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 Morning Everyone:
Hope you had a great week.
I know most of you are hoping to get a jump on the long weekend, so I will keep this week’s email brief.
First, we are close to confirming the first two speakers and dates for our fall / winter Speaker Series. As I wrote about previously, based on the success last year we are bringing the Speaker Series back to have community discussions around key elements of the GR Forward effort. Look for confirmation on the speakers and the dates of the events in the next couple of weeks.
Second, on Wednesday at the DGRI office we had the chance to host several “urban explorers”, a group of 10 students between the ages of 5 - 7. The group was organized by Downtown Steering Committee member and Williams & Works Principal Lynee Wells. Prior to arriving at DGRI the group rode the Silver Line, visited the Downtown Market, and had lunch at Rosa Parks Circle. Once they arrived, we got the chance to talk to them about their experiences Downtown, and what they hope to see in the future. Attached are a couple of photos of their ideas. It is always entertaining and informative to talk with kids that age about Downtown. Hopefully their experience this week will engage them in helping bring their visions to reality. Thanks again to Lynee for letting us be a part of their day.
Related to our online efforts, we continue to see an increase in traffic both on the website and social media. Be sure to share the links below with anyone that might be interested so that we can continue to get the word out on GR Forward.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/grfwd
Twitter - https://twitter.com/grfwd
Instagram - http://instagram.com/grfwd#
In light of the Silver Line’s opening on Monday, I thought it would be fitting to provide some reading materials on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
First up is an article from MLive, profiling the Silver Line opening on Monday: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/08/striking_gold_with_silver_line.html
Next is an article from the Guardian, which provides a global perspective on the use of BRT, and talks about why some people, including the former mayor of Bogota, Columbia Enrique Penalosa, believe BRT is future of urban transport: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/aug/27/buses-future-of-urban-transport-brt-bus-rapid-transit
Last is an article from The Atlantic’s City Lab, advocating for more US cities to embrace BRT: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/02/why-more-us-cities-need-embrace-bus-rapid-transit/8480/
As you can see the Silver Line is a unique transportation amenity, and has the potential to be a transformative for Grand Rapids. If you have not yet already, I hope that you will take advantage of this exciting addition to our urban fabric and become an advocate for its use.
As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise, have a great Labor Day weekend.