Home > Appreciated Quotes, Representing > I am writing because…Our Wheels are Turning (II)

I am writing because…Our Wheels are Turning (II)

I’m writing because

your letters to the Traverse City City Commission part II… (part I)

 

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We oppose any improvements to 8th Street that don’t integrate bricked cross-walks and “share-the-road” signage, regardless of the implication to our stimulus funding. Doing so, borders on negligence. We’re shocked this wasn’t addressed in the initial plans submitted to the State. — John, Rachael, and Helly Taylor

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I am writing to express my concern about 8th Street renovations.  I live in Central neighborhood and work at NMC.  I would love to bike on 8th Street to work, but unfortunately I can’t because of the current design, it is just not safe.  It would be a real shame to think the City would spend the time and money to renovate 8th Street without considering bikers/bike lanes. — Michele Howard

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Much of its length is lined with residences and small businesses, bike shops and hair salons, grocery stores and art galleries. Its commercial nature is mixed with a slow/local character. This is a street which should reflect the image the City wishes to project to the community….Paving 8th Street without creating a safe, and reasonable access to the street for bicycles and pedestrians will not serve either the mission or the goals of the City, and will only serve to enhance the quality of life for those who choose to drive a car through it. This, in turn, will continue to promulgate the perceptions of many in the driving community that bicycles do not belong on the City’s streets.– Bill Palladino

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While not an avid bicyclist, I still love to ride my bike as a mode of transport, especially now that I live in the central neighborhood. And I am concerned about the overall well-being and progressive growth of my hometown, and the place I’m going to call home for the rest of my life. Making this city safer for folks who love to bike/walk/run is of utmost importance to me. It’s also important to me to make this city safe for those who don’t have a choice but to bike or walk. I am fully supportive of taking a closer look at this issue, and I would like to trust that those who are leading our city feel the same.–Abby Walton Porter

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As an 8th Street business, Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan would like to speak on behalf of both our clients and staff who utilize our busy street. Many of our clients commute in all seasons via bicycle or as pedestrians – sometimes in conjunction with public transportation. Approximately half of our staff commutes across town during the summer months via bicycle.–Jennifer Kirkpatrick Johnson

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There have been major improvements since the 1980’s, when I was growing up here—we now have the TART Trails, bike lanes downtown, and many improved curbs and sidewalks. But we need to keep improving. Depending on which direction you’re coming from, it can still be difficult to get across town easily and safely by bicycle or on foot. Many neighborhood streets don’t connect, are interrupted by the Boardman River or Lake, or otherwise don’t easily get you to where you want to go. That’s why so many pedestrians and bicyclists, just like motorists, travel using Eighth Street: it’s a convenient way to get across town quickly. —Linnaea Melcarek

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I live one block south of 8th and Rose and use the street nearly every day.  It is a challenging road to cross, even for something as simple as going to Glen’s, because it is simply a speedway-with cars consistently exceeding the speed limit.  I’d love to see a second design option that incorporates design for use by families, the elderly, cyclists, pedestrians, buses and cars.  That would create more livable, desirable, safe and economically sound neighborhoods. — Christine M. Sleeman

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I have nothing against cars, they play an important role in my personal life as well as my business, and I want traffic to run smoothly, as well. But I believe that the tide is turning and many individuals and families are looking for communities in which to live and work where they have safe, reliable and consistent access to alternative transportation. That means bike lanes on all the main streets in town. — Emily Bert

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The cities that are attracting the young workforce of the new economy recognize the driving factor in the 21st century economy is creating a sense of place that gives residents choices for how to get around, and more and more people are specifically looking for communities that prioritize walking and biking… I assumed that given the extensive planning we’ve done in recent years bike lanes and pedestrian crossings would automatically be part of any new street — particularly one as important as 8th street. Given the controversy over how the plans have been developed, it’s obvious that the citizens of Traverse City cannot assume anything is a given, not even something as fundamental as bike lanes.– Hans Voss

