Government, Lakeshore, and Travel & Tourism

Lakeshore bike lane rolls forward

July 24, 2015
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Lakeshore bike lane rolls forward
Ottawa County plans to construct a new bike-lane stretch alongside Lakeshore Drive. Photo by Rachel Weick

A lakeshore county is rolling forward with a bike-lane project for serious cyclists after funding rolled in and final construction costs came in lower than anticipated.

The Ottawa County Planning Commission said this week that efforts to raise enough capital to construct a four-foot-wide bike lane on Lakeshore Drive between Butternut Drive and New Holland Street were successful — based on final construction bids and it raising more than $143,000 via crowdfunding and previous contributions.

Bike-lane extension

Designed for competitive touring and commuter cyclists, the bike-lane project is part of a long-term effort to create a safe stretch of road from Holland to Grand Haven.

The bike lane will extend the existing stretch from nine miles to 12 miles and create a separate space designated faster cyclists without conflicting with vehicles on the road.

The project also complements the bike lane already completed between Robbins Road and Croswell Street in Grand Haven and Port Sheldon townships.

The bike-lane project meets standards by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Funding campaign

Planners launched a crowdfunding campaign on July 13 seeking financial support from the community to reach an original goal of about $60,000 by July 24 to secure the remaining funds needed to construct the bike lane.

If the campaign was successful, the capital raised through the Patronicity platform would be added to the nearly $120,000 in previous contributions.

With final construction costs confirmed at $138,039, which is lower than the anticipated $175,000 needed to construct the bike lane, the roughly $23,325 already pledged through the crowdfunding campaign is enough to move forward with the project. Contributors to the campaign include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and Rick and Melissa DeVos.

Greg DeJong, Ottawa County commissioner and planning commission chair, said support from the local community and area businesses has been spectacular.

“On behalf of the Ottawa County Planning Commission and Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, I’m thrilled to announce that our financial goal to help extend the Lakeshore Drive bike lane has been met,” DeJong said. “So many things make Ottawa County a great place to call home, and the generosity of our community is just one of them.”

While the more than $23,000 secured in crowdfunding pledges meets the revised goal, the Patronicity-based campaign will remain open through today and any new donations will be allocated for non-motorized pathway projects in the county.

Kerry Irons, a member of a local bike advocacy group known as Pedal Holland, said the project will be a great asset for the community.

“In the beginning, I did not know if we could make this happen,” Irons said. “However, people in the community, local government, nonprofit groups and area businesses rallied together in an impressive show of support.”

Prior to launching the crowdfunding campaign, the bike-lane project received nearly $120,000 in contributions from local organizations: Macatawa Area Cycling Club; Port Sheldon Township Board; Ottawa County Board of Commissioners; Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission; Scholten Fant; Herman Miller Cares; ODL Inc. of Zeeland; and Holland Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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