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GRDadof3

Two things caught my attention in this week's City Commission Agenda

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Actually, four things. There are a number of requests from city staff to apply for grants through MDOT's SAFETEA program, most of these projects are already in development stage. Obviously, these are grant requests and hinge partly on the stimulus package coming out of Washington, but I like the sounds of a couple of these:

1. Construction of Riverside West Trail – Ann Street to North Park Street – This project

will include construction of a non-motorized trail on the west side of the Grand River from

Ann Street to North Park Street connecting downtown Grand Rapids to the State's White

Pine Trail. It includes grading, construction of gravel base, asphalt path, removal and

replanting of trees, trash receptacles, benches, pedestrian bridges, bank stabilization,

interpretive and safety signs, raised boardwalks, and site restoration. The project would

be in conjunction with the City of Walker as a portion of the project is located in the City

of Walker. The estimated cost for this project is $1,500,000. The City and Walker will be

responsible for the non-participating costs. This project will proceed only if the participating

costs are fully funded by Transportation Enhancement Activities Program funds and if local

funds are available from the City and Walker for a portion of the non-participating costs.

6. Streetscape Improvements to Lyon Square – Lyon Street from Monroe Avenue to the

Grand River – This project will include streetscape improvements including brick pavers,

ornamental street lighting, trees, a park element at the edge of Grand River, benches, trash

receptacles, and landscaping. The estimated cost for this project is $3,000,000. The City,

utilizing Downtown Development Authority (DDA) funding for a portion of the costs, will be

responsible for the non-participating costs. This project will proceed only if the participating

costs are fully funded by Transportation Enhancement Activities Program funds.

Sounds like they are targeting the small amphitheater area at the end of Lyon?

7. Construction of Gateway at Ottawa Avenue and Michigan Street – This project will

include brick pavers, curb and gutter, ornamental fence, seatwall/retaining wall, tree

planter, trees and landscaping. The estimated cost for this project is $272,000. The City,

utilizing private donations, will be responsible for the non-participating costs. This project

will proceed only if the participating costs are fully funded by Transportation Enhancement

Activities Program funds and if local funds are available for the non-participating costs.

9. Restoration of the Pedestrian Bridge connecting Campau Avenue and Front

Avenue (Blue Bridge) – This project will include the restoration of a pedestrian bridge, including

repainting the bridge, repairs to the stone piers, replacing some sidewalk portions, bridge

lighting, and expansion joint repairs. The estimated cost for this project is $1,400,000.

The City, utilizing DDA funding for a portion of the costs, will be responsible for the nonparticipating

costs. This project will proceed only if the participating costs are fully funded

by Transportation Enhancement Activities Program funds and if local funds are available

for the non-participating costs.

http://www.ci.grand-rapids.mi.us/download_...9e6f20cb87b.pdf

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This doesn't make sense to me. Doesn't the White Pine Trail go through Riverside Park? Why would they construct a path directly across the river from where there is already an existing path? And I don't think there's a paved path from Ann Street to downtown, is there? This wouldn't connect anything to anything..

..unless I have absolutely no clue :dontknow:

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This doesn't make sense to me. Doesn't the White Pine Trail go through Riverside Park? Why would they construct a path directly across the river from where there is already an existing path? And I don't think there's a paved path from Ann Street to downtown, is there? This wouldn't connect anything to anything..

..unless I have absolutely no clue :dontknow:

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The way I read it, you would be correct. I think that the trail from Canal St Park, north of the Boardwalk Condos, going up the east side side across or underneath Leonard and connecting to the end of the trail leading to Riverside Park should be a much higher priority. This would truly make a connection with downtown.

And, because the city has not yet gotten on bandwagon in requiring new street and bridge construction projects to be bicycle and pedestrian friendly (this is being worked on), the new Grand River bridge on Ann St is not really friendly to either. There is a somewhat narrow sidewalk separated from traffic by a very high curb. The outer lane is reasonably wide, so, it's not too bad for an experienced cyclist. But, it's not very accommodating to beginners who want to travel across the river, and, while not hostile to pedestrians, it's not very attractive in my view.

That all said, it is a still a step in the right direction and a piece of the long term puzzle for a comprehensive biking network and makes another piece of the river accessible for recreational use.

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