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seely

Urban Mountainbike Park in GR?

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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before or not, but is there any reason we couldn't do something like the I-5 Colonnade urban overpass MTB park in Grand Rapids? I am certain the MMBA would get behind it, and it seems there are a lot of 'dumpy' areas around 131 and 196 that would be prime areas to reclaim for such a use. In my eyes, not only would it create traffic to such areas thus removing unwanted elements, but it would also increase outdoor recreation (I know I would be there everyday), and reclaim land used primarily as a trash dump. Materials could be sourced for free from construction sites--rocks, scrap wood, concrete, etc.

I can't imagine it would be hard to get some bike shops behind it, get some MMBA volunteers... any reason not to? With the nearest decent trail 20 minutes or more away, and gas prices as they are, a local downtown skills loop seems like an ideal situation. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

-Jonathan

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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before or not, but is there any reason we couldn't do something like the I-5 Colonnade urban overpass MTB park in Grand Rapids? I am certain the MMBA would get behind it, and it seems there are a lot of 'dumpy' areas around 131 and 196 that would be prime areas to reclaim for such a use. In my eyes, not only would it create traffic to such areas thus removing unwanted elements, but it would also increase outdoor recreation (I know I would be there everyday), and reclaim land used primarily as a trash dump. Materials could be sourced for free from construction sites--rocks, scrap wood, concrete, etc.

I can't imagine it would be hard to get some bike shops behind it, get some MMBA volunteers... any reason not to? With the nearest decent trail 20 minutes or more away, and gas prices as they are, a local downtown skills loop seems like an ideal situation. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

-Jonathan

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Keep in mind that a public use (park) needs to be available to a wide segment of the population. Playgrounds appeal to anyone under age 10, or those related to them. Water playgrounds and pools have a short seasonality, but they are accepted uses. The fish-cleaning station seems slightly absurd, but there are many river users to warrant that type of feature. A rock-climbing wall would be laughed out of the Legal dept.

An ATB-specific park might fit in well with, say, a skatepark. (Keep all the reckless young men in one area. And provide parking for EMS.)

Jonathan, you asked "is there any reason we couldn't do something like the I-5 Colonnade urban overpass MTB park...?" It's all about supply and demand, and funding. If Fred or Rich or Peter was interested in an ATB park, it would readily happen. If the neighborhood or other entities are agin' it, it won't.

One of the beauties of this forum is the opportunity to float an idea to the powers that be...

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I would love an idea like this. While I do not live in Grand Rapids right now, if I come back it is the first Michigan city I would like to live in and this would definitely be a huge draw.

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Just an update, I x-posted this over to the MMBA forum and apparently someone has the same idea.... so it looks like it may be a reality very soon if someone is willing to step up and head up the project. I'm not sure I can at this point since I could feasibly be moving soon, but it sounds like there is a lot of interest with some big steps forward already taken!

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Just an update, I x-posted this over to the MMBA forum and apparently someone has the same idea.... so it looks like it may be a reality very soon if someone is willing to step up and head up the project. I'm not sure I can at this point since I could feasibly be moving soon, but it sounds like there is a lot of interest with some big steps forward already taken!

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Here is a view looking north. You can see the Plante Moran building going up and the fish ladder is just behind those trees. There also appears to be some sort of water system infrastructure in the foreground. Is this the park where the people with "alternative" lifestyles are/were hanging out and doing inappropriate things that was referenced in another thread?

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Here's a link to the relevant post on the mmba forums:

http://www.mmba.org/viewtopic.php?p=467344#467344

Doesn't sound like it will be anything like the I-5 Colonnade though. Sounds like it will be located in a local park. I imagine which one(s) they are thinking of will be announced when they firm things up a bit more? Hopefully that will be soon.

Here are some photos I took of our "Colonnade" type area under 196. Not really much room for anything even if someone could get permission.

2372572144_a0387b97b6_b.jpg

2372574244_bf44ef93ee_b.jpg

Here is a view looking north. You can see the Plante Moran building going up and the fish ladder is just behind those trees. There also appears to be some sort of water system infrastructure in the foreground. Is this the park where the people with "alternative" lifestyles are/were hanging out and doing inappropriate things that was referenced in another thread?

2372576970_63b90a6097_b.jpg

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Oh no! Not the fish ladder too! :shok:

I really like the idea of replacing the dam with actual rapids here in Grand Rapids, but I would be sad to lose Fish Ladder Park. It's one of my two favorite spots to show friends & visitors - it's a crossroads of design and nature with a great view of the city.

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It may not be a mountainbike park but there is a BMX track in the works on the south side of town.

http://www.grbmx.com/

They're holding a cyclocross/mountainbike/BMX race at their location on April 13th.

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It may not be a mountainbike park but there is a BMX track in the works on the south side of town.

http://www.grbmx.com/

They're holding a cyclocross/mountainbike/BMX race at their location on April 13th.

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I haven't checked out the website recently, but I believe it's pretty close to being done.

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Here's the trailer introducing the GR Bike Park, the first urban bicycle park in Grand Rapids. It shares a home with the GR BMX track. There are plans for a longer documentary that is still in the works.

It does a good job of showing off the new pump track. I always have a difficult time explaining what a pump track is. It's much clearer if you see it.

Saturday, 5/15, there will be a clean-up from 9-11am as part of the I Heart GR Parks citywide event.

At 11am Mayor Heartwell will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony, then he'll take the first "official" ride on the pump track (which could be entertaining).

Then he'll lead The Mayor's Bike Ride, a family friendly ride starting at the Bike Park, going through Plaster Creek Family Park and up then up the Plaster Creek trail. Bring your bicycle down, pitch in, then join in the ride.

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Here's the trailer introducing the GR Bike Park, the first urban bicycle park in Grand Rapids. It shares a home with the GR BMX track. There are plans for a longer documentary that is still in the works.

It does a good job of showing off the new pump track. I always have a difficult time explaining what a pump track is. It's much clearer if you see it.

Saturday, 5/15, there will be a clean-up from 9-11am as part of the I Heart GR Parks citywide event.

At 11am Mayor Heartwell will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony, then he'll take the first "official" ride on the pump track (which could be entertaining).

Then he'll lead The Mayor's Bike Ride, a family friendly ride starting at the Bike Park, going through Plaster Creek Family Park and up then up the Plaster Creek trail. Bring your bicycle down, pitch in, then join in the ride.

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Per the BMX website:

The track is located in the old Southwest Little League park, between Plaster Creek Family Park and US 131. The address is 580 Kirtland St SW, Grand Rapids, MI.

Directions:

Use the Burton Street East Exit off of US 131 in Grand Rapids. Turn right on Towner (the first street after the railroad tracks). Take this to Kirtland and then turn right and go about 500 feet to the drive.

(insert comment here about a bicycle facility assuming that everyone will travel on the highway to reach it)

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