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CITY OF BIG RAPIDS

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PLAN

Written by: Ferris State University


TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 01 INTRODUCTION 02

SUMMARY OF EXISTING CONDITIONS 03 IMPLEMENTATION 04 PRIORITIES 05 LONG TERM PLAN 06 MEASURES OF SUCCESS 07 APPENDIX 08


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 01

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT AND FINAL RESULTS BY COURTNEY PARKS The Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is a significant step toward incorporating bicycles and pedestrian paths into the planning, infrastructure, and culture of Big Rapids. This plan also has the possibility to be the catalyst for changing residents’ attitudes toward bicycling and walking as a legitimate and desirable mode of transportation. The projects, procedures, programs, and policies contained in this Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan respond to the existing physical infrastructure of the town and the population of Big Rapids.

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INTRODUCTION 02

A DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM WITH ALL RELEVANT FACTS BY KAITLIN POST Why is a bicycle and pedestrian plan needed:This book focused on the design of a city’s form and how this form has evolved over the years. One of the main points that I took from this books is that “nothing is experienced by itself; it is always experienced in relation to its surroundings”. The book focused on three cities in the United States: Boston, Jersey City as they called it, and Los Angeles. Each of these cities was compared in different aspects such as imageability. Imageability is that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. Boston’s imageability was said to be mediocre, while Jersey City was said to have no imageability, and Los Angeles was said to have high imageability.

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02.1 Reasons for a Bicycle and Pedes- Portage to Manton. Michigan Highway M-20 runs east-west through the middle of the state and directly through Big Raptrian Plan As the price of gas rises and there becomes greater awareness for the health of the environment, people across the nation are looking for cheaper and smarter alternatives to their daily commutes. The City of Big Rapids is no exception. In order to make these alternatives a possibility for Big Rapids, the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure needs additional improvements to create safe paths of travel for community members.

02.2 Goals and Objectives

ids. M-20 starts near Lake Michigan at the US 31 freeway in New Era and continues east to Midland.

The city manages and maintains 37 miles of its own network of streets and 9.5 miles of alleys. An additional 5.5 miles of state truck lines are managed through a maintenance contract between MDOT and the city. Other popular means of transportation include 4 miles of non-motorized, paved Riverwalk trails, 2.5 miles of State Park linear paved trails, 35 miles of public sidewalks, and the Roben-Hood Airport.

This document serves to outline existing conditions, implementation, priorities, a long-term plan, and measures of success, for the development of a new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The overall goal is to develop a permanent bicycle and pedestrian plan that can be easily integrated and implemented into both current and future conditions as the city grows throughout its lifetime, thus allowing community members and tourists to experience a new side of Big Rapids.

02.3 Community Information The City of Big Rapids is located in northwestern Mecosta County and is the county seat. Big Rapids is the largest city within a 40 mile radius and home to Ferris State University, Mecosta County Medical Center, and areas of commercial and industrial development. Big Rapids is serviced by the north-south United States Highway US 131, which lies approximately 1.5 miles west of the city limits; the highway starts in rural Indiana and extends north 267 miles to Petoskey, Michigan. US 131 runs as a freeway from south of

GENERAL POPULATION COMMUNITY

2000

2010

% CHANGE 20002010

BIG RAPIDS

10,849

10,601

-2.30%

BIG RAPIDS CHARTER TOWNSHIP

3,249

4,208

22.80%

MECOSTA COUNTY

40,553

42,789

5.20%

FIG 1: BIG RAPIDS BASIC POPULATION INFORMATION SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS, 2000 AND 2010

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SUMMARY OF EXISTING CONDITIONS 03

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE CONDITIONS BY DON BUCHOLZ, KAITLIN POST, ANTHONY AMATO What do the existing conditions include? Before a bicycle and pedestrian plan could be made to suit the needs of Big Rapids, the city had to be observed and analyzed for existing conditions.

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03.1 DEMOGRAPHICS BY KAITLIN POST An area of analysis for the bicycle and pedestrian plan are the demographics of Big Rapids. Within each region, the economic status was heavily taken into consideration. Upon analyzing different facets of the economy, such as median income and number of residents below the poverty line, as seen in Figures 8 and 15.

Region 1 Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

Region 2 1,056 327 241 241 $44,063 $100,060 $593 1% 6.3% 41 41% 59%

FIG 2: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 1

Region 4

Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

Region 3 1,033 466 270 196 $46,667 $122,600 $445 4.7% 12% 40 50.8% 49.2%

FIG 3: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 2

Region 5

Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

1,461 762 370 392 $17,833 $109,200 $446 11% 39% 24 42.7% 57.3%

FIG 4: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 3

Region 6

Population Households

589 338

Population Households

625 373

Population Households

463 408

Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level

70 268

Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level

160 213

Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level

69 339

Median resident age Males Females

$20,857 $160,400 $520 6.6% 32% 24 58.8% 41.2%

FIG 5: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 4

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Median resident age Males Females

$28,527 $107,100 $443 2.9% 26% 24 50.5% 45.5%

FIG 6: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 5

Median resident age Males Females

$13,217 $9,999 $349 4.1% 45% 49 25% 75%

FIG 7: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 5


FIG 8: BIG RAPIDS DEMOGRAPHIC REGIONS 1-6 (ALL)

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By researching the demographics, specifically the economic classes, and overlaying that research with the physical condition analysis, clear distinction between areas of poverty, both financially and infrastructure related, were unearthed. Many correlations were noticed between the roads and sidewalks in lower income areas being in need of repair, while the opposite was found in wealthier areas.

Region 7 Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

Region 8 1,008 450 97 353 $22,831 $109,800 $620 8.4% 48% 23 42.2% 57.8%

FIG 9: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 7

Region 10 Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

Population Households

618 385

Population Households

Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level

68 317

Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level

Median resident age Males Females

$20,346 $156,600 $521 9.1% 41% 24 56.2% 43.8%

FIG 10: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 8

Region 11 1,289 484 390 94 $83,750 $167,400 $438 1.1% 4.3% 42 53.6% 46.4%

FIG 12: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 10

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Region 9

Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

Median resident age Males Females

1,595 391 189 202 $26,875 $133,000 $5453 7.4% 8.5% 36 76.3% 23.7%

FIG 11: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 9

Region 12 2,151 605 79 526 $16,563 $152,300 $542 16% 41% 22 50% 50%

FIG 13: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 11

Population Households Family households Non-family households Median household income Median house/condo value Median contract rent Unemployment Residents below poverty level Median resident age Males Females

2,061 1,098 578 520 $42,000 $119,600 $658 7.8% 41% 39 52% 48%

FIG 14: DETAILED DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION REGION 12


FIG 15: BIG RAPIDS DEMOGRAPHIC REGIONS 7-12 (ALL)

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03.2 KEVIN LINCH ANALYSIS BY DON BU- to cyclists and pedestrians. It also informed how lacking Big CHOLZ

A detailed analysis of existing conditions is crucial to understanding any design problem. The same is especially true when considering the bicycle and pedestrian plan for the city of Big Rapids. By accurately documenting the existing conditions, it becomes possible to narrow the scope of the project to a more targeted focus. The initial analysis helps define the true meaning of the issues addressed by the city and the residents. The structure of the analysis was defined by Kevin Lynch in his book Image of the City, in which he uses five elements to help to define the city. Paths The places that people do or potentially will use to travel through the city; these include streets as well as routes used by pedestrians and bicycle traffic. Edges The linear elements in a city that typically create a break between two or more entities. These elements can be semi-penetrable or impenetrable. For example, in Big Rapids some edges are the Muskegon River, State Street, and Perry Avenue. Districts The large sections of a city which can be perceivably entered into. Districts are easily identifiable from the outside, and may hold a unique style of architecture or other identifying feature that makes them stand out. Nodes The specific spots that can be entered into. They can be junctions of paths, breaks in infrastructure, or simply a condensation of a particular use or function. Examples would include a prominent park or major intersection that many paths converge around. Landmarks They are similar to nodes in that they are also considered a reference point. The distinction lies in the fact, that for the most part, the space is not entered. While this part of the analysis was very informative it did not constitute our research in its entirety. Following the initial analysis, the city was further investigated to determine the condition and existence of current infrastructure. Road widths and conditions, sidewalk conditions, on street parking, traffic control devices, and unsafe conditions were all documented and graphically represented. In addition to the city anaylsis and exisiting infrastrusture investigation, a cooperative effort to identify any gaps in mobility and areas of origins and destinations within the city were completed. The research revealed a severe disconnect between parts of the city, many areas of which present an inherent safety concern

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Rapids is in regards to current bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.


