Grand Rapids helps drivers 'navigate' parking downtown
The city of Grand Rapids is offering “mobility” tips to downtown drivers as it prepares to take more than 500 parking spaces offline for the Studio Park construction project.
Crews will begin site preparations in the next few weeks for the multi-phase movie theater, hotel, residential, office space and parking ramp development. The groundbreaking is planned for April or May.
Beforehand, the city will close Areas 4 and 5 parking lots — totaling about 500 spaces — on Oakes Street SW to make way for construction. Area 4 closes March 7, while Area 5 is expected to close in mid-April.
Meanwhile, the city is offering tips on parking and other “mobility options.”
“There are more than 9,000 parking spaces in or near the Arena South district in public and private lots that are available throughout the construction period,” said Josh Naramore, the city’s MobileGR and parking services manager.
“Plus, there are several ways to get around downtown — by automobile, bus, foot or bike. We have several resources that can help people connect with nearby public parking spaces and different transportation options.”
The resources include the Downtown Parking and Mobility Guide.
People with smartphones also can download the myStop Mobile, GR Park and Parkmobile apps from the App Store and Google Play.
The myStop app provides real-time bus schedule and location information for DASH and Rapid buses. The city’s DASH buses are free to ride and circulate downtown, while The Rapid’s Silver Line is free north of Wealthy Street.
The GR Park app shows availability in city facilities and shows the closest locations first.
Parkmobile allows users to pay for metered street parking from a mobile device or by calling (800) 280-4146.
Monthly permit parking
In anticipation of the development, the city began transitioning monthly permit holders from Areas 4 and 5 to other parking areas more than two years ago. As of this month, only about 20 monthly parkers remained in the lots.
The city also began making changes to the surrounding roads this month, with work continuing through late summer and resuming next year. The changes include removing the northbound and southbound U.S. 131 business routes between Cherry and Oakes streets, extending Ottawa between Cherry and Oakes and installing a traffic signal at the Ionia Avenue-Cherry Street intersection.
The road construction project will include seven phases — six of which will occur this year. Detours will be clearly marked throughout construction, which will end before ArtPrize in September.
Drivers can find more information about the street changes here or by calling the 311 Customer Service line or (616) 456-3000.