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Old 01-30-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,722 posts, read 16,807,769 times
Reputation: 3591

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GRAND RAPIDS—Emboldened by rave reviews from a delegation sent to Portland, Ore., to study the economic effects of that city’s highly popular streetcar system, the board of directors of Grand Rapids’ regional public transit agency has voted to approve accelerating the study and design of a similar system of its own.

www.mlui.org/ Agency endorses Grand Rapids streetcars

The RAPID board voted to move to the next steps of putting Grand Rapids into the next class of peer cities with mass transit, by developing a 9.8 mile Bus Rapid Transit route along the South Division corridor between downtown and 60th Street, as well as a 2.4 mile looping light rail/streetcar system downtown. Using either Skoda, Bombardier or similar modern cars, the light rail system would be the first of its kind in Michigan, serving the burgeoning downtown student population, convention center, hotels, the new ITP Central Station, the arena, and emerging residential Monroe North and Heartside Historic Districts. The system would be closely modeled after systems in Portland, Tacoma and Little Rock, which have spurned billions of dollars in residential, commercial and retail development within a few blocks of the line.

In addition to officials from the Wege Foundation, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Grand Valley Metro Council, The RAPID, the Right Place Program, and former Mayor John Logie, a larger contingent of officials will make a return visit to Portland later this year to hammer out details of the alignment and funding.



http://web.pdx.edu/~nac/pdxdirtcheap/images/streetcar.jpg (broken link)
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:44 PM
 
833 posts, read 4,369,988 times
Reputation: 969
That is truly awesome! The more I learn about Grand Rapids, the more I like it. It's becoming it's own Michigan mecca. I also read recently that there will be a new charter school in Grand Rapids starting in Fall 2007 that is called Young Women's Leadership Acedemy; it's a stringent college prepatory high school for girls. I also read with interest that the mayor, in his state of the city address, raised very direct concerns about MI overturning affirmative-action. It sounds like G.R. is becoming more progressive all the time.
Is it true that G.R. is developing a massive park along the river? I read it's going to be bigger than Central Park in NYC. Do you know this to be true?
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,722 posts, read 16,807,769 times
Reputation: 3591
Quote:
Originally Posted by summers19 View Post
That is truly awesome! The more I learn about Grand Rapids, the more I like it. It's becoming it's own Michigan mecca. I also read recently that there will be a new charter school in Grand Rapids starting in Fall 2007 that is called Young Women's Leadership Acedemy; it's a stringent college prepatory high school for girls. I also read with interest that the mayor, in his state of the city address, raised very direct concerns about MI overturning affirmative-action. It sounds like G.R. is becoming more progressive all the time.
Is it true that G.R. is developing a massive park along the river? I read it's going to be bigger than Central Park in NYC. Do you know this to be true?
Yes, as a matter of fact, it's called Millennium Park, and is being developed by Kent County (millennium-park.org). Much of Phase I is already complete, and I believe it has a 20 year master plan that will include a total of 1500 acres when complete. It's an area Southwest of downtown that was used primarily for sand, gravel and gypsum mining, and oil drilling, that is being reclaimed and converted to more natural uses, as well as adding miles of hiking and biking trails all connected to the Kent Trails system.

They're also studying the feasibility of building a 15,000 seat outdoor amphitheater at Millenium Park to compliment the concerts at the arena during the summer months. I know someone working for the firm doing the study, and they hope to have a report back to the Convention and Arena Authority this Spring.

We're certainly headed in the right direction on several fronts, in my opinion.

Last edited by magellan; 01-30-2007 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,722 posts, read 16,807,769 times
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The ITP has approved a study to be conducted to ascertain whether streetcars will be beneficial to downtown Grand Rapids, possible redevelopment opportunities along the line (jobs, investment and residents), possible fares, locations and other considerations. The study

The study is expected to take 8 months to complete, with the streetcars proposed to go in by 2012 or 2013.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/grmetro_article.aspx?storyid=82814 (broken link)

MLive.com: Everything Michigan

Before anyone barks about state dollars going to this, the Van Andel Arena, the convention center, MSU's med school and a number of other Grand Rapids developments have been predominantly privately financed through an organization of well-healed business owners and philanthropists in Grand Rapids through Grand Action.