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03.3 ORIGINS BY DON BUCHOLZ Origins are defined as any place of condensed residential units: apartment complexes, dense neighborhoods, student housing, and university dormitories. These represent real or perceived places of origin for the population of Big Rapids. Shown graphically, origins start to define the beginning points for a residents’ daily commutes and thus define the important places we should include in the bicycle and pedestrian plan. On the map, dark green represents the primary origins which are considered more dense and populated such as apartment complexes. The secondary origins, such as neighborhoods, are represented in lighter green. As seen in figure 20.

LEGEND PRIMARY ORIGINS - REGION SECONDARY ORIGINS - REGION PRIMARY ORIGINS - BUILDING SECONDARY ORIGINS - BUILDING

FIG 16: HILLCREST (MICHAEL MOY)

FIG 17: NEIGHBORHOOD (RACHEL WELLER)

FIG 18: TIOGA PARK (MICHAEL MOY)

FIG 19: CRAMER HALL (MICHAEL MOY)

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FIG 20: BIG RAPIDS ORIGINS (ALL)

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DESTINATIONS BY DON BUCHOLZ Destinations are defined as places of employment or business that are known to draw a sizeable crowd or population base. Furthermore, a destination is a place people would typically travel during the day while they are away from home. Using the map on the following page ending points of typical commutes can begin to be defined. Combining commuter information with the origins map, we can define where the majority of the population could be postively affected with mobility improvements, in addition to identifying the connections and relationships that are the most important.

The map, figure 25, shows primary destinations as dark blue, which are areas that typically draw a large population. Primary areas include businesses such as Meijer, Wal-Mart, and the downtown area. Secondary destinations, which draw a lesser portion of the population, are represented in lighter blue. They include areas such as Hemlock Park and the fairgrounds.

LEGEND PRIMARY DESTINATIONS - REGION SECONDARY DESTINATIONS - REGION PRIMARY DESTINATIONS - BUILDING SECONDARY DESTINATIONS - BUILDING

FIG 21: BROOKSIDE ELEMENTARY (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 22: NESBITT BUILDING (RACHEL WELLER)

FIG 23: FLITE (DON BUCHOLZ)

FIG 24: THE GATE (DON BUCHOLZ)

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FIG 25: BIG RAPIDS DESTINATIONS (ALL)

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03.4 GAP ANALYSIS BY DON BUCHOLZ An analysis of existing gaps which impede bicycle and pedestrian mobility is crucial to understanding what points in the city are lacking a safe connection. Furthermore, the analysis helps refine the scope and allows us to individually target these areas as separate entities. The city was investigated for areas that impede the flow of pedestrians, bicycles, or both. Gaps do not necessarily represent where movement cannot happen, they merely indicate where movement is difficult or unsafe. On the map, figure 30, the red line indicate gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The blue line represent gaps that impede pedestrian movement. In the gap analysis the perceived or actual gaps between points in the city are uncovered. By overlaying this analysis on the origins and destinations map, it becomes clear which gaps are the most detrimental to the current infrastructure. The bicycle and pedestrian plan begins to bridge those gaps, making the entire city safely accessible to all residents.

LEGEND BICYCLE GAP - REGION PEDESTRIAN GAP - REGION BICYCLE GAP - PATH PEDESTRIAN GAP - PATH

FIG 26: PERRY AVE. (DON BUCHOLZ)

FIG 27: MUSKEGON RIVER (DON BUCHOLZ)

FIG 28: STATE ST. (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 29: MITCHELL CREEK (ANTHONY AMATO)

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FIG 30: BIG RAPIDS GAPS (ALL)

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03.5 SIDEWALKS BY DON BUCHOLZ Sidewalks not only provide a place for people to walk, they also provide a place for children to play. Well-cared-for sidewalks make neighborhoods feel inviting and comfortable to live in. Residents will have pride in their neighborhoods if they see the city take pride as well. Sidewalks represented in yellow indicate needed repair, while green indicates sidewalks in good condition, and red indicates no sidewalks are present. Very quickly, it can be seen that once one gets further from the core of the city, the sidewalks deteriorate and eventually disappear. This shows a clear disconnect of pedestrian mobility from the fringes of the city limits and specifically, where instant improvement should be made.

LEGEND GOOD SIDEWALKS POOR SIDEWALKS NO SIDEWALKS

FIG 31: POOR SIDEWALK (KATE POST)

FIG 32: GOOD SIDEWALK (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 33: SIDEWALK GOING NOWHERE (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 34: GOOD SIDEWALK APRON (EVAN WEAVER)

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FIG 35: BIG RAPIDS SIDEWALK CONDITIONS (ALL)

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03.6 ROADS BY DON BUCHOLZ Another aspect of the analysis of existing conditions was to define the width and condition of each street in the city. A laser distance measurer was used to determine the street width. Then, through photographic documentation, each street was divided into two subsequent grades: acceptable (represented with a solid line) and poor (represented with a dashed line), as seen in figure 40. Determining the width and condition of each road is important in identifying which existing surface streets would be acceptable for additional bicycle infrastructure. The process also highlights which streets need to be improved before additional design changes can be made. It was determined from this analysis we determined that the typical street width in the city is roughly 35’-0” to 38’-0”.

LEGEND

FIG 36: POOR ROAD (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 37: GOOD ROAD (DON BUCHOLZ)

FIG 38: POOR ROAD (ANTHONY AMATO)

FIG 39: GOOD ROAD (ANTHONY AMATO)

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LESS THAN 20’ 20’ - 29’ 30’ - 39’ 40’ - 49’ GREATER THAN 50’ GOOD ROAD CONDITION POOR ROAD CONDITION


FIG 40: BIG RAPIDS ROAD WIDTHS & CONDITIONS (ALL)

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03.7 PARKING AND STOP SIGNS BY DON BUCHOLZ, KAITLIN POST In addition to surveying the roads themselves, parking was also taken into consideration. Parking on the street allows for residents with no driveways, or limited space, to park their cars along the road in front of their houses. The primary focus of the street parking survey was to determine which streets allow or do not allow parking. This factor that ultimately informed the choice of roads selected for the bicycle route. Each chosen street was then assessed as to whether parking needed to be preserved or altered in order to maintain a successful bicycle route. The corresponding map, figure 45, indicates the on-street parking in Big Rapids. Roads in which parking is permitted are indicated with a green line, and the roads in which parking is prohibited are indicated with a red line. This map also shows the location of stops signs and their relation to intersections. By locating existing stop signs, we can easily determine which, if any, need to be changed to better accommodate a new bicycle route. A comfortable bicycle route has limited stop signs along the route. The map also shows which crosswalks along the route are safe for pedestrians and helps to identify where new crossings are needed.

LEGEND NO ON-STREET PARKING ON-STREET PARKING STOP SIGN

FIG 41: ON-STREET PARKING (MICHAEL MOY)

FIG 42: STOP SIGN (DON BUCHOLZ)

FIG 43: NO PARKING (EVAN WEAVER)

FIG 44: NO PARKING (DON BUCHOLZ)

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FIG 45: BIG RAPIDS ON-STREET PARKING & STOP SIGNS (ALL)

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03.8 RADIAL DIAGRAM BY ANTHONY AMATO The diagram in figure 46 represents the city of Big Rapids with two concentric circles placed at the heart of the city. The smaller circle is one mile in diameter and the larger circle is two miles in diameter. A reasonable and comfortable distance for riding a bicycle for utilitarian purposes is two miles. The graphic shows that the majority of the city itself is within a two mile diameter. Given the size of Big Rapids, implementing a bicycle infrastruce can easily get people to desired locations within town.

