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Public Involvement for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan is Heating Up this Summer | News

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Public Involvement for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan is Heating Up this Summer
News, Transportation
Public Involvement for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan is Heating Up this Summer

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Two public forums for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan have been announced for this summer on Monday, June 11th and Monday, June 18th.

Everyone is encouraged to attend both Monday forums and participate in hands-on activities that will let planners know community priorities. The first forum of the series, focused on "Discovery and Discussion," will determine the overall design philosophy that should be applied to future land use scenarios. Then, the following week at the second public forum, the community will be able to review "Details and Design" to see if land use maps and transportation ideas match up with what they would like to see. Each forum will have two identical sessions in order to accommodate the greatest number of people.

Discovery and Discussion Forum
Monday, June 11, 2012, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm OR 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm  at Grand Valley State University, Center for Health Sciences (301 Michigan Street), Room 119

At the Discovery and Discussion Forum, the public will be presented with findings from the project thus far and will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the Guiding Principles for the entire corridor. There will also be separate stations dedicated to a number of themes, including transportation, land use, public health, and green infrastructure. At the stations the public will find interesting facts related to the corridor. Additionally, each station will have an activity for the public to prioritize what they value most to be incorporated in the future design of the Michigan Street Corridor.
 
Details and Design Forum
Monday, June 18, 2012, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm OR 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm  at Grand Rapids Community College, Fulton Street Campus (415 E. Fulton Street), Room 108  

At the Details and Design Forum, the public will then see how their input to-date, and specifically from the June 11th forum, has influenced the creation of possible land use scenarios. These scenarios will be presented with maps that illustrate future land use patterns and street designs for the community to consider. The maps will be presented to the public at the start of the forum; after which, the attendees will be asked to evaluate the scenarios with markers.

Suzanne Schulz, City of Grand Rapids Planning Director, reiterated the importance of public input in this planning process, "Community input from both forums will provide valuable information to shape and influence development scenarios." Schulz emphasizes the critical point of these two forums, "This summer we are at the culmination of the planning process that will result in a comprehensive land use and transportation plan to address growth in the entire corridor for the next 20 years. The forums are an exciting opportunity for the community to help shape the city's future!"  

A friendly competition amongst stakeholders is also planned to encourage participation. The groups that achieve the greatest turnout representing their neighborhood, health or educational institution in the corridor at the two forums will win the ultimate Turnout Titleholder status; with winners earning some "green" for the community! Stakeholder groups that have the most attendees at both forums will win trees to be planted in a park of their choosing by the City Forester. If you live, work, play, visit, go to school, or commute on, through or near Michigan Street, mark your calendars and gather your neighbors, friends, family and peers for these events!

Background  
The Michigan Street Corridor Plan is an 18-month long planning process that started in October of 2011 with the support of 16 funding partners. The initial public forum in November, 2011 began the first of many opportunities for idea-sharing and community input on the future vision of the area. The City Planning Department has also conducted numerous focus groups in addition to releasing their "Quality of Life" board game. The game was a meeting-in-a-box to gather creative ideas and designs for the corridor from various community groups, residents, and visitors. Over the past several months, planners have been meeting with community stakeholders and focus groups to learn their perspective on needed improvements and future visions for the area. The June forums provide an opportunity for the community to see the project's progress and push new ideas forward for change.

Details about the June public forums will be available on the project website, www.michiganstreetcorridor.us, as well as on the Planning Department's webpage, at www.grcity.us/planning.

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