Transit Parking Needs Now Urgent
Grand Rapids Parking Services Director Pam Ritsema is congratulated on her long-term overview of "the parking situation" in downtown and in sounding the alarm for consequences of current development. The director's warning should be heard, too, by the
Ritsema has advised the city economic development team that proposed downtown development and that which is already underway is gradually usurping the city's flat parking areas.
The city is paying for development of two ramp parking lots, and while Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong indicates the city has the option to build more, ramps are 10 times more expensive for twice the parking, compared to flat lots.
With additional development being eyed along the river, where the city has a request for proposals for 15.8 acres and another 11 acres are under option, the city has comparatively little time to consider alternatives. Those developments are meant to encourage additional traffic. The
The fast pace of development (throughout the county) sets the pace for The Rapid and transportation planning agencies, including the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council and the West Michigan Strategic Alliance. The efforts of those agencies should be part of the city planning.
The Rapid, recognized by the American Public Transportation Association with a 2004 award as the national Outstanding Transit System, has proven its leadership with a diverse list of services. Those include van pooling for business employees, an after-school transit service to deliver students to the YMCA for programs and services, service to
The agency's long-range plan for the possible inclusion of light rail from the suburbs into downtown should be pulled up to the short-term agenda. The plan, favored by former Mayor