LEGEND 1 - MILE DIAMETER 2 - MILE DIAMETER

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FIG 46: BIG RAPIDS RADIAL DIAGRAM (ALL)

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IMPLEMENTATION 04

THE MEANS TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT BY RACHEL WELLER, ANTHONY AMATO Implementation is the means by which the project will be completed. This includes the many different ways funs can be appropriated to the city of Big Rapids, a timeline which breaks the project down month by month and includes describes what is to occur each month, phasing breaks down the project into key steps for full integration, design resources detail what the different types of roads are, and it also introduces new suggested policies for Big Rapids to adopt.

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04.1 TYPES OF PATHS BY RACHEL WELLER A singular loop reaching all areas of Big Rapids is the main focus of the bicycle network. From the loop, additional routes reach more areas in and around Big Rapids, seeking to provide access to and from the main origins and destinations determined in the analysis of the city. The bicycle network consists of different types of routes within the loop and its’ connectors to the origins and destinations. Bike Lanes: key components of the system that provide a direct and efficient way for bikers who do not mind riding adjacent to traffic. These lanes have been selected to create a loop around the town. Marked Shared Roads: lanes defined by both vehicular and bicycle traffic sharing the same roadway. These lanes are for bikers who are comfortable with sharing the road with lowerspeed vehicular traffic, and are limited to make them stand out as dedicated areas that would be used by cyclists. These roads fill in areas of our map that lead to major city attractions. Bike Routes: roads that bikes can be comfortably used on. The road is shared between low-speed vehicular and bicycle traffic. These routes connect origins to the major routes. Paved Shared-Use (Bicycle and Pedestrian) Paths: paths that fill in gaps in areas with heavy vehicle traffic. These trails bring the bicycle traffic off of these roads and on to the separate paths, which allows for safe use of the roads for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. These paths include. Desired Trail Connections: off-road paths that expand existing trails and connections of on-street bike paths. These paths include the following: 04.1A Mitchell Creek bridge 04.1B Expansion of the Riverwalk trail to the south along the Muskegon River, including a new pedestrian and bike bridge that would cross the Muskegon River. 04.1C Connection between Venlo Dr. and Fuller Ave.

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FIG 1: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK MAIN LOOP (ALL)

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LEGEND

FIG 2: FERRIS DR. ROAD SECTION (MICHAEL MOY)

NO PARKING PARKING ONE SIDE PARKING TWO SIDES

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FIG 3: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK BIKE LANES (ALL)

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LEGEND

FIG 4: BAILEY DR. ROAD SECTION (MICHAEL MOY)

NO PARKING PARKING ONE SIDE PARKING TWO SIDES

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FIG 5: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK ADVISROY BIKE LANES (ALL)

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FIG 6: DIVISION ST. ROAD SECTION (MICHAEL MOY)


FIG 7: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK ADVISROY BIKE LANES (ALL)

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FIG 8: STEWART AVE. (ONE WAY) ROAD SECTION (MICHAEL MOY)

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FIG 9: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK SHARED BIKE LANES (ALL)

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38 FIG 10: MULTI-USE PATH EXAMPLE (MICHAEL MOY)


FIG 11: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK MULTI-USE PATHS (ALL)

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40 FIG 12: BICYCLE ONLY PATH EXAMPLE (MICHAEL MOY)


FIG 13: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK BICYCLE ONLY PATHS (ALL)

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LEGEND BIKE LANE - NO PARKING BIKE LANE - PARKING ONE SIDE BIKE LANE - PARKING TWO SIDES ADVISORY LANE - NO PARKING ADVISORY LANE - PAKRING ONE SIDE ADVISORY LANE - PARKING TWO SIDES ALTERNATING PARKING SHARED ROADS MULTI-USE PATH BICYCLE ONLY PATH

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FIG 14: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK (ALL)

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04.2 DESIGN WELLER

RESOURCES

BY

RACHEL Transportation Action Plan.

The design standards and recommendations in this document are for use on Michigan roadways. The standards that are set in this manual are to ensure the safety of everyone who uses these on road and off road bike facilities. By making the facilities main concern safety, it re-ensures that even the most novice of bike rider is able to access and use the facilities with ease. Relationship between this document, AASHTO and the NACTO: This plan contains some recommendations and best practices that exceed AASHTO and/or the NACTO standards. Also included in this plan are designs that MDOT has developed for situations that are not covered by AASHTO or the NACOTO. On state highways, the standards in the NACTO must be met as a minimum; on local agency projects where funds are administered through MDOT, the AASHTO standards must be met as a minimum; on local agency projects using local funds, local agencies can adopt AASHTO or the practices recommended in this manual.

March 2013: Determine funding and implementation strategies for various projects and initiatives. Determine how to measure success. Continue design guideline discussions in alignment with 10-Year Transportation Action Plan. April 2013: Public open house held to solicit public input on draft routes and draft policies. Complete design guideline discussions in alignment with 10-Year Transportation Action Plan. May 2013: Refine chapters based on public input. Complete bike plan maps. June 2013: Work on detailed design standards for trails, bike lanes, and shared use lanes. Hold discussions regarding shared use facilities with vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes. July 2013: Work on detailed design standards for trail crossings, bikeway detours, wayfinding, and informational signage. August 2013: Complete maintenance policy for bikeways.

04.2A AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle September 2013: Complete community process policy. Facilities, 3rd Edition (1999) October 2013: Draft Plan presented for final comments. 04.2B AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and November 2013: Final Plan presented to the City Council Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, 1st Edition (2004) and School Board for approval. 04.2C NACTO Urban Bicycle Design Guide

04.3 TIMELINE BY RACHEL WELLER

04.4 PHASING BY RACHEL WELLER

Phase 1: Creation of the main loop. It includes, but is not A timeline was established regarding the Bicycle and Pedes- limited to: creating a new bridge for Mitchell Creek and bike lanes on Rose Ave, Maple St, Division Ave, Woodward, 15 trian Master Plan. Mile, and Ives. November 2012: Definition of roles and responsibilities. Delegation of project components to project partners. Proj- Phase 2: identification of the roads that lead to the main loop, including but is not limited to: bike lanes on Michigan ect expectations clearly defined. Ave, shared road markings on Hemlock Rd., and River St. December 2012: Goals and policy framework completed and presented to Bicycle Action Committee for input. Mainte- Phase 3: completion of all markings for shared lanes and new loops, including but not limited to: a new pedestrian bridge nance policy and public input policy discussions begin. across the Muskegon River, a new path from Venlo Dr to January 2013: Needs analysis completed based on observa- Fuller Ave., and the extension of the Riverwalk south along tions and input from knowledgeable sources. Needs analysis the river. to include trails, bike lanes, bicycle parking, education, enforcement, tourism, transit connections, and safety initiatives. Start design guideline discussions in alignment with 10-Year Transportation Action Plan. February 2013: Prioritize projects and initiatives. Determine cost estimates and timelines for various projects. Bicycle Action Committee will be responsible for prioritization. Continue design guideline discussions in alignment with 10-Year

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FIG 15: BIG RAPIDS BIKE NETWORK PHASING (ALL)

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04.5 NEW POLICIES - INFRASTRUCTURE Multi-unit residential BY ANTHONY AMATO NUMBER OF DWELLING UNITS PEDESTRIANS

LESS THAN 12

REQUIRED MINIMUM NUMBER OF BICYCLE PARKING SPACES

1

BICYCLES 12 OR MORE

PUBLIC TRANSIT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES TAXIS

1 PER EVERY 3 DWELLING UNTS OR A FRACTION THEREOF

At least 60% of all bicycle parking spaces provided must be protected bicycle parking spaces.

HIGH OCCUPANCY SINGLE OCCUPANCY VEHICLES

Commercial parking and parking structure uses Adopt a new green transportation hierarchy: Establish a bicycle and pedestrian planning committee. This could potentially function jointly with the park and recreation board.

NUMBER OF AUTOMOBILE PARKING SPACES

0-4

04.5A Bicycles may not be chained or attached to shrub- 4 - 20 bery, trees, plants, guide rails, posts, doors, lamps, telephone poles, or other objects not designated for the pur- 21 - 40 pose of securing bicycles. 04.5B Bicycles may not be parked in a way that would block or impede the access to a building entrance or exit. 04.5C Bicycles may be parked only in those areas which have been specifically designated for this purpose. A bicycle parking area is indicated by the presence of bicycle racks. All bicycles must be parked in bicycle racks, and it is recommended that they are secured to these bicycle racks to deter theft.

