Underwhelming corridor studies up for review

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Announcement: with some crank

Public input sought tonight on Traverse City’s Draft Corridor Framework Plans (PDF). The meeting will be held from 6-8 pm at the Traverse Area District Library. 

I don’t have time to find much positive to say about the newly released corridor studies (PDF). At first glance, and I stress only a glance, it isn’t  very promising. The trust is that this is only a first step. The reality is, it’s probably what we are stuck with. Nonetheless, there must be some positives in this study–right? I let you to find them.

If I lived in SoFo, I’d be upset, because the 14th St. right of way improvements aren’t promising…I don’t get it, it’s a 25-mph zone in a mixed use corridor…why encourage higher speeds with 14-ft lanes? The minimum lane width on an expressway is 12-ft! The excuse is to make it a shared lane. Foul ball!

14th St. is exactly the street that you put bike lanes on–it’s a major gateway route, already has congestion, people need access to businesses, and is now a place people avoid. The explanation says there isn’t room…bullyhats…40 ft of pavement is plenty. Suggestion: 6 foot bicycle lanes, 10 foot travel lanes and a 8 foot turning lane–that’s 40-ft.  It would provide design befitting a bicycle friendly city, it would help keep motorized traffic below 30-mph, and it would relive congestion. And, it might actually be a place worth supporting.

To suggest that wider travel lanes make a street safer, for anyone, is dangerous by design.

Don’t even get me going on the cross-section of Garfield Ave….really? This is innovation?

What else is in this corridor plan?  (PDF)

Again, tonight at 6pm at the Library. Or, contact the City Planner and Panning Commission. 

Press Release from Planning Department:

Corridor Project Seeks Public Input

Presentation of Plans for Eighth St., Garfield Ave., Fourteenth St., East Front St. and West Front St.

Early this year, a Community Workshop was held to kickoff an improvement project for five key Traverse City corridors to help the City understand what it can do to help these streets flourish.  Since then, City staff has been working closely with a team of consultants and a Project Steering Committee to prepare plans for improving these important corridors.  Each corridor has been studied to identify and plan for a range of issues and opportunities for improvement including: traffic, circulation, biking and pedestrian orientation/safety, land use and development potential among others topics.

The draft plans for the five corridors – Garfield Ave., Eighth Street, Fourteenth Street, East Front St. and West Front St. – will be presented on Wednesday, October 17th from 6-8 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library on Woodmere Ave.  Public comment on the draft plans is welcome and needed to guide their final development.

Elizabeth Whelan is a Boardman Neighborhood resident and member of the Corridor Steering Committee.  “The overall goal of the project is to find out what we can do to make these streets better – for residents, for businesses and for all those who use them to get around, whether by car, bike or foot.  The Community Workshop generated many good ideas, but we really need people to look over and weigh in on these draft plans.”

The draft plans are the result of an 8 month study that included:

  • An analysis of existing conditions on the corridors,
  • 3 workshops gathering public input,
  • A web-based community issues mapping and visual preference survey,
  • A demographic and economic analysis.

The plans, once complete, will guide the City in making decisions concerning transportation, housing and physical improvements to the streets.  More information can be found on the City’s web site www.ci.traverse-city.mi.us or by contacting City Planning at 231.922.4778.

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  1. October 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Gary: I was underwhelmed with the plan for 8th street after reviewing yesterday evening.

    1) I found it very hard to read as a PDF….too much small print. I may be picky here….I believe a public plan such as this should be more accessible.

    2) I am open to the idea of a roundabout at Boardman and 8th.

    3) Paying particular attention to the Boardman to Woodmere section (bordering my neighborhood), I see the same issues you describe for 14th: wide lanes encouraging speed, no dedicated bike lanes, wide turn lane, etc.

    4) I did not pick up on improvements for pedestrian crossings of 8th street at Franklin or Wellington. Franklin should be a priority as there is a connector to the TART trail at the South end of Franklin. Why not elevated crosswalks like they have downtown? What about a median like on Woodmere? Connecting the Boardman Neighborhood to the Boardman Lake area is a necessary improvement.

    Unable to make the meeting tonight (I am out of town for work).

    Look forward to hearing others’ thoughts on the DRAFT plan.

    Mike

  2. Doug
    October 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Mike, make sure you share your thoughts with the city planning department especially the crossing points. We did discuss that at our last committee meeting and made recommendations to work on that as well as lane widths and turn lane adjustments to allow for pedestrian crossings on 8th street. Now is the time to provide feedback and ideas so please share yours.

  3. October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Doug, for those of us who can’t make it tonight, what are the options moving forward by the planning commission? If we have issues with major parts of the study, do we ask them to scrap the enitre study? Reject it outright? Or, are issues with travel widths and recommended land uses still open to be changed despite being drastic changes to what is now on paper and that has survived this far into the process? If some of this survived a core committee and staff over sight, it would be helpful to know what guidance the committee, commission, and staff feel is most constructive.

  4. Greg
    October 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Here we go again. What a waste of money, knew this would be the case when one of the surveys requested a vote on photos. The majority of citizens care about their City but do not have all the time, it appears as some do, to attend meeting after meeting. We are being hit from all sides with meetings and if you don’t attend they assume you must agree and go forward. This Corridor Study for instance, the people I talked to thought what a colossal waste of money, but it’s already too late to stop the train, so why go to these meetings. You should take a look at the Ticker today and gander at the responses to this study, I think it sends a pretty clear picture of how the people I run into feel.

  5. Bob Atallo
    October 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    This study is almost identical to the one this same firm did in 2010. Hope the city didn’t pay twice!

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