure of I-196 from Fuller to 131, to speed up the construction process. I don't know how well that was received. Michigan Street and Leonard St, the two most likely alternate routes, are only two lanes through much of that area. There were also concerns raised about what that would mean for hospital visitors who may not know the area very well.

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That's not Kent Trails. Kent Trails goes south on Ivanrest to Prairie and then east in Grandville.

You are right. I was not aware that Grandville had it's own wastewater treatment plant hiding up there (just moved here 3 years ago). I was under the impression all their wastewater went to the Wyoming plant.

I feel kinda dumb for jumping to conclusions even though the location didn't quite make sense in my head.

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You are right. I was not aware that Grandville had it's own wastewater treatment plant hiding up there (just moved here 3 years ago). I was under the impression all their wastewater went to the Wyoming plant.

I feel kinda dumb for jumping to conclusions even though the location didn't quite make sense in my head.

kt-sig5.jpg

bgr-gville1.jpg

Base map source: Bike GR, published by Favorite City's Planning Dept.

Tan circles represent the treatment lagoons in Grandville. Not shown: the clever Burma Shave-style signs on the fence.

Edited by Veloise

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That rendering pdf of the i96/beltline/196 mess is really dead on - if that were to be done it would create so much better traffic conditions there.

The I-96/I-196/Beltline mess is not on the docket right now. The portion that will be started in 2010 is just from the Grand River to Fuller. Assuming 18 - 24 months to complete (or shorter if they shut the whole thing down), then it will be 2012 before they move to the next phase (Fuller to I-96 interchange), if they move to a next phase. The pdf was just a "vision" document put out by MDOT.

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I was there for the latter portion of it. They are going to form a subcommittee, with neighborhood stakeholders, to review the issues regarding aesthetics and the Coit Ave bridge. One scenario thrown out in the meeting is the possible complete closure of I-196 from Fuller to 131, to speed up the construction process. I don't know how well that was received. Michigan Street and Leonard St, the two most likely alternate routes, are only two lanes through much of that area. There were also concerns raised about what that would mean for hospital visitors who may not know the area very well.

How much time would be saved if they shut it down? I think it would be worth it if the whole stretch could be completed in one construction season.

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How much time would be saved if they shut it down? I think it would be worth it if the whole stretch could be completed in one construction season.

The handout I got said that it might be done in 8 months that way. But they showed M-6 to 131 as the Southern bypass, and I-96 up to 131 as the Northern bypass, which to me seems pretty far out of the way for a detour. Plus, it seems like those 70,000 cars a day would just flood Michigan St and Leonard with traffic that they aren't built for. But definitely getting it done quicker would be nice. Maybe it would turn out to be quite the non-event, much like the S-curve shutdown. People find other ways.

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I just looked at the break-down again and here are the three options they are exploring:

Part-width Construction - 14-16 months - Leaving one lane open in each direction, majority of off-ramps open, majority of on-ramps closed

Half Closure - 12-14 months - Completely closing traffic on one side in two phases, rotation of on/off ramp closures and openings

Full Closure - 8-10 months - Access to Fuller, Access to Ottawa/Ionia

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For truck traffic just going through GR, I think those detours are fine... They could then use the Leonard & Michigan detours to supply any local traffic that the bypasses don't work for. I would much prefer they just shut it down and get it done and over with. I hate constantly driving through construction zones (131 north SUCKED all summer)

I've gone through MUCH bigger (out of the way) detours driving around the country. They'll be a headache at first, but a month or so in, people will figure out alternates that work best for them

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For truck traffic just going through GR, I think those detours are fine... They could then use the Leonard & Michigan detours to supply any local traffic that the bypasses don't work for. I would much prefer they just shut it down and get it done and over with. I hate constantly driving through construction zones (131 north SUCKED all summer)

I've gone through MUCH bigger (out of the way) detours driving around the country. They'll be a headache at first, but a month or so in, people will figure out alternates that work best for them

I think you're right. People on the Northeast side could take Leonard, Knapp, 3 Mile, Plainfield, Monroe, I-96, etc.. People on the East side could take Fulton, Lake Drive, Michigan, etc.. And it's not like 131 which not only serves commuters but is a major state trunkline.