OVER 40

0 1 2 1 PER EVERY 10 SPACES OR

A FRACTION THEREFORE

Low occupancy facilities and hotel/motel uses

04.5D Bicycle parking spaces shall be provided in accor-

Non-Residential (except hotel/motel and low occupan- NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES cy facilities GROSS FLOOR AREA

REQUIRED MINIMUM NUMBER OF BICYCLE PARKING SPACES

REQUIRED MINIMUM NUMBER OF BICYCLE PARKING SPACES

REQUIRED MINIMUM NUMBER OF BICYCLE PARKING SPACES

0-5

0

0 - 6,000 S.F.

0

6 - 20

1

6,001 - 20,000 S.F.

1

21 - 80

2

OVER 20,000 S.F.

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1 PER EVERY 10,000 S.F. OR

FRACTION THEREOF

OVER 80 FRACTION THEREOF

1 PER EVERY 20 EMPLOYESS

OR A FRACTION THEREOF


dance with the following tables:

A bike operator may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to the aforementioned bike lamps and reflectors.

To certify a building or use as a low occupancy facility, the building owner or applicant shall attach to any zoning permit Lamps worn by the operator shall comply with the above application, an affidavit attesting to the number of employees standards, provided they can be seen at the distances specirequired for the use. fied. Provide consistent ADA compliant features at uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, especially within pedestrian districts and at intersections of crosstown connector streets. (Adopted from the Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan - appendix, X).

Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable to the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. (Adopted from the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Planning Commission Bicycle & Pedestrian InitiativeAppendix, X).

Coordinate sidewalk maintenance and installation of new 04.7 NEW POLICIES - OPERATION BY ANsidewalks with the existing improvement committee. THONY AMATO 04.5E Whenever a property is purchased, the owner is responsible for adding sidewalks for their property (if they are not already present). If there are existing sidewalks with extensive damage they must be repaired or replaced (at the discretion of the city).

Bicycles: Bicyclists shall use the common hand signals for the appropriate turn.

Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway of this state shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all the duties applicable 04.5F Refer to the Big Rapids Street and Sidewalk Code to the driver of a vehicle. regarding maintenance or construction of sidewalks. A person riding a bicycle shall not ride other than on or (appendix, X) astride a permanent regular seat attached to the bike, nor Analyze the locations of police-reported pedestrian and bi- shall a bicycle be used to carry more persons at one time than cycle crashes to identify what areas need improvement. (Ad- the number for which it is designed and equipped. In addiopted from the Vermont Pedestrian and Bike Policy Plan - tion, a person operating a bicycle shall at all times keep at appendix, X). least one hand upon the handlebars.

04.6 NEW POLICIES - EQUIPMENT BY AN- No person riding on a bicycle shall attach himself/herself or THONY AMATO the bicycle to any vehicle on a highway. All bicyclists are required to wear helmets to promote safety Every person shall ride as far to the right as practical, proand healthy riding. ceeding in the same direction, except under any of the following conditions: When passing or overtaking another bicycle Reflective gear is required after dusk (when the sun sets) and or vehicle moving in the same direction. When preparing for very early in the morning to increase the visibility of the bia left turn at an intersection, private road, or driveway. When cyclist. it is reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects Bicycles, front lamps, rear lamps, and side and rear reflector (when safe to do so). When approaching a place where a right requirements turn is authorized. 04.6A A front-mounted lamp, which shall produce a vis- Motor Vehicles: No person shall operate a motor vehiible white light at a distance no less than 500 feet. A gen- cle in a bicycle lane except as follows: To prepare for a turn erator lamp is acceptable as an alternative. within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection. To enter 04.6B A rear-mounted lamp that shall emit either a flash- or leave the roadway onto an alley, private road, or driveway. ing or steady red light visible from a distance no less than To enter or leave a parking space when parking is permitted adjacent to the bicycle lane. 500 feet to the rear. 04.6C Rear and side reflectors facing outward at a right angle to the bike frame that are visible in all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a car.

Any parked vehicle obstructing the flow of bike lanes is on grounds for being towed. Exceptions can be made by arranging for a permit from city hall. A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane under the following conditions: When making a turn. When


entering or leaving an alley, private road, or driveway. As required in the course of official duty, such a to allow the passage of emergency vehicles. (Adopted from the Oregon Statutes Pertaining To Pedestrians and Bicycles-appendix X).

04.8A Alliance for Walking and Biking: a group that provides Advocacy Advance Grants to start up organizations and innovative campaigns. This group provides $225,000 in grants annually.

Cars passing bicyclists on roads must give at least 3 feet of space when passing on shared roads and should only do so when it is safe.

04.8B DALMAC Fund: grants over $500,000 to a variety of bicycling activities in MI ranging from safety and education programs to bicycle trail development.

Coordination with Ferris State: Collaborate with Ferris State University in order to promote safe biking and continue to develop a strong connection between campus and downtown Big Rapids.

04.8C Bikes Belong: a national coalition of bicycle suppliers and retailers that provides grants to organizations that are committed to “putting more people on bicycles more often.� Applicants can be granted up to $10,000 each.

Adopt the following university policies: Bicycles may not be parked or left standing in any lobby or hallway of any building. Bicycles may not be parked in a way that would block or impede the access to a building entrance or exit. Bicycles may be parked only in those areas which have been specifically designated for this purpose. A bicycle parking area is indicated by the presence of bicycle racks. All bicycles must be parked in bicycle racks, and it is recommended that they are secured to these bicycle racks to deter theft. (Adopted from the South Carolina Campus Bicycle Policy-Appendix, X). Education: Distribute bicycle and pedestrian safety, educational, and promotional materials through law enforcement activities, at scholastic orientations, through drivers training and citation diversion programs, and to new political representatives. Encourage events that introduce residents to walking and bicycling, such as bike-to-work, walk/bike-to-school days, senior walks, and historic walks. Educate the general public and the officials of state, county, and local law enforcement agencies on common vehicle code infractions involving bicyclists and other users of roadways or off-road pathways. (Adopted from the Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan-appendix, X). Hold seminars and presentations by certified league instructors to facilitate smarter and safer cycling. Recruit local businesses, vendors, musicians, street entertainers, and entrepreneurs to come to the new central park located next to city hall, and to the park located next to the theatre during certain days of the week. This will increase pedestrian traffic and the customer base to the downtown area.

04.8 FUNDING BY RACHEL WELLER State and Federal Funding Programs: There are many different federal funding programs available for bike and pedestrian trails. Each type of funding has its pros and cons, and each is best used for different situations.

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04.8D Safe Routes to School: a program to help fund bicycle and pedestrian access to and from schools. Many funding options are available through this program, but it can only be used to help create routes within a 2 mile radius of schools. This funding is used for projects focusing on making it safe for children (grades K-8) to bike and walk to and from school. 04.8E Act 51 Section 10k: governs state appropriations for Michigan transportation programs; requires at least 1% of funds go to non-motorized transportation services. 04.8F Section 402 - State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program: a federal program that provides funds for education, enforcement, and research programs to help prevent traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage. Much of these funds go to vehicular roads but 2.67% of the funds currently go toward bike and pedestrian accommodations. Both communities and universities are eligible to apply. 04.8G Highway Safety Improvement Program: a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program that funds highway safety projects to reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries. Bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible for funding but this program is largely overlooked by those seeking funding. 04.8H The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEALU): a six-year transportation authorization, which included hundreds of specifically-authorized high priority projects, including $52 million in trails projects in Michigan. Additionally, the Federal Highway Administration administers a number of different programs authorized by the SAFETEA-LU legislation in which funding can be used for trail development. 04.8I Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Plan (CMAQ): funds transportation projects that


improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in areas that do not meet air quality standards. 04.8J Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program: federally funds 41% of all bicycle and pedestrian projects. All bike and pedestrian infrastructure that has a relationship to transportation are eligible. This can also fund safety and educational programs. Locally Funded Programs: Many different publicly funded programs are directly paid for by taxpayer dollars. Some cities put forth a certain amount of money to help provide funding for bike and pedestrian programs, which is the traditional way of funding programs of this nature. 04.8K Transportation Improvements Program (TIP) and Capital Improvements Program (CIP): local units of government can include and fund non-motorized improvements, within road right-of-ways, as incidental parts of larger transportation projects. Such improvements qualify for the same transportation funds as the rest of the roadway construction or improvement project. 04.8L Millages, Bonds and Assessments: Local, county, or state millages and bond issues may be passed by voters or governing bodies. A number of Michigan communities have millages for park operations, maintenance, development, and land acquisition, which can be one of the most effective approaches for funding a local trail system initiative. Private Funding: Programs can also be funded from local businesses or groups that would benefit from the building of pedestrian and bike routes.


