Grand Rapidians put a high priority on expanding the real transportation choices people have to get from A to B, primarily because the freedom of movement for workers, residents and visitors helps to drive the City's growth, progress and prosperity.
Bicycling in particular continues to emerge locally as an increasingly popular mode of travel. It's affordable, convenient and aligns with lifestyle goals such as improving personal health. For a city the size of Grand Rapids, riding a bike also can often be a quick, convenient and essentially free way to get from one place to another.
To ensure more people are able and safe to go by bike - whether by choice or necessity - Downtown Grand Rapids Inc and the City of Grand Rapids are actively building up our community's bike infrastructure. The goal: Build the most bicycle friendly city in the Midwest.
Building a Better Bikeway
Providing a a dedicated and separated bicycle facility connecting the Downtown, Monroe North and Creston neighborhoods emerged as an immediate and specific community priority in the City's Vital Street Plans, the forthcoming draft Bicycle Action Plan and GR Forward, the community plan to guide the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids. .
Toward that end, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and the City of Grand Rapids installed a "better bikeway" on North Division Avenue in June 2018. The pilot "better bikeway" aims to make travel by bicycle safer, easier and more comfortable for everyone regardless of age or ability. Specific improvements include:
- Upgrades to the existing bicycle lanes that include painted buffer zones to the left of the bicycle lanes that also have reflective delineator posts every 25 feet creating more separation between the bicycle lanes and vehicular travel lanes.
- Dashed green pavement markings at several intersections to highlight higher conflict zones between motorists and bicyclists.
- Green bike boxes at the intersections of Division and Lyon and Division and Pearl. An intersection bike box is a designated area that allows bicyclists to move ahead of motor vehicles to make left turns.
- Better bikeway signage.
These improvements build on the successful 2011 Revision Division project that converted North Division Avenue from a 4-lane street to a 3-lane street with standard bicycle lanes which improved traffic flow, reduced reported crashes and improved safety for all travelers.
DGRI and the City will evaluate the better bikeway improvements for one-year, observing how the changes perform through all four Michigan seasons - and report findings in 2019.
Community Comments Welcomed & Encouraged
The City and DGRI welcome feedback from people who drive, walk or ride their bike along the recently enhanced route on North Division. Please complete the survey below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Better Bikeway."
- Study area map available here. (PDF)
- More information about the City of Grand Rapids' Vital Streets Plan here.
- Plan your commute with road construction changes in mind. Updates available here.
- Learn how we can improve our road relationships and drive change here.
- Explore the Interactive Map for free bike parking availability in Downtown GR.