An article at WZZM mentions:

Art Green of the Michigan Department of Transportation says the project is not an expansion, rather a "rehabilitation" of the exisitng interstate. That includes corridor aesthetics, mobility for pedestrians across the Coit Avenue bridge and construction staging. Also, weave and merge lanes will be added.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=86678

But based on the rehabs and expansions they have done to numerous bridges along I-196 already, it will probably feel like an expanded freeway when it's complete, much like 131 North of Ann Street.

Corridor aesthetics may include big upgrades to the landscaping, like this section West of Coit for example:

2218179679_944b2e9180_b.jpg

As mentioned earlier, a separate sub-committee is being formed to address aesthetics and Coit Ave connectivity. Andy Guy was there and mentioned that they would like time to try and raise funds through other sources to help pay for upgrades to Coit Ave and a talked about linear park. It was great to see the room packed to the gills.

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As a participant of the meeting, I think MDOT was unprepared for the number of participants and the depth of discussion the group was willing to have. I'm glad they are looking at subcommittees to further define the corridor and bridges.

Unfortunately, the question is going to be resources. And you could already feel them trying to get peoples' expectations lowered so they don't have to be the big downer. I personally hope that they are open to additional funds to make this something special. I was also disappointed that they didn't bring more to the table from groups that have been looking at this issue for over 2 years. We didn't need to start from zero last night.

My other comment refers to the weave/merge lanes. I think we are all bright enough to see that this is the poor mans way of freeway expansion. Just build enough weave/merge lanes and then connect them later, and wam-bam you got yourself 4 lanes of freeway. No one puts up a big fuss because they carve it up into bite sized pieces that everyone could swallow one little lane at a time. I wish they would just do it right the first time and give people something better. We deserve better.

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kt-sig5.jpg

bgr-gville1.jpg

Base map source: Bike GR, published by Favorite City's Planning Dept.

Tan circles represent the treatment lagoons in Grandville. Not shown: the clever Burma Shave-style signs on the fence.

I'm not sure if you're trying to say I was right and Kent Trails will be closed or if you are just trying to show where Kent Trails really goes. However, I made a little map that shows what I believe to be the correct closing and the new ramps.

grandvilleplantbikepathclosing.JPG

The trail that will be closed is right off of Baldwin by the Grandville Plant. I had mistaken this with the Wyoming Plant that the main corridor of Kent Trails goes through. If you look at the enlarged photo of the sign that Veloise posted it's called the West Trail Head and you can just make it out.

According to that article in the Advance that was linked to, they are planning to complete the Westbound offramp from April-November this year and then in April-Nov. 2009 they will run the eastbound on ramp under the bridge that the CSX railway currently goes under and it will be a left entrance onto the freeway. Or I suppose they could go under both eastbound and westbound lanes by the train tracks and have a traditional right hand entrance, but it would certainly make the ramp a lot longer.

Once this is done, it will certainly be easier to access Jenison, but this summer it could be a big pain if you go through there with any frequency.

Edited by fotoman311

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I was also thinking that they might as well expand this so it will be easier to add a 4th lane instead of coming back 20 years later and doing it all over again. I also don't believe increase in lanes increases congestion. If there were 8 lanes in each direction would this strech still be congested? If there was 1 would it be less congested? I think highways in general see an increase in traffic over time, so they are expanded, not the other way around. Maybe I'm wrong.

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I was also thinking that they might as well expand this so it will be easier to add a 4th lane instead of coming back 20 years later and doing it all over again. I also don't believe increase in lanes increases congestion. If there were 8 lanes in each direction would this strech still be congested? If there was 1 would it be less congested? I think highways in general see an increase in traffic over time, so they are expanded, not the other way around. Maybe I'm wrong.