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PRIORITIES 05

A LIST OF ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE BY EVAN WEAVER What does the priorities consist of? The priorities are lists of what needs to be done as soon as possible to get the main infrastructure of the bicycle and pedestrian plan put in place. They are the areas to focus on first to begin the implementation of the bicycle network. The completion of these priorities will increase awareness and easier access around town by alternative ways of transportation.


05.1 BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE

vehicles.

Baldwin St. Bridge connection: The Baldwin St bridge is scheduled to have major repairs done to it; when this occurs, bicyclists must be given adequate space on the road. In addition, a connection between the bridge and the Riverwalk must be made to allow people access to both the bridge and the Riverwalk at the northern part of the bicycle route.

Stripe Sharrows Within City Limits: Another way to designate direction and create a distinct presence of bicycles is with the use of shared-road symbols, or sharrows. Sharrows increase user options throughout the expanding network, and should be addressed after other options have been implemented.

Stripe Michigan: By striping Michigan to the new standard, it will show everyone downtown where the bicycles should travel due to the fact that they are not allowed on the sidewalks within the downtown area. Michigan is also the major north to south connection within the bicycle route system.

Stripe Sharrows Leading Out of Town: Striping sharrows shows users a designated path to leave the bicycle loop system and venture to other areas, thus increasing connectivity to places outside of the city.

Stripe Remaining Bicycle Lanes Within City Limits: There are designated streets for bike lanes, located within the city limits, that allow easy access from one side of town to the other. Striping helps increase awareness of bicycles present on city streets.

Hemlock Rd.: This street has a direct connection into Hemlock Park, but is not welcoming route for pedestrians. A clear, lively path from Michigan Ave. into Hemlock Park is needed along Hemlock Rd. to create a more welcoming entrance into the park.

Stripe All Advisory Lanes Within City Limits: These streets will continue to increase the connectivity throughout town and provide more route options for riders. They will most likely be used by those more comfortable with riding on streets and, therefore, need to be implemented later to provide people a chance to get accustomed to riding adjacent to

Northeast Neighborhood: The neighborhood off Catherine St., including Olaf St., Henderson St., and Hanson St., have no designated pedestrian paths to get around, which prevents people from traversing within the neighborhood and accessing other areas outside of the neighborhood.

Mitchell Creek connection: This connection is crucial to the bicycle system because it creates a safe path for cyclists Implement Alternative Parking: Division St., Marion to bridge Mitchell Creek, while keeping riders from having Ave., Woodward Ave., Fuller Ave., and Osceola Ave. need new to detour to State St., a less desirable route for bicycle traffic. signage and road striping at a minimum to indicate alternate 05.2 PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE parking. These roads are a part of the main loop of the bicycle system around Big Rapids. These streets will also require Baldwin St. Bridge Connection: The Baldwin St Bridge reconfiguration of on-street parking to allow adequate space is scheduled to have major repairs. During repairs, pedestrians must be provided with an adequate place to travel along for bicycles to have designated lanes. the bridge. A connection between the bridge and the RiverRepave and Stripe Fuller: Fuller Ave. is in poor condi- walk must be made to allow people to access them. tion and in need of repair. Repaving Fuller Avenue will allow for easier travel by bicycle and car. Fuller Ave. is a high pri- Fuller Ave. to Venlo Dr. Connection: A connection ority because it reaches one of the highest concentrations of between the end of Fuller Avenue and Venlo Drive would provide a safe route that keeps both bicyclists and pedestriuniversity students. ans away from the commercial entrances off of Perry Avenue. Stripe Maple St., Bronson Ave., Milton Ave., Baldwin St., Ives Ave., and South St.: These roads comprise River St.: A convenient and safe access to the dog park and the eastern and university portions of the main bicycle loop sport fields is needed from the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown, adjacent to River St. and will draw attention to the presence of bicycles on streets. Bailey Dr.: This street is the main thoroughfare from Stripe Ferris Dr, 15 Mile Rd., Watertower Rd., and Woodward Ave. to Fuller Ave. for both pedestrians and vehiMorrison Ave.: These roads are the final connection streets cles. Pedestrians need a safe path away from vehicular traffic. needed to complete the full loop of the bicycle system. They create designated routes to high traffic areas such as Big Rap- Ferris Dr.: This street is a main thoroughfare through the ids High School and Ferris State University from the signed west side of the university campus, and needs a sidewalk along the east and north sides. bike route.

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4th Ave. Neighborhood: The neighborhood surrounding 4th Ave. does not have a designated path for pedestrians. People trying to travel within and through the neighborhood do not have a safe manner in which to accomplish this task. South of Maple Neighborhood: The neighborhood on the east side of the Muskegon River, south of Maple St., does not have a designated area for pedestrians. People trying to get around within the neighborhood do not have a safe way to accomplish this task. Maple St. Bridge: The bridge has existing sidewalks that are in fair condition, but pedestrians feel unsafe due to the height of the sidewalks above the road and the close proximity to vehicles. A physical barrier is needed along both sidewalks to separate pedestrian from vehicle traffic and to prevent falls. Perry Ave.: Two big destinations in Big Rapids are Walmart and Meijer, just outside of town. No clear and safe path exists for pedestrians to get to these locations. A clearly used dirt path exists on the grass to these locations, indicating the need for a safe way to reach these destinations without having to compete with vehicular traffic.


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LONG TERM PLAN 06

LOOKING FORWARD 10 TO 30 YEARS BY WILL HINKLEY

What goes in the Long-Term Plan? The long-term plan is made up of four main sections: Vision, Outcomes over the next 20 years, Suggestions, and Plan Updating. The vision is a broad statement of what the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan looks to achieve within the city of Big Rapids, and how it can be accomplished. The outcomes state the intended size that the plan should reach and the number of facilities it should encompass. The suggestions section consists of possibilities offered by the Small Town Studio which should be considered as bicycling increases throughout the city. The last section, plan updating discusses how often the plan shall be updated based upon changing conditions.


06.1 VISION

Assurance that all new commercial, office, and industrial buildings are equipped with lockers and showers for bicyThe plan not only establishes the vision, but also establishes clists. practical steps that are needed in the future to ensure that Big Rapids will become a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly city. 06.4 UPDATE PLAN The plan is an important first step, but much work lies ahead. As conditions change, new information is gathered and new By providing the necessary human and financial resources to ideas emerge, it will be necessary to update the Bicycle and accomplish this plan, Big Rapids could establish a safe, effiPedestrian Plan. It is recommended that the plan be reviewed cient system of routes, easily accessible and routinely used by at least annually. Public participation in decisions involving members of the community. It will therefore be important in major changes to the priority routes or Master Plan should the future to measure progress, reassess priorities, and strive be encouraged. to further increase the use and safety of bicycle transportation as the city moves forward with the implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

06.2 OUTCOMES OF IMPLEMENTING THE BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN PLAN FOR BIG RAPIDS SHOULD INCLUDE OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS Bicycle facilities on 40% (6 miles) of Big Rapids streets. A 10 mile system of signed bicycle routes, connecting all parts of Big Rapids. A signed route within ¼ mile of 80% of Big Rapids’ schools. A bicycle facility within ¼ mile of 70% of Big Rapids residents.

