Survey Lauds Council

December 9, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Details of the 2005 Citizens Transit Survey aren’t expected to be released until early next month. But members of the Grand Valley Metro Council got a sneak preview of some of the findings early this month.

And members were pleased with what they heard.

One result of particular interest to the council is that most of the 400 citizens who took part in the survey felt land-use planning and mass transit need to be tied together in order to create and sustain a successful public transportation system and to make new developments accessible to everyone.

“People like what you’re doing at the Metro Council,” said David Bulkowski, executive director of Disability Advocates of Kent County, who unveiled the highlighted findings of the study for the GVMC board.

“That’s the good news. The bad news is they want to see more of it, and that costs money,” he added.

Survey respondents felt transit routes must be part of the planning process and the needs of people who rely on public transit should be included in a new development. For instance, they said major jobs centers should be located along existing and proposed bus lines. They also felt that planning and zoning policies should include pedestrian access created through building setback regulations, and that all intersections should meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The Metro Council is responsible for coordinating planning efforts among its 32 member communities, and also is the region’s clearinghouse for transportation and transit projects.

Bulkowski said he hoped to present the survey’s details at the council’s January meeting. The research effort focused on transit funding, land use and expanding transit service.     

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