Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Planning Manager Tim Kelly emails a weekly GR Forward update to the project Steering Committee. Here's this week's communication:

Good Afternoon Everyone:

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Friday. I know most people are getting a jump on the long weekend, so I will keep this email brief.


This week saw the launch of our new partnership with the Rapidian. Starting the week of July 14, every month until the end of the process there will be an essay published by one of the Downtown or River Corridor Committee members. The essays will touch on different topics, but each one will include a statement from Committee members about why they chose to be involved and what they hope to accomplish through this process. Make sure you check back in at the Rapidian’s Place Matters section and the GR Forward website to follow the essays.


I founds this article about the SFpark program really interesting:

For those of you not familiar with SFpark, it is a federally-funded demonstration program instituted two years ago in San Francisco. The program uses real-time data and demand-responsive pricing to make parking easier to find.

As the article explains, during the two years the program has been in place an extraordinary amount of data was collected to enable a thorough evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. Following an evaluation by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA), it was shown that since SFpark has been employed San Franciscans have realized:

  • Lower average parking rates;
  • Improved parking availability;
  • Improved access to parking (ie. Spaces were easier to find);
  • Greater avoidance of parking citations;
  • Decreased greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Decreased vehicle miles traveled.

The SFpark program is a new approach to parking management that appears to both improve the user experience and decrease the effects of automobile trips. I encourage anyone interested in more details or the evaluation data to follow this link:

As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise, have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!