06.3 SUGGESTIONS Possibilities that have been suggested by the Small Town Studio, which should be considered as bicycling increases throughout the city, are listed below. Reconfiguration of roadways with less travel and/or narrower lanes, and more space for bicycle facilities. Intersection improvements that allow bicyclists on non-arterial streets to safely cross arterial streets. Designation of bridges that provide safe, convenient access for bicycles. Installation of bicycle facilities at intersections (bicycle boxes, bicycle turn pockets, traffic signals for bicycles only, and special signal phasing for bicyclists). Provision of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Muskegon River. Provision of high-capacity bicycle parking in more retail areas, parks, schools, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centers.

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MEASURES OF SUCCESS 07

DID THE SOLUTION SOLVE THE PROBLEM? BY REBECCA THAYER How we will gauge our success: In order to evaluate whether or not the objectives of the bicycle and pedestrian plan have been met, it is important to research and document the overall effectiveness of the plan before, during, and after implementation. Just because a network of pathways has been created does not mean that people will use them as intended. Nonetheless, there are ways to predict the potential use of a plan before it is realized, as well as ways to measure the actual use of the plan after it is created.


07.1 BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION

Public Input

Analysis of the city and existing conditions.

07.2O Surveys

Identification of key areas where pedestrian and bicycle access is unsafe or limited.

07.2P Telephone hotlines

Identification of origins, destinations, and gaps.

07.2R Community open-houses

Analysis of proposed plan to determine overall comprehensiveness of access and connections.

07.2S Development of a citizen committee

07.2 AFTER IMPLEMENTATION

07.2T Involvement with other organizations that promote bicycle and pedestrian travel (Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, etc.)

07.2Q Internet comment forums

Observation of the use of routes for safety, accessibility, and functionality. Future Growth Identification of barriers and needed improvments. 07.2U Policies Observation of the number of users at strategic points along the new path network at regular intervals to gauge usage patterns. Counts should be restricted in the following manner: 07.2A Same locations 07.2B Same time of year, day of year, and time of day

07.2V Education of drivers about bicycle and pedestrian safety 07.2W Education of bicyclists and pedestrians about routes and safety with training, workshops, way finding tools (maps, brochures, flyers), and a website

Adoption of a plan coordinator to watch over the continual progress and development of the plan, and to encourage use 07.2D Avoid observing Friday through Monday, which and future projects may not reflect a “normal� day due to short work-weeks and holidays 07.2C Similar weather conditions

07.2E Conduct separate counts during special events Observation of actual use 07.2F Are spaces used as intended? 07.2G Do people follow rules as posted or marked? 07.2H Do people act confused? 07.2I Are any areas or crossings regularly avoided? 07.2J Is bicycle parking adequate or overcrowded? 07.2K Are bicycles parked at other locations indicating a need for more bicycle parking? Comparison of current data with past (baseline) data and creation of graphs, charts, etc. 07.2L Information from city analysis 07.2M Police reports concerning bicycle and pedestrian involved accidents 07.2N Transportation data showing increase (or decrease) of walkers and bikers

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appendix 08

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT AND FINAL RESULTS By Evan Weaver Why is a bicycle and pedestrian plan needed:This book focused on the design of a city’s form and how this form has evolved over the years. One of the main points that I took from this books is that “nothing is experienced by itself; it is always experienced in relation to its surroundings”. The book focused on three cities in the United States: Boston, Jersey City as they called it, and Los Angeles. Each of these cities was compared in different aspects such as imageability. Imageability is that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. Boston’s imageability was said to be mediocre, while Jersey City was said to have no imageability, and Los Angeles was said to have high imageability.


FIG 2: West Ave. Road Section (Michael Moy)

2 FIG 1: Ives St. Road Section(Michael Moy)

FIG 3: Madison Ave. Road Section (Michael Moy)


FIG 5: Locust St. Road Section (Michael Moy)

FIG 4: Milton Ave. Road Section (Michael Moy)


4


MITCHEL CREEK 08.1

CREATING A CONNECTION By Anthony Amato & Evan Weaver

Mitchell Creek is defined as a gap within in the city of Big Rapids, based on an analysis of the city. To increase connectivity between the neighborhood districts north and south of Mitchell Creek, a clear and safe route over the creek is needed.


00’

100’

200’

N

FIG 6: MITCHELL CREEK PATH PLAN By Anthony Amato

6


MITCHELL CREEK 08.1.1

CREATING A CONNECTION By Anthony Amato

This approach focuses on establishing not just a connection from the neighborhoods to the North and South, but creating a network of paths for pedestrians and bicyclists. This design also also the city to develop a small neighborhood park. The path has two components, one which slopes downhill and below State Street, and the other, which continues along Mitchell Creek, through the atheletic field, and connects to Clay Cliffs parking lot. In the site plan below, the red line represents the proposed path, the blue line is Mitchell Creek, and the yellow line represents where a potential crossing of the creek could be. The cyan section lines correspond with the sections on the following page.

04

03

01

02


SECTION 01

SECTION 02

SECTION 03

SECTION 04 00'

25'

50'

FIG 7: MITCHELL CREEK SECTIONS By Anthony Amato

8


FIG 8: MITCHELL CREEK BEFORE By Anthony Amato

FIG 9: MITCHELL CREEK AFTER By Anthony Amato

FIG 10: PATH EXAMPLE BEFORE By Anthony Amato

FIG 11: PATH EXAMPLE AFTER By Anthony Amato

The upper-left photo displays the existing conditions of the lowlying area which follows along Mitchell Creek. The upper-right photo suggests what a bridge may look like crossing the creek. The middle-left photo again displays an existing conditions along Mitchell Creek. This particular photo shows where a natural footpath has been established by pedestrian traffic. The middle-right photo shows how the current trail could be transformed to accommodate not just foot-traffic but also bicycle traffic. The bottom-left photo documents the existing condition located where Mitchell Creek passes beneath State Street.The underpass provides adequate overhead clearance traverse. In the proposed plan, the new path would pass below State Street with the intention to make a new connection to the Riverwalk, thus expanding and providing more access to the existing network of trails.

FIG 12: PASSAGE BELOW STATE STREET By Anthony Amato


FIG 13: FUTURE PARK STREET VIEW By Anthony Amato

FIG 14: EXISTING PROPERTY CONDITION By Anthony Amato

The photos displayed above are of an existing lot situated south of Mitchell Creek off of Mill Street. This property is integral in the success of the new path network. Sitting on the site are two existing structures which can either be repurposed or recycled.The end result would be creating a “pocket park” within the neighborhood. The graphic spanning the bottom of the page is a an analysis of the new proposed path’s slope down the hill from the vacant property on Mill Street. The colors represent different slope gradients which indicates how steep or how minimal the slope of the path is. Green portions are segements which require no grading and are well-within the recommened gradient. Yellow are areas which are slightly above accepted tolerances and require slight grading. Red areas are the segments which exceed well-over what is acceptable and require significant grading to be safely travelled.

GRADIENT ANALYSIS AREAS REQUIRING NO GRADING AREAS REQUIRING MINIMAL GRADING AREAS REQUIRING MAJOR GRADING OPTIMAL GRADIENT: 5% MINIMUM GRADIENT: 8.3%

00'

25'

0%

50'

44% 40% 18.5%

FIG 16: GRADIENT ANALYSIS DIAGRAM By Anthony Amato

10

0%

0%

3.62%

1.53%


ACTION NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT THE NEW PATH NETWORK: 1. Reach an agreement with the Crossroads Schools. 2. Acquire the vacant property off of Mill Street. 3. Begin construction on the new paths and bridge

The graphic to the right is an example of how the vacant property off of Mill Street could potentially be developed. This property can become a centerpiece of the neighborhood and establish another access point to the existing trail network in the city of Big Rapids. The park design itself consists of a curved extension to the path which will connect to Mill Street.The park will feature simple landscaping promoting low maintenance. Benches and picnic tables will be placed on site to provide small gathering spaces. The central feature of the park is a circular bench which in the center contains a fire pit. The intention is to create a small community space where neighbors can gather to socialize.

