Community invited to re-imagine downtown streets

City will hold design engagement events for Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton on Dec. 9-12

Reimaging – Linking Downtown streets: Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton logo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids wants to know how downtown residents, workers, property owners and visitors experience travel in and around the city core. It also wants to know how everyone hopes to experience travel in the future along downtown’s core streets – Ottawa and Ionia avenues NW between Fulton and Michigan streets and Fulton between Monroe and Division avenues.

That’s why the City is hosting several community engagement opportunities next month. Those who walk, bike, drive, use transit and rideshare along Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton are invited to attend one or more of the City’s three Reimagine – Linking Downtown street design open houses to provide their ideas and priorities about the design and operations of these core downtown streets.

The open houses – set for Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 – are part of a weeklong community design process expected to result in concept designs and recommendations for Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton. The concept designs and recommendations will be reported out to the community Dec. 12.

The opportunity to reimagine the three streets stems from a resurfacing project on Ottawa between Michigan and Fulton that is scheduled for 2021. Several community plans, including GR ForwardBicycle Action Plan and Michigan Street Corridor Plan, include specific recommendations for these core downtown streets.

 

Planning and design consultants from Moore & Bruggink and Toole Design Group will help facilitate community design process. Discussions may include:

  • One-way and/or two-way roadway operations on Ottawa and Ionia
  • Intersection needs and transit operations throughout the study area
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, including a separated bikeway on Ionia – recommended in GR Forward and Bicycle Action Plan
  • Community event needs, especially near Calder Plaza and Van Andel Arena
  • Opportunities to beautify and “green” the corridors with such elements as trees, flowers, benches and other decorative or urban furniture elements

 

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated“Ottawa, Ionia and Fulton are important transportation corridors for not only downtown but the entire city  and greater Grand Rapids region,” said Kristin Bennett, transportation planning/programs supervisor in the City’s Mobile GR and Parking Services Department. “That’s why we hope to get participation in this design process from all who work, live and visit downtown.

 

“We will use the outcomes of this design process in the initial street resurfacing project on Ottawa in 2021 and then work to identify opportunities and partnerships that may come along to advance other recommendations from this community engagement.”

 

Community members are encouraged to drop in any time during the open houses to provide ideas and priorities. The design process schedule is:

 

Open houses

Monday, Dec. 9

4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Ryerson Auditorium at Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NW

 

Tuesday, Dec. 10

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ryerson Auditorium at Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NW

       5 to 7:30 p.m.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 29 Pearl St. NW

 

Community Report out

Thursday, Dec. 12

5 to 7 p.m.

Ninth-floor Commission Chambers at City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW

 

Those who need to request accessibility accommodations or those who cannot attend an open house and want to share their ideas and priorities may do so online in English or Spanish or by phone at 616.456.3000.

 

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