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View Poll Results: Is car free life possible within the Grand Rapida city limits?
Very possible if you pick the right area to live 6 75.00%
Not very possible and highly inconvenient 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-26-2017, 11:53 AM
 
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I am not talking about living in somewhere like Hudsonville or Cascade and commuting. I mean theoretically if somebody moved to actual GR city, lived and worked there, is it entirely possible to do that without a car? Just public transportation and sporadic Uber use. If so, what neighborhoods would you recommend?

Or is GR still very much a car-centric city?
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Louisville
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You can do it without a car. Obviously you'd never want to compare it to major cities with heavy rail, or even midsized cities with light rail. That said Grand Rapids bus system can get you anywhere in the urban area. From the Airport, to the malls, to downtown, even all the way out to Allendale. Several routes have redundancies so you never have to walk far especially in the immediate urban area. Weekend routes are more limited especially on Sunday, however Uber, Lyft , and the various taxi entities can fill in those gaps. For a convenience factor on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it a 5. You can get anywhere but it requires learning the system, and planning. The BRT system is expanding but the current neighborhoods it services aren't that desireable at the moment. If you want to get somewhere after midnight you need to use a ride share service. But from an everyday stand point you won't find yourself stranded in the city.


If someone were moving to Grand Rapids and planned on living a transit oriented life the following neighborhoods would be the most convenient:


Downtown
Heritage Hill
The East Hills
Cherry Hill
East town
East Grand Rapids
Creston
The West Side
Baxter
Godfrey-Lee(Wyoming)
Fulton Heights
Alger Heights
Burton Heights
Standale(Walker)
North Monroe


Bus service has routes into most parts of Kentwood, as well as Wyoming, Comstock Park, Plainfield TWP, and Grandville is also well served.

Last edited by mjlo; 01-26-2017 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:06 PM
 
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Very cool info mjlo. You certainly are the West Michigan guru!
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:12 PM
 
57 posts, read 89,625 times
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I voted "yes" even though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone who isn't committed to a car-free lifestyle - but I agree, though I think you have to be very selective on where you want to reside. Though all those neighborhoods have bus lines, you have balance out how long the bus ride will be to get to the places you want.

If I had to pick one area where going car free is the easiest, I would choose somewhere close to the 6 Line along Lake Drive, in between Eastown and Cherry Hill. There, you have:

--Eastown, East Hills, Wealthy Street, and Midtown are walkable.
--Gaslight Village and Downtown are a very short bus ride (and walkable on nice days)
--Eastown has a CVS Pharmacy
--Two D&Ws are within a short ride on the 6, and Family Fare is walkable on a good day
--Woodland & Celebration Cinema is a good ride on the 6
--Unfortunately, Meijer takes a bit longer. Not sure which is easiest to get to - Alpine or Knapp? But it's possible if you plan it out

And I think Uber could take care of the rest. That's my thinking anyway. Naturally, people have to base their thinking on what their own priorities are.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:32 AM
 
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It’s doable because many people do it but it is not too desirable. I know several people with disabilities that do it and, depending upon where they live, they sometimes spend an unconscionable amount of their time waiting for and transferring buses. If it’s possible for someone to arrange their life so that they could live, work, shop, and recreate all along the same route in might not be so bad, either that or they could live at the central bus terminal so they don’t have to transfer. Even then, they’d need to live their lives basically only during the hours and days the buses run.
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
I am not talking about living in somewhere like Hudsonville or Cascade and commuting. I mean theoretically if somebody moved to actual GR city, lived and worked there, is it entirely possible to do that without a car? Just public transportation and sporadic Uber use. If so, what neighborhoods would you recommend?

Or is GR still very much a car-centric city?
The big things affecting this will be:

) Where do you work?
) How long do you usually spend at a job/employer before you feel the need to switch jobs/employers?
) Where do you like to shop? Particularly for groceries?

Midtown is about the only viable option I would think because there's actually a decent grocery store there, and the Fulton Street Farmers Market is there. But that depends greatly on where you work. If you work downtown: not bad. If you work in Cascade or Byron Center: bad.

I voted no. Obviously you can find some people out of the 1.1 million people in the metro area that do it, but most of them live in poverty and don't have much choice. But frankly, in this area if you want a high paying job, you have to have a car.
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:13 PM
 
4,802 posts, read 4,523,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
The big things affecting this will be:

) Where do you work?
) How long do you usually spend at a job/employer before you feel the need to switch jobs/employers?
) Where do you like to shop? Particularly for groceries?

Midtown is about the only viable option I would think because there's actually a decent grocery store there, and the Fulton Street Farmers Market is there. But that depends greatly on where you work. If you work downtown: not bad. If you work in Cascade or Byron Center: bad.

I voted no. Obviously you can find some people out of the 1.1 million people in the metro area that do it, but most of them live in poverty and don't have much choice. But frankly, in this area if you want a high paying job, you have to have a car.
Regarding your last sentence, what makes you say that? Are all the better paying jobs in the burbs?
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Regarding your last sentence, what makes you say that? Are all the better paying jobs in the burbs?
No, but people in higher paying jobs tend to move around to different companies a lot, and the chances that you'll be able to go from one downtown employer to another are pretty slim.

Plus, there are about 20,000 or so workers downtown, out of almost 600,000 jobs in the metro area. You don't have to do the math to figure out that the biggest clusters of jobs are NOT downtown. And Spectrum is a huge chunk of that 20,000. Otherwise it's law firms, some IT and investment banks (dudes in suits).

So you could live downtown or near downtown, but how do you get to work if your job is not downtown? The Rapid stops at the near burbs, and doesn't even serve the airport area very well.

If you're a service worker, you can probably do it. But then again, you can't afford the housing downtown.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:20 AM
 
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If u go live downtown then u won't really need a car. There is a bus and train station if u need to travel down to Detroit or the Oakland area (like Rochester MI or Pontaic, MI) or Flint.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubby348 View Post
If u go live downtown then u won't really need a car. There is a bus and train station if u need to travel down to Detroit or the Oakland area (like Rochester MI or Pontaic, MI) or Flint.
Yeah, in case you need to travel to Detroit or Flint, you can take a bus or train. Said no one ever. There is no passenger train to Detroit, FYI.
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