00'

20'

40'

N

FIG 15: PROPOSED POCKET PARK PLAN By Anthony Amato

16.8%

8.53%

27.3%

0%


MITCHEL CREEK 08.1.2

CREATING A CONNECTION By Evan Weaver

Mitchell Creek is defined as a gap within in the city of Big Rapids, based on an analysis of the city. To increase connectivity between the neighborhood districts north and south of Mitchell Creek, a clear and safe route over the creek is needed. The best place for a connection is on property owned by Crossroads Charter Academy school, and it will proceed along the creek, the school’s athletic field and connect to the community pool and Hutchinson Street, as seen in the image below.

D C A


E

B


Section A

Section B

0’

50’

100’

Section C 0’

50’

100’

50’

100’

50’

100’

Section D 0’

Section E 0’


The connection through Mitchell Creek will include a bridge over the creek and a path through Crossroads Charter Academy property. When the path proceeds along the athletic field it will remain its own entity with landscaping devices to keep people along the path. The path will begin to increase the aesthetics in this area, which will draw more people to the area. With more people coming to the school property they will begin to increase its use for more community events.

Path Gradient The image below displays the slope of the entire path from the Hutchinson Street entrance to the Spruce Street entrance. A comfortable slope for walking is five percent and allows for handicap accessibility along the path. The white areas in the image represents no slope and as the slope increases the closer to black the color gets.


16


MULTI-USE WETLANDS TRAIL 08.2

MULTI-USE TRAIL FROM FULLER AVE. TO VENLO DR. By: Eric Miller, Michael Moy In order for the Bike and Pedestrian plan to work there needed to be a multi-use trail that crossed from Fuller Ave. to Venlo Dr. The site during the wet months can have some problems with laying water and wildlife. This and the varing elevation conditions made the site a challenge. The following are two different design solutions for adapting the multi-use trail to the site conditions .


18


MULTI-USE WETLANDS TRAIL 08.2.1

MULTI-USE TRAIL FROM FULLER AVE. TO VENLO DR. By Eric Miller The goal of the bridge is to make a useful access from Fuller Avenue to Venlo Dr. The site itself is considered to be wetlands and because of this I did not want to disrutpt them if al all possible.

The trail itself will connect into the bike route previously mentioned in this plan. It allows people to move in a safe way from one point to another but still allowing them to interact with the wetlands beneith them. The bridge is a focal point along the bike path that people will want to frequent because of its unique design. The simplest of shapes can make complex geometric designs that make people want to interact with them.


The design was based on the principal that everything used to build the bridge could but obtained from different businesses in town. The structure is made of nominal treated wood that can be purchased from a home improvement store. The brckets could be made up by a fabrication shop here in town. The only part of the bridge that would have to be brought in would be the piles for the foundation.

20


The foundation of the bridge are driven piles so to not disturb the surounding areas with foreign cemicals or finishes. The piles are going to be a treated wood that will not harm the existing wetlands in that area.


MULTI-USE WETLANDS TRAIL 08.2.2 MULTI-USE TRAIL FROM FULLER AVE TO VENLO DR By Michael Moy

22


There is huge potential to re-route bicycle and pedestrian activity from the dangerous road of Perry Ave. to the end of Fuller Ave. and onto Venlo Dr. A low-lying wetland area seperates the end of Fuller Ave. and the entrance to the Venlo appartments. This area is relatively flat, but in order to avoid re-grading the whole area this multi-use path follows the existing contour lines. By following these contour lines, the path starts next to a power station located at the end of Fuller Ave., snakes around a small pond, and ends rising up a small hill behind some commercial buildings and finishes at the entrance to Venlo Dr.


24


BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE 08.3

AN ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL LOCATIONS FOR A NEW BRIDGE By Courtney Parks and Will Hinkley How did we come about the solutions: Currently, options for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross the Muskegon River are few and far between. In order for the bicycle and pedestrian plan to establish a concrete connection between the east and west sides of the river, implementation of a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge is necessary. Through extensive field studies we were able to highlight several potential locations for the placement of the bridge. After each individual location was further analyzed, we were able to narrow the several potential locations down to the two which fit best within the context of the river and provided the best connection to both sides of the river. The results of our findings are shown on the following pages.

A B C

D E F FIG 17: PROPOSED BRIDGE LOCATIONS (BY WILL HINKLEY)


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BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE 08.3.1 AN ANALYSIS OF THE THREE SOUTHERN LOCATIONS By Courtney Parks


D E F

28


A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION Due to the fact that the river bank on the east side of the river is extremly steep,causing an unsafe bridge slope, and there are numerous plots of private property on both sides D of the river, this location is not suitable for the new bridge..

THE IDEAL LOCATION The location behind St. Paul’s Church is a viable solution because there are already stairs in place, it is close to the University, river banks are at relatively the same height allowing a flat bridge E slope, and the location is accessible from both sides of the river

A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION A bridge at this location would cause a great deal of infrastructure to be added on the west side of the river in order to connect it to the university. Also, the sandy west river bank washes out at times, damaging the bridge base.

F


A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION Due to the fact that the river bank on the east side of the river is extremly steep,causing and unsafe bridge slope, and there D are numerous plots of private property on both sides of the river, this location is not suitable for the new bridge.

THE IDEAL LOCATION The location behind St. Paul’s Church is a viable solution because there are already stairs in place, it is close to the University, river banks are at relatively the same height allowing a flat bridge E slope, and the location is accessible from both sides of the river

A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION A bridge at this location would cause a great deal of infrastructure to be added on the west side of the river in order to connect it to the university. Also, the sandy west rivF er bank washes out at times, damaging the bridge base.

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PROPOSED BRIDGE ON SITE PROPOSED ROUTE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY LINE PROPOSED ROUTE PROPOSED RIVER WALK

PROPOSED CONNECTION

Although the end of Lilac is not a good location to construct a bridge, there is great potential to extend the riverwalk on the west side of the river. This proposed section of the riverwalk will not only connect more of the loop to the proposed bridge, but will also complete a continuous loop within the loop. The proposed bridge will then have a good connection to Damascus and Lilac on the West side of the river and a good connection to Tomahawk Drive and 15 Mile Road on the east side. To connect the bridge to the streets on the east side of the river, there is a proposed route along the private property lines

The new bridge will span 198 feet at a comfortable width of 12 feet. Because this will be a bicylce and pedestrian bridge, there will be no need for mulitple spans and heavy foundation structures underneath the bridge. The bridge will be appropriately arched to allow tubers, kaykers, and fisherman to pass under comfortably.

THE BRIDGE ON SITE


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BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE 08.3.2

AN ANALYSIS OF THE THREE NORTHERN LOCATIONS By Will Hinkley


A B C

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A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION A Bridge at the northern most site is viable in terms of the span distance and slope. However, due to both public and A private property located located at the top of the east river bank, there would be inconvenient access to the bridge itself.

A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION Although a bridge located at the central site would appear to be the most obvious location of the three, the drastic height differ- B ence in the east and west river banks would make the slope of the bridge very uncomfortable, and the span excessively long.

THE IDEAL LOCATION A bridge at the southern most location appears to be the best location. It’s span of roughly 180’ is acomplishable, it’s slope is bicycle and pedestri- C an friendly, and it can easily accessed from the the east and west sides.


A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION A Bridge at the northern most site is viable in terms of the A span distance and slope. However, due to both public and private property located located at the top of the east river bank, there would be inconvenient access to the bridge itself.

A PROBLEMATIC SOLUTION Although a bridge located at the central site would appear to be the most obvious location of the three, the drastic height differB ence in the east and west river banks would make the slope of the bridge very uncomfortable, and the span excessively long.

THE IDEAL LOCATION A bridge at the southern most location appears to be the best location. It’s C span of roughly 180’ is acomplishable, it’s slope is bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and it can easily accessed from the the east and west sides.

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PROPOSED BRIDGE ON SITE PROPOSED ROUTE WHITE PINE TRAIL USER PARKING LOT

PROPOSED CONNECTION An extension of the river walk down River street via bike lanes, continuing it between the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the baseball field, down to the river via a new concrete path easily connects the river walk to the bridge. On the east side of the river, a concrete path cutting diagonally up the riverbank to the intersection of M-20 and Old Millipond Rd, and continuing to run down M-20 for less than 1/4 mile would provide access from White Pine trail to the bridge.