Yes, as a matter of fact, any improvements to a transportation system induces more travel on it, resulting in more congestion. It seems counterintuitive, but even the Federal Highway Administration acknowledges that it does exist. Many researchers have shown that it's even worse than the FHWA proclaims:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/itfaq.htm

It's called "Induced Travel", and basically says that if you add a lane to a congested highway, more people flock to that highway because for the short term congestion is diminished and the road is more desirable to travel (people like new pavement and new interchanges). Plus, development patterns emerge around transportation upgrades, much like we are seeing around M-6. People move to the area around that highway because of the new highway, thus increasing congestion.

How many more people might find Jenison more desirable if that traffic mess is cleaned up? Or how many people might find Grand Rapids Township more desirable if a brand-new six lane highway is added and the I-96/I-196/Beltline debacle is fixed?

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Los Angeles is the perfect example of the inability to build out of congestion.

I like the idea of landscaping improvements West of Coit Ave. If MDOT is looking for something affordable they should seriously consider native landscaping. The first 2-3 years requires a dedication to weeding out non-natives, but after that the site wouldn't require any maintenance. Also, some native species are salt tolerant so winter salting of the roads doesn't kill the roots. I think it'd be pretty easy to get plant or seed donations as well as maintenance help from some of the city's universities.

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Well I been watching the traffic congestion in the north part of town. The reason a Wyoming person cares is this. We just sent a huge sum of money to build the South Beltline. The key thing was that highway worth it. My answer is a maybe. If you talk about truck traffic or as the state says commerical well back in 2003 the last year we did not have M6 here is what major highways were running, 131 - around 5k in the outlays and 10k in downtown, 96 - 6k on the eastern part then after the split 3k with 196, 196 - 6k all the way, M11 - 2.2k from 196 to 37 and 1.3k the rest of the way.

Now since M6 has been built here are those numbers. 131- well its about the same except slight higher between the down sections but no the spot they used previously was not recorded in 06 so considering the increase I could see the downtown traffic upwards of 11k. 96 runs around 5.5k until it splits with 196 and then drops to 3k. 196 is around 4.4k from 96 to 131, 4k from 131 to M11 then 3k to M6 and finally back to 4k after M6. M11 runs the same western half traffic 2.4k but the drop comes from 131 to 96 to around 1.4k Now M6 is the new dog and it runs 5k from 131 to 37 but drops to 3.2k at each end section.

Now considering the amount of traffic I think that qualifies as a good highway. Now for regular car traffic well here are the numbers from 2003.

96 goes from 27k entering, m11 point brings it to 47k, cascade rd 74k, Fulton 81k, M37 103k, split of 196 drops it to 41k which it then goes to around 50k but peaks to 64k around alpine then finally goes to 34k to muskegon. 131 goes from 63k in the south to 94k around m11 to 115 north of downtown back to 67k north of 96. The ramp to 96 gets more traffic than continueing onto to rockford. 196 starts at 60k to 78k before fuller then 85k at the medical mile, 76k after 131, 67k before lake michigan dr, then down to 52k while in wyoming before going back up 62k by chicago dr and finally tampering off to 41k by 44th street. M11 is around 50k from division to 131 but tapers off to 33k west of 131, east it stays around 40k with some dips and pushing up.

In 2006 the new freeway did this. I96 did 43k coming into GR, 34k by the airport, 45 after m11, 68k past cascade, 86k after fulton, 98k after M37 (death strip), 42k after 196 breakaway, 57k after plainfeild, 30k between 131 but before 131 traffic merges west, 48k after 131 merges, 55k before walker ave, then it goes steadly down to 33k into muskegon. US 131 starts in the south at 42k with an increase to 61k before M6, then 58k just after M6, 78k before 44th, 86k after 36th, 97k after M11 and continues to climb until downtown which tops at 114k, after 196 it drops to the mid to lower 90k, after 96 it drops to 52k and into rockford. 196 starts at 48k then tops to 70k in the medical mile corridor then drops to 40k after 131 before it climbs agian to 64k near grandville, before droping down to 32k into hudsonville, M6 give it a spike to 42k though. M6 runs 25k from 96 to 37, 38k from 37 to Kalamazoo, 50k at its peak then back to 25k on the western end.