Streetcar/tram videos:


YouTube - BVG-Tram M13 in Berlin-Friedrichshain (1)

YouTube - Tram Barcelona

YouTube - Tram Barcelona

YouTube - NANCY GUIDED TROLLEYBUSES PMP DVD 1517

Last edited by magellan; 10-29-2007 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:51 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 2,924,336 times
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In all honesty, despite my true belief that GR needs better mass-transit, I don't think this will happen any time soon (say the next 5 years).

Fortunately our bus system rocks. I've used it to get from EGR to downtown many times. Always on time, friendly-enough bus drivers and no parking fees when I get down there.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:30 PM
 
112 posts, read 316,362 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by summers19 View Post
I also read with interest that the mayor, in his state of the city address, raised very direct concerns about MI overturning affirmative-action. It sounds like G.R. is becoming more progressive all the time.
San Francisco look out.
When the honorable Clarence Thomas tells us that affirm. act. made his law degree "not worth the paper it was printed on", you have to question AA's relevance.

We need a level playing field in this country for EVERYONE. The elitist on one side have fooled the minorities for too long and its time they relize it.


I have been thinking about this long and hard and determined if the govt. were giving me free money (albeit only $1200 or so a month) I would NOT be motivated to work for a living either. Why, I wouldn't have to. Work is hard.

I fear this is happening with the native americans who receive "casino money" as well. All these liberal laws do is hold people back. Think about it, if all the people under AA actually rised up to financial independence, the liberal party would not have much of a base (outside Hollywood), who BTW, hide most of their money off-shore, i.e., Soros, Depalma, Snipes, Madonna and Clooney to name a few.

I actually voted to uphold AA JUST LAST YEAR. I have learned since then and realize I was wrong.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:33 PM
 
112 posts, read 316,362 times
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I support more mass-transit but I don't think GR needs it. Yet. Maybe in ten or twenty years. I can drive downtown anywhere in about 5 minutes. A light rail from GV Allendale to GV downtown sounds cool though.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,722 posts, read 16,807,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br1234 View Post
I support more mass-transit but I don't think GR needs it. Yet. Maybe in ten or twenty years. I can drive downtown anywhere in about 5 minutes. A light rail from GV Allendale to GV downtown sounds cool though.
I definitely think a high-speed express bus (BRT maybe) would serve that corridor well. There are already millions of riders a year making that trek on the RAPID buses from Allendale to downtown every year (I think it's the most widely used route in the RAPID's system).

I think we should be looking at transit now, and not make the same mistake that other cities have made, which is wait too long. It becomes a lot more complicated and costly the further development spreads out from the core, thus making it much more difficult to get funding and build. Look at Detroit now. In order to start any kind of mass transit rail line, just one line is over $1 Billion.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:55 PM
 
112 posts, read 316,362 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
There are already millions of riders a year making that trek on the RAPID buses from Allendale to downtown.

I think we should be looking at transit now, and not make the same mistake that other cities have made, .
Millions? Hmmmmm? Don't know.

Looking? Yes. I agree. ALWAYS stay ahead of the curve and be ready to jump. You might know more about other cities than I since I have lived here all my life, but I don't think pre-mature eja*^l!%*#%$ is ever good.

In other words, I think it might be a little pre-mature for light-rail. If its 100% privately funded, then I say: best of luck. I am the LAST one who wants to stand in the way of progress. http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/rant.gif (broken link)

Down with George Carlin. http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/lol.gif (broken link) http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/beer2.gif (broken link)
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,722 posts, read 16,807,769 times
Reputation: 3591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br1234 View Post
Millions? Hmmmmm? Don't know.

Looking? Yes. I agree. ALWAYS stay ahead of the curve and be ready to jump. You might know more about other cities than I since I have lived here all my life, but I don't think pre-mature eja*^l!%*#%$ is ever good.

In other words, I think it might be a little pre-mature for light-rail. If its 100% privately funded, then I say: best of luck. I am the LAST one who wants to stand in the way of progress. http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/rant.gif (broken link)

Down with George Carlin. http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/lol.gif (broken link) http://www.rivetbangers.com/cgi-php/forums/images/smiles/beer2.gif (broken link)
You're right, "millions" was a bit high. The RAPID handled close to 800,000 riders in that corridor according to their 06 report. But they hit record numbers again this fiscal year of over 8,000,000 total, and since the GVSU corridor is the most heavily traveled, I imagine much of that increase of 400,000 riders were from the GVSU system, especially with over 400 residents in Union Square now as well as Hopson Flats apartments.

"Just short of a million" is probably more accurate.

Light rail projects take 5 - 10 years minimum to study, design, fund, and get built, so we might as well start now.
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