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Many factors contribute to “creating community.” But one of the most effective ways is to create more opportunities to smile, meet and greet other people in a convivial way face-to-face. Cycling, walking, and rollerblading create opportunities to create social interaction, strengthening our community and our neighborhoods…. Excessive excuses for ignoring our needs are no longer tolerated. We are have grown weary of waiting. The time is now. It is never wrong to do the right thing. Make 8th street safe for me to ride my bicycle across town on this spring. We will all thank you for your consideration. If you ignore us, we will hold you accountable.– M’Lynn Hartwell

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Ultimately, to me, a city full of bike and pedestrian friendly avenues which foster a more socially and culturally connected quality of life is a much bigger win than a couple more turn lanes which do little other than to enable higher speeds of traffic through residential areas.  We should all be able to see 8th Street as a community thoroughfare, rather than simply a car and truck access road.Ross A. Hammersley

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I am writing to you not only as a regular commuter but as someone who has delivered over twenty-five-thousand pounds of Higher Grounds Coffee to local businesses, citizens, and governmental centers (including your office). To deliver this amount of coffee to eager coffee drinkers I’ve traveled over nine-hundred miles on the roads, side streets, sidewalks, and bike paths around TC.  From experience I know that a bike lane along 8th st. would be a huge step for Traverse City’s bicycle friendliness, and simply asking us to go around is not a good option. 8th st. needs a good bike lane.  Also, I think we should all keep in mind that these types of developments are what will move local Businesses toward starting bike deliveries for themselves, which is a great notion. Traverse City, the Portland, Oregon of the Midwest. Dan Mills

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While a revision to the project may be inconvenient to those who made the decision and proceeded without including bike lanes it is incumbent on City management to provide direction to the City departments involved: 1) What will it take to include bike lanes and maintain the timing and funding of the project? 2) The correction of this serious oversight must be made with the same kind of urgency as if the water treatment plant caught on fire.  Correction of this error is expected and a plan to achieve it must be delivered in a matter of hours and days not weeks or months. 3) Take to heart the question posed by Derek Bailey, Tribal Chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians at last week’s Traverse City Tomorrow forum: “What kind of ancestors will we be?” The nearly 500 members of the Cherry Capital Cycling Club and others in the cycling community expect results! — Fred Schaafsma, The Cherry Capital Cycling Club

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My preference is for making 8th Street usable for cyclists, even if it creates minor inconvenience for automobile travel.  Communities that surrender to cars do not thrive.  We only need to cast our gaze on Detroit or Flint to see what happens to cities that focus on traffic volume and speed.  Yes, you move more cars, but the city dies.– Chris Campbell

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If the hundreds of letters written in support of Complete Streets isn’t quite compelling enough, here are an additional 28 Reasons compiled by the University of Central Florida – the majority of these reasons are especially relevant to you in your positions.( 28 Reasons to Bike and Support Biking) — Jessie Alan

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Please join us for one of the largest cycling events in Traverse City

At the Traverse City Commission Meeting discussion about the 2010 8th Street debacle

Monday, February 8 at 7:00pm
400 Boardman Avenue Traverse City, MI – 2nd Floor

Click Here to Email all City Commissioners

A pre-gathering of neighbors and citizens is meeting at 8th and Fern at 5:30 for coffee, hot chocolate, friends, and then walking, riding or otherwise moving to the meeting. Details at Facebook Event http://bit.ly/dzB9av or Traverse Alive

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  1. Hannah Furman
    February 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I am writing as a resident who lives on E. 8th st and wants to see a bike lane added to the reconstruction project of my road. It is hard walking on the side walk when bicycles are always coming up from behind you or swerving onto someone’s lawn to get out of the way. And as a cyclist myself, there isn’t enough room to bike next to walkers on the side walk. Bike lane —or no construction!

  2. February 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for adding your comment, Hannah. It shouldn’t be so difficult, but that’s where we find ourselves.

  3. chrisbzdok
    February 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Gary your comments last night were right on, as were many. (June Thaden, Dan O’Neill, Bill Palladino, Tom Auer, Earth Melzer also are ringing in my head this a.m.) I hope you’ll pull some video and put it here for those who did not see it.

  4. February 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Great idea Mayor…There was two months of material said last night during public comment. I’m looking forward to reviewing it and putting it up here…Thank you for takign a strong lead on this…not sure if we can pack 150 people in there every-time, but we can try…someone needs to buy you a beer!

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