All of this data was found on MDOTS website. The thing I am impressed with is the fact that were they are improving 196 is right were it is needed. Although I do think the 28th street to 44th street needs to be built a tad bigger that will come with due time. The added benifits of the new offramp at chicago drive will help with the weave merge lane added between it and 28th street. That section has way too many vehicles on it for just 2 lanes.

As for the need for M6. Diverting that much commerical traffic has huge benifits. The way regular streets are built it is difficult for most cities ie Kentwood and Wyoming to continue to repave 44th. A cement paved road like M6 provides much better footing for these trucks and it also saves them time which saves money for the economny. Now for cars I see no real need for the highway persay but it does cut down on travel times for a lot of people. One thing to note is since 2003 the traffic for 131 has shifted from 96 to muskegon/lansing to north to Rockford/kalamazoo.

Now there was a comment on another topic about US 31 being rejected. Uhm the reason it was rejected was not that it townships vetoed it but rather to build another MASSIVE freeway in the Grand Region would not sit well with the rest of the state. There is several other freeways that need attention first. I know that Metro Detriot is trying its best to get each of its freeways rebuilt. The I-94 corridor also needs work. Plus we need to realign 131 in St Joe County. On top of those projects the napier section of 31 has been delayed until a need arises to finish that big project to make a cloverleaf interchange with 31 at bus 31 and 94. So essentially nothing is going to happen for a while. There is a lot of projects that need work. The state has also replaced the Jackson Lansing highway with a freeway all the way north to 75. So spending money on new freeways even to replace expressways is going to come after we have more money or our infrastructure is better.

I heard that California is just starting to feel the crunch themselves so action will be given attention but we have since started 10 years before they did.

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My other comment refers to the weave/merge lanes. I think we are all bright enough to see that this is the poor mans way of freeway expansion. Just build enough weave/merge lanes and then connect them later, and wam-bam you got yourself 4 lanes of freeway. No one puts up a big fuss because they carve it up into bite sized pieces that everyone could swallow one little lane at a time. I wish they would just do it right the first time and give people something better. We deserve better.

You can say you heard it here first but that's all the state can afford, if they can afford that. Engler's Build MI II,& III and Granholms Jobs Today programs are all borrowed money. In less than two years most of the DOT revenue will be going towards bond payments leaving little for maintenance of the roads that will need work let alone capital improvements.

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I'm not sure if you're trying to say I was right and Kent Trails will be closed or if you are just trying to show where Kent Trails really goes. However, I made a little map that shows what I believe to be the correct closing and the new ramps.

grandvilleplantbikepathclosing.JPG

The trail that will be closed is right off of Baldwin by the Grandville Plant. I had mistaken this with the Wyoming Plant that the main corridor of Kent Trails goes through. If you look at the enlarged photo of the sign that Veloise posted it's called the West Trail Head and you can just make it out.

According to that article in the Advance that was linked to, they are planning to complete the Westbound offramp from April-November this year and then in April-Nov. 2009 they will run the eastbound on ramp under the bridge that the CSX railway currently goes under and it will be a left entrance onto the freeway. Or I suppose they could go under both eastbound and westbound lanes by the train tracks and have a traditional right hand entrance, but it would certainly make the ramp a lot longer.

Once this is done, it will certainly be easier to access Jenison, but this summer it could be a big pain if you go through there with any frequency.

Well I had a whole reply and than IE froze up due to some stupid Adobe compatability issue with Vista. Anyway, here are some helpful links regarding both the highway project and Non-Motorized Trail plans for Georgetown Township.

MDOT I-196/Baldwin Street Study (Environmental Study, Ramp Plans, Dismissed Alternatives)

Existing and Proposed Non-Motorized Paths for Georgetown Twp. (GVMC)

Ottawa County Grand River Green Way Brief

The Bend Area Park Master Plan for Georgetown Township

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As a participant of the meeting, I think MDOT was unprepared for the number of participants and the depth of discussion the group was willing to have. I'm glad they are looking at subcommittees to further define the corridor and bridges.

