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blueradon

Thoughts about 131

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I know we had a topic like this before but I think it was with 196 oh and the whole thing about 131 going underground.

But I was thinking the other day if there was a better way to reduce land space by implementing smaller 131-196 interchanges and the mess at 131/96/Alpine. It all just seems like a lot of space to be used up for interchanges.

I'm sure MDOT has their reasons or whatever - but when I see all the land gobbled up in the 131/196 interchange I start to think well perhaps there could be more space to build new developments. Although it may not be much space added.

Or do people here feel that the way it is setup is just fine as it is? The one thing I do like about the 131/196 interchange is that there are no cloverleaf ramps so there's no need to go around in circles to get where you want to go. But at 96/131 - I hate using that interchange because of those reasons. Not to mention there is probably more room around that area to make improvements and change the way the ramps are laid out.

But of course - the construction would be a pain in the rear...

Anyone else have any ideas or thoughts about improvements or "why not's" about 131?

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I think the only way to get a more compact interchange at 131/196 would be to replace it with a stacked interchange similar to those found in Houston & Dallas TX.

For Alpine/131/96 a variation of the 131/M6 interchange might work. It would not be anymore compact. But it would handle more traffic than what's there now.

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All things considered, it seems to me that that intersection is actually about as dense as it can get. It's designed in a manner that relatively rare in the United States with a crossover that in my opinion actually makes it more compact than your average stack and far more compact than the overgrown cloverleaf between 131 and M6

I looked it up on Wikipedia and the closest approximation to it is called a "Diverging Diamond"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diverging_diamond_interchange

It keeps the directional width of the interchange along 131 and the riverfront as opposed to out over the river and into Downtown.

Of course, in my opinion, Highways in the United State were generally built too close to downtowns - take Detroit or Cincinnati for example.

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Well to give you guys an idea, the US 131 and I 196 interchange is a very rare bird. I have not seen a single interchange like it in the US outside of a few that resemble it but still do not match it. The cool thing about it is the true lack of space it takes up. What that interchange does is stack the traveling lanes on top of each other which makes it possible to have the exit lanes to use land that would normally be reserved for traveling lanes. Its a quite a compact interchange. The problem I have with the interchange is the simple fact that it has the ramps exiting and entering on the left side of some of the traveling lanes. Its a flaw that would be one of my first ones to get fixed. I also do not like the Wealthy Street ramps and those should be rebuilt to allow them to enter and exit on the right side.

Outside of that I do not see much that can be done. Unlike 196 it cant be covered as it is elevated through most of the city. Second I think with all of the gymsum mining that has occured it be difficult to bury the highway without some massive supports. I also think with the rebuilding that has already occured from Wealthy to Bridge it be almost impossible to bury it.

Looking at the I 96 and 131 interchange that is an interesting one as well. One thing I noticed is that they went with a money saving move with placing the North 131 to East 96 ramp where it was located at. Had it been placed with where the East 96 to North 131 ramp is at it would be three times as long and would require a slight larger bridge over the grand. As a result they placed it where they did to not impose on the grand as would normally be required. The other ramps for 96 to 131 are fine where they are located at. The only thing I would suggest is a longer speeding up lane for 131 north traffic to 96 east traffic. Its a little difficult to get up to speed in a heavier vehicle. Although if they moved the ramp east a bit and build a wider bridge over River Dr it could be a lot better.

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The only problem I have with 131 (besides the terribly over-grown interchange at 96, obviously) is that it runs right along the Grand River, taking up very valuable land that could have been a park or riverwalk or something. But hey, what can ya do

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The only problem I have with 131 (besides the terribly over-grown interchange at 96, obviously) is that it runs right along the Grand River, taking up very valuable land that could have been a park or riverwalk or something. But hey, what can ya do

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I agree. In a perfect world, I'd want the downtown area of 131/196 either burried and capped or taken out entirely; with all the traffic diverted to a circular outer bypass (like that'll ever happen, but it's a thought). Lately I've been realizing that that may not be a really good option either for it would probably spur more suburban growth. It's just so disappointing to me to have to live with an "urban wall" so close to our river. Plus, all those homeowners who live on the west side, especially near the bridge street business district, can rebuild their houses all they want but their housing values will never increase as long as 196 is there. It's sad really, since there are a lot of beautiful old homes that need a lot of tlc.

The only problem I have with 131 (besides the terribly over-grown interchange at 96, obviously) is that it runs right along the Grand River, taking up very valuable land that could have been a park or riverwalk or something. But hey, what can ya do

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I was wondering why that park was perpetually closed. Keep in mind though that that is only a tiny portion of that population (which the media hypes). People here shouldn't get the wrong idea and start stereotyping.

The City owns some of the land on the west side north of Ann. They closed the park due to it being a meeting place for folks that chose an alternate life style. I wish they would brush it and maintain it like Riverside Park. That would serve 3 purposes. 1) discourage use by those folks 2) open up some more greenway for a pathway on that side of the river (could go all the way to North Park Street) and 3) open up the view of the river (one used to be able to see the river until the brush / trees took over).

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The City owns some of the land on the west side north of Ann. They closed the park due to it being a meeting place for folks that chose an alternate life style. I wish they would brush it and maintain it like Riverside Park. That would serve 3 purposes. 1) discourage use by those folks 2) open up some more greenway for a pathway on that side of the river (could go all the way to North Park Street) and 3) open up the view of the river (one used to be able to see the river until the brush / trees took over).

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You don't CHOOSE to be gay ("an alternate lifestyle"). (Name me one person who CHOSE to be straight). However, you do CHOOSE to go to a park or rest area and be indecent and improper. As a gay man I feel that that is very wrong. The vast majority of gay men and women would agree. Just thought I'd make it clear to those who might not know the difference. Thanks. And as for the park, yes, clean it up so all people can enjoy the great outdoors, and only the great outdoors. I'm all for more bike paths too.

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Sorry, a better choice of words would have been "folks with an alternate life style".

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Actually I wouldn't want to see people with a non-alternate-lifestye doing some of the things people were doing in that park! :shok: Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter who's doing it.

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Actually I wouldn't want to see people with a non-alternate-lifestye doing some of the things people were doing in that park! :shok: Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter who's doing it.

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It is a shame the way 131 cuts through the heart of the city like it does but it follows, true to form, the way paths for highways were often chosen...right along railroad tracks. One thing that is really nice that I wish would be done on other overpasses is the higher design standards through downtown with the street name signs and the concrete which was constructed with a least some attempt at good aesthetics in mind. Then, as is already done, use the underspace for parking. Although I wish they could do a better job shielding some of it at some spots.

Seriously, can you imagine what the U.S. could look like if the design standards for interchanges and overpasses would be higher. Sure, at their root they are still highways but at least look a heck of a lot better. Would make for a nice public works project.

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It is a shame the way 131 cuts through the heart of the city like it does but it follows, true to form, the way paths for highways were often chosen...right along railroad tracks. One thing that is really nice that I wish would be done on other overpasses is the higher design standards through downtown with the street name signs and the concrete which was constructed with a least some attempt at good aesthetics in mind. Then, as is already done, use the underspace for parking. Although I wish they could do a better job shielding some of it at some spots.

Seriously, can you imagine what the U.S. could look like if the design standards for interchanges and overpasses would be higher. Sure, at their root they are still highways but at least look a heck of a lot better. Would make for a nice public works project.

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