Alpine Road Diet Meeting Report

Last night (2015-06-29) a public input meeting was held on the west side in Richmond Park (1101 Richmond St. NW) concerning a proposal to perform a road diet trial on Alpine Ave. This diet includes the recently resurfaced section of Alpine between Leonard St. and Richmond St. This is a trial which would be put in place this summer and observed to determine the lane configuration that would be used for next section of the road to be resurfaced [from Richmond to Ann St].

A huge week in transportation news!

These news items in addition to announcements that the DASH downtown circulator will be reconstituted and redesigned. As well as promises of car-sharing services in downtown - but nothing specific yet. And the Michigan St. Corridor plan was officially adopted.


The first public information meetings for the Coast-To-Coast project were held at the Cascade township public library and the RAPID central station.

Coast-To-Coast Round 1

The required public information meetings for the Coast-To-Coast passenger rail project have been scheduled. These are the first of three rounds of scheduled public information meetings.

Fulton Place Construction Officially Underway

The Fulton Place ground breaking occurred yesterday.

Event: Bridge St. Lighting For Pedestrians

As development spreads into the west side we are seeing the rehabilitation of the Bridge St. corridor. These means more pedestrians and users of non-automotive modes of transportation. In response the city is starting to talk about how to improve the corridor for all users.

Housing for only for the rich?

There is no shortage of comments aghast at the cost of the new urban-core apartments. They are even referred to as housing for the "supra-rich". These apartments tend to start at $800 for a studio, $1,000 for a one-bedroom unit, and $1,200 and up for a two-bedroom unit.

But lets break down the numbers. Ball-park estimates of what percentage of net income someone should spend on housing varies between 25% and 40%. The mortgage agencies Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) use a 28% of income cut-off.

A Look At Michigan Transportation Data

This is not about urban Grand Rapids, it is about the state of Michigan. But the data is too interesting to pass up. For anyone interested this data (and more than mentioned here) is available for every state at's "State Transportation by the Numbers Profiles" page.

One statistic that really stands out is that of Michigan's 122,051 miles of public roads ... 89.1% are of acceptable quality. This in contrast to a national average of 81.3%. So Michigan roads beat the national average by 7.8%, and are only a percentage point away from having 90% of roads at acceptable quality. Where is the crisis of road quality? I hear about this crisis all the time.

With 122,051 miles of roads and 9,909,877 citizens [2014 estimate] there are roughly 80 citizens per road-mile; a number which includes children and elderly. Another correlation would be 122,051 miles of roads for a workforce of 4,747,800 workers (December 2014) - or 38 workers per road mile. Given the cost of a road-mile this is clearly an unsustainable system. Given only 38 workers to pay for every road mile the fact that our roads are 89.1% acceptable is a miraculous achievement. The simplest solution to funding improved quality of our core corridors would be reducing the overall number of road miles to a sustainable level. Or if not a net reduction in road miles a reduction in the service level of low-use and tertiary roads.


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