Unfortunately, the question is going to be resources. And you could already feel them trying to get peoples' expectations lowered so they don't have to be the big downer. I personally hope that they are open to additional funds to make this something special. I was also disappointed that they didn't bring more to the table from groups that have been looking at this issue for over 2 years. We didn't need to start from zero last night.

My other comment refers to the weave/merge lanes. I think we are all bright enough to see that this is the poor mans way of freeway expansion. Just build enough weave/merge lanes and then connect them later, and wam-bam you got yourself 4 lanes of freeway. No one puts up a big fuss because they carve it up into bite sized pieces that everyone could swallow one little lane at a time. I wish they would just do it right the first time and give people something better. We deserve better.

What I would really like to see with respect to bridges is having them act more as gateways or front doors. In most cases having pillars or pylons on either side of the bridge to impress a stoic character. They might also add lighted "Grand Rapids" signs or other light features at more imporant bridges. I've always thought that Grand Rapids should consider having a "Grand Gateways Project" for these entrances into the city. Cincinnati created a program which added great asthetics to their bridges.

transengimg7063jb4.jpg

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[uote name=GRDadof3' date='Jan 25 2008, 10:41 AM' post='924663]

I think you're right. People on the Northeast side could take Leonard, Knapp, 3 Mile, Plainfield, Monroe, I-96, etc.. People on the East side could take Fulton, Lake Drive, Michigan, etc.. And it's not like 131 which not only serves commuters but is a major state trunkline.

An article at WZZM mentions:

Art Green of the Michigan Department of Transportation says the project is not an expansion, rather a "rehabilitation" of the exisitng interstate. That includes corridor aesthetics, mobility for pedestrians across the Coit Avenue bridge and construction staging. Also, weave and merge lanes will be added.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=86678

But based on the rehabs and expansions they have done to numerous bridges along I-196 already, it will probably feel like an expanded freeway when it's complete, much like 131 North of Ann Street.

Corridor aesthetics may include big upgrades to the landscaping, like this section West of Coit for example:

2218179679_944b2e9180_b.jpg

As mentioned earlier, a separate sub-committee is being formed to address aesthetics and Coit Ave connectivity. Andy Guy was there and mentioned that they would like time to try and raise funds through other sources to help pay for upgrades to Coit Ave and a talked about linear park. It was great to see the room packed to the gills.

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...

It is great to have a linear park and park benches- but the graffiti in the alleys and the 70's style architecture makes me wonder - does it really matter to the neighbors to walk over a beautiful bridge- if they have to run through their neighborhood to get to it?

Clancy Street was especially- "lock your doors-"scary.

...

Where did you find "70's style architecture" on Belknap Hill near Coit? My impression (when I decided to move there summer '06) was more toward the 1870's.

There's a neighborhood social service agency on Clancy (Clancy Street Ministries). The 'hood is gradually shifting towards Medical Mile employees who can walk to work.

I did not live there long enough to form a reliable impression of the area's safety, but then I shared a wall with a neighborhood organizer. And when I dropped one of my phones on the driveway, some "scary" people picked it up and returned it to me, without using it.

HTH

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Where did you find "70's style architecture" on Belknap Hill near Coit? My impression (when I decided to move there summer '06) was more toward the 1870's.

There's a neighborhood social service agency on Clancy (Clancy Street Ministries). The 'hood is gradually shifting towards Medical Mile employees who can walk to work.

I did not live there long enough to form a reliable impression of the area's safety, but then I shared a wall with a neighborhood organizer. And when I dropped one of my phones on the driveway, some "scary" people picked it up and returned it to me, without using it.

HTH

okay, you are correct- most of the homes are late eighteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds- but it seems the true character of those homes have been ripped from them and replaced with 60's and 70's style building materials.

I am an urban resider - and have lived in many large cities. Diversity does not frighten me- rather pulling to a stop sign and someone flagging you down to see if you are there to purchase drugs-bothers me.

If you look at GR/Wealthy Street district- they worked hard at restoring homes (the right way) or building new (the right way) or adding commercial- before they were given their lights/etc.

They cared about their neighborhood first.

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