The new bridge will span a distance of 186 feet at a comfortable width of 12 feet. Due to the lightweight usage of the bridge it is able to span the river without the help of costy, underbody support. Also, because of the low density of trees on both sides of the river at this location, the installation of a path on both sides will require only a minimal amount of trees to be taken down.

THE BRIDGE ON SITE


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RIVER WALK ACCESS STAIRS 08.4 ESTABLISHING A CONNECTEION TO THE RIVER WALK By Kaitlin Post & Rebecca Thayer


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RIVER WALK ACCESS STAIRS 08.4.1 ESTABLISHING A CONNECTEION TO THE RIVER WALK By Rebecca Thayer

Plan 1 - Ramp Plan 2 - Stair

Stair

p

Ram

School

100’

The existing stair that leads to the Riverwalk is narrow and the concrete is chipped. Although it is well used, it is inaccessible by bicycle. As the Riverwalk has been incorporated as a key connection for the Big Rapids Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, it is important to provide access points for surrounding neighborhoods. The existing stair is already in a great location, centered

between the school to the west and apartment communities to the north and east. In order to make the stair area work as a connection, a multi-use path will need to be constructed as well. Two options are shown, one that connects to the corner of Madison and 2nd Streets, and one that connects to 4th Street.


PLAN 1 - RAMP • • • • •

Open to more users ADA compliant 1:12 slope 144’ total of ramp, five 28.8’ sections Bicyclists to walk with bikes

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A ramp constructed of wood decking to match the existing platform that it leads to would blend in nicely. Note the existing bicycle path running down the hill behind the ramp.


PLAN 2 - STAIR • Widens existing stair to allow people to pass in opposite directions • Same step pattern, so existing railings may be used

1 1/2’

Bicycle grooves: • Separate up and down routes • Concrete channels 3” wide x 2” deep • Rubberized for extra grip • Landings create rest spots

STAIR CROSS SECTION - LOOKING SOUTH

6’

1 1/2’


PERSPECTIVE - STANDING ON THE RIVERWALK

PERSPECTIVE - FROM ABOVE

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RIVER WALK ACCESS STAIRS 08.4.2 ESTABLISHING A CONNECTEION TO THE RIVER WALK By Kaitlin Post

While the current stairs serves as a great access to the part of the 4th Street neighborhood, a large portion seems to be unserved by the current set of stairs. An additional set of stairs is needed to service the other portion of the neighborhood, as well as to provide a much needed connection from the Riverwalk to the Whitepine trail.


SITE PLAN

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LOCUST & WOODWARD INTERSECTION 08.5 MAKING THE INTERSECTION SAFER AND MANAGABLE By Kaitlin Post & Rebecca Thayer


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LOCUST & WOODWARD INTERSECTION 08.5.1 MAKING THE INTERSECTION SAFER AND MANAGABLE By Rebecca Thayer

• Bikes kept separate from both vehicular and pedestrian traffic • No interruptions to current sequence of traffic lights • Bicyclists cross with pedestrians at lights

50’

• Minimal infrastructure changes • Bike paths shown in brown are raised 2” from street level and bordered from traffic by a 6” high lip • On State Street, bike paths are 4 1/2’ wide and car lanes are reduced to 10’ wide, helping to slow traffic


LOCUST & WOODWARD INTERSECTION 08.5.2 MAKING THE INTERSECTION SAFER AND MANAGABLE By Kaitlin Post

- Medians allow for safe pedestrian access across roads and also allowfor areas of refuge.

- Bike lanes on either side of the median allow for ease of passage through this interection.

- Bicycle boxes at each major intersection allows for bikes to be easily seen prior to entering the intersection.

- Adding chincanes to the portion of street between Woodword and Locust allows of a narrowing of the street to make the drivers more aware of the pedestrians and bicyclests.

- Eliminating the left turn lane allows for a better follow of traffic and an overall safer intersection for pedestrians and bicyclest.

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STATE STREET BICYCLE PATH 08.6 IMPLEMENTING A CYCLIST-ONLY PATH IN THE ROUTE By Rebecca Thayer

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STATE STREET BICYCLE PATH 08.6.1 IMPLEMENTING A CYCLIST-ONLY PATH IN THE ROUTE By Rebecca Thayer

• Bike lanes are each 6’ wide except along this small strip, where they are 5’ wide • Bike path timed with existing pedestrian walkway at light • Bicycle routes are lengthy with minimal stops • Bicyclists give right-of-way to pedestrians at all crossings • Section on opposite page is taken here • Bicycle trails separate from pedestrian walkways, and on both sides of the street to prevent unnecessary crossing • Bike box allows bicyclists to go before automobiles • State Street bike trails connect to other sections of the overall proposed route, including South Street and Ferris Drive, as shown here. They also connect with the portion of the bike trail that would cross through the university campus on the northwest corner of State and Cedar Street, creating the connection from State Street to Michigan Street.

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MICHIGAN STREET & DOWNTOWN 08.7 A REDESIGN OF THE DOWNTOWN AREAS INCLUDING MICHIGAN AVE, MAPLE ST, STEWART By Rachel Weller & Don Bucholz


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MICHIGAN STREET & DOWNTOWN 08.7.1 A REDESIGN OF THE DOWNTOWN AREAS INCLUDING MICHIGAN AVE, MAPLE ST, STEWART BY DON BUCHOLZ

This redesign focused on the pedestrian access and attraction to the downtown area. By calming traffic flows and providing integrated public spaces the city can attract residents back tot he downtown area. Doing this will invigorate the downtown economy by creating a larger customer base. The new park space will draw more businesses and activities to the downtown. This design also brings back that classic hometown feel so desirable to many residents today.

FIG 18: THIS NEW CENTRAL PARK WILL BE LOCATED IN THE PLACE OF THE EXISTING PARKING LOT NEXT TO CITY HALL


FIG 19: THIS SECOND PARK IS LOCATED ON THE LOT BETWEEN THE THEATRE AND SNYDERS MARKET. CREATING PARK SPACE DOWNTOWN WILL ATTRACT VISITORS AND RESIDENTS

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FIG 20: WHERE MICHIGAN AND CEDAR MEET THIS BIKE PATH WILL PASS THROUGH THE CORNER OF THE CAMPUS TO CONNECT TO THE EXISTING LIGHTED CROSSWALK


FIG 21: ONE OPTION FOR MICHIGAN AVE IS TO PAINT BIKE LANES ON THE EXISTING STREET

FIG 23: THE NEW PARK BY THE THEATRE MIGHT LOOK LIKE THIS.

FIG 22: STEWART AVE. IS DESIGNED TO HAVE A ONE WAY BIKE ADVISORY LANE

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MICHIGAN STREET & DOWNTOWN 08.7.2 A REDESIGN OF THE DOWNTOWN AREAS INCLUDING MICHIGAN AVE, MAPLE ST, STEWART By Rachel Weller

FIG 24: SAFETY PARKING IN FRONT OF BIG RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY

FIG 25: SAMPLE ROAD SECTION WITH SAFETY PARKING

FIG 26: LOOKING EAST ON CEDER TOWARDS MICHIGAN AT MAJOR CONNECTION BETWEEN CAMPUS AND DOWNTOWN


This plan comes from the necessity of a connection between Ferris State University and Downtown Big Rapids. Roundabouts create both a safer area for bikes and pedestrians and create focal points that draw both the eye and ideally the students to the downtown area. Roundabouts have been found to have significantly lower accident rates than signalized intersections of the same speed. These roundabouts are located in two main thoroughfares. The first is the closest intersection to the Ferris State campus. It is this roundabout that services as an directional marker for students. It shows how the head Downtown. The second is in front of the library. This is another intersection that would benefit form having a roundabout. It makes the area around it more walkable which makes the library safer to get to. The center of the roundabouts can be used to showcase statues or instillations from local artists. Backed in safety parking is put in place in lieu of regular angled parking because safety is a major issue with getting downtown.

FIG 28: MICHIGAN AVE OVERVIEW

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FIG 27: ROUNDABOUT AT MICHIGAN AND OAK

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan: City of Big Rapids  

2012 Small Town Studio Publication

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