Home > Safety Issues > Pedestrian & bicycle trouble spots in Traverse City

Pedestrian & bicycle trouble spots in Traverse City

I wanted to restart the discussion about trouble spots in Traverse City for pedestrian & bicycle safety concerns.

In a previous post, I was responding to a discussion that took place on the Plan for TC forum about street safety.  I provided this quick,  non-comprehensive list:

  • South Entrance of NMC on Front St.
  • Munson Ave.
  • Garfield & Front Intersection
  • The entire route of Garfield (Agave is .5 miles away from my house, still difficult to reach)
  • Woodmere (TART crossing has blind spot)
  • 8th St.  (Suicidal)
  • Front St. (different stretches have different issues)
  • Cass St. & Union St., south of Old Town
  • 7th St. crossing of Division
  • 14th St.
  • Division St.
  • Grandview and Division

What examples can you provide for Traverse City? For other locations in Northern Michigan?

  1. J Price
    January 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

    The worst spot I have encountered is Lafranier and S. Airport. My boyfriend got edged off the road by a semi (yes, he fell) and I have had quite a few cars make a right (heading west) and almost hit me. Thank god I was alert. The light there is far to quick for a pedestrian or a bike. Drivers ignore everything outside of a car. It is pretty frustrating. Thank god we just moved further in town.

  2. Sharon Flesher
    January 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Crossing Union at 7th Street, or at 6th Street. Even with nice brick crosswalks, drivers almost invariably will not yield to pedestrians attempting to cross, even if they are children going to school (my experience at school hours is more than a year old, but I’d be surprised if it’s changed).

  3. Tracey Kukla-Alehsire
    January 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I second the intersection at Garfield and Front. Trying to cross there with the kids in tow is daunting.

  4. Louise Mendrala
    January 8, 2010 at 9:48 am

    We just moved here and live near the corner of Garfield/Airport. We look forward to enjoying all the biking activities up here but really don’t know how we are going to safely get from our location to the trails.
    This winter, I’ve seen a fair amount of ped traffic in this area, often they are walking on the edge of Airport and/or Garfield Roads because the sidewalks are not cleared (accidents waiting to happen). I’m assuming there is a sidewalk under all that snow… I guess I’ll have to wait until spring to find out!

  5. January 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

    South Airport is entire another level of concern. I occasionally bike to Pet Smart just to make a point of it. Yikes.

    Yeah, what is it with 6th and 7th along Union? People seem to drive fast through there, there are some nasty blind spots (particularly with the parking there) and the brick crosswalks are not very attention grabbing, they look nice, but don’t stand out. On first glance, it seems fine, but it really isn’t.

    Tracy, pedestrians should never be asked to cross more than 3 lanes of traffic without an island. Period. Leaves us too exposed for too long.

    Thank you for your replies. Keep them coming.

  6. January 8, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Those are social trails. No sidewalks there. There might be an opportunity in coming years to address that though. I have an earlier post about the Airport extension: http://bit.ly/79NQfA

  7. ty
    January 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

    how about washington and garfeild? despite the overhead sign, drivers are oblivious to us as we wait forever to cross to get to eastern elementary school/civic center/nmc/sledding hill/kids cove. it’s always, “ready, set, run fast boys!” you’d think that as part of the “in-town tart” this would be easier.

  8. Jason W.
    January 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I have a perfect view of Barlow and 8th St. every day. That corner is full of walkers, runners, cyclists, and even an occasional skier?! The 25 MPH sign is carefully tucked behind the street sign at the top of the hill…and everyone is speeding! It’s actually quite hilarious to watch.

  9. Sharon Flesher
    January 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Ty, several years ago when my kids were at Oak Park, a group of parents and the principal formed a committee to implore the city to do something about that Washington-Garfield crossing. A few years before, other parents had managed to get the overhead sign put in, but it was widely ignored by motorists. Some motorists would even ignore the crossing guard standing in the middle of the road trying to help kids get to school! The end result of our most recent committee efforts was the signs on the side of the road that note it is state law to stop in a school zone. Those are also ignored. We wanted a pedestrian-activated stoplight at that crossing, but the city refused to do it. Maybe the time is right to try again.

  10. January 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I use this crossing a lot to get to NMC. Always amazed when cars do stop…it needs to be reversed, no?
    Part of my effort is to help the city develop citywide strategy, guidelines and specific infrastructure suggestions, based on citizens’ needs and vision. For too long we’ve fought one battle here and there, only to see other projects go through without citizen input. We are going to have specific locations of contention before anything over-arching is implemented, and hopefully they will accept the help.

    FYI, key to getting cars to stop at Wash/Garfield? Walk with a very cute beagle…they seem to always stop when I have Lima…of course, she’s famous, but you’d think they’d stop for kids too.

  11. January 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

    More info coming on this section of 8th St. Current 2010 plan is to repave it without ped/bike/skier improvements. And, actually, widening the width of the moving lanes which will in effect increase the speed of traffic. You give cars more room, they go faster, which has a ripple effect int he system that is all negative for neighborhoods. Stay tuned.

  12. cwendel
    January 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Airport and US 31 (crossing US 31). Yes, there are folks that try to use the cross walk (even in the winter). It’s the equivalent of trying to cross an inter-state highway and with the double left turning traffic from Airport it’s frightening fast paced game of frogger.

    I’ve also observed a high number of bicyclists (without helmets) and pedestrians in dark clothing along Barlow corridor trying to get to work in the pre-dawn hours.

    The common denominator is the overall disregard from ambivalent motorists for pedestrians and bikes in the region.

  13. February 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    My bugbear is the whole of Lafranier. With Keystone out, and Garfield a laughable alternative suggestion, all southerly originated traffic routes along Lafranier. That includes me, shoved onto the unploughed side whilst all the rusty jalopies from out-of-town push above 50, merely inches from me.

  14. February 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Bugbear? Never heard that…welcome to the discussion. Lafranier, as it is increasingly used as a cut through to avoid SAiprot light, it is really getting ugly. Thansk for the rmeinder

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