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Bikes are NOT the solution, please don't invest in a lot of infrastructure for bikes.

We live in Michigan, the temperature is only right for that 20% of the time. It's not the right solution for Grand Rapids!

Photo of Kristi Ayers
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We live in Michigan, the temperature is only right for that 20% of the time.  It's not the right solution for Grand Rapids!  I understand this is not really a "solution" but I know this is something a (very) few people think will change our world.  It snows - it's dangerous!  Lanes are tight (look at Monroe!) and one slip will kill someone - regardless of their gear. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

I once sat in a meeting with a city planner, talking about the Michigan Street Corridor changes. They already had their minds made up. The City rep had the nerve to cite that "millennials have student loans" and can't afford to have their own transportation and would ride their bikes and take the bus, which would solve ALL of the concern around the increased number of cars on Michigan Street. This person was clearly not a millennial. It was infuriating, which is why I have to put this out there that it is NOT a solution. Unless there is some concrete data that everyone in the city has lost their minds (before spilling them over the roads, which is inevitable if this unsafe "solution" creates limited options for young people), I really don't see people taking up extreme weather biking anytime soon to get to their office spaces downtown.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I am just a person that attends city meetings that is frustrated by the outlook of "millennials" and our finances. I love living in the city - really - but I find it frustrating that the only people that are making these decisions live in houses out in Ada.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • No funding is required

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

I just wanted you to know where I stand with the biking situation. Please do not consider biking/walking miles unless we get an extreme bout of global warming and we turn into the climate of Miami or you can prove that more than 100 people will consider using a bike when there are 14" of snow, topped with ice.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Success is measured by the amount of people that engage with your final choice - and that is accessible to all of our population. It's not about the millennial population living in overpriced apartments along the Medical Mile - it's about the families, the seniors, the homeowners, the working classes, those visiting our medical facilities and our tourists. It's not about Art Prize or movie theatres, it's about our citizen's use every day - every season - in every type of weather. Investing in a new infrastructure for transportation should not be taken lightly.


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Photo of annie young

Thank you for saying this! I mentioned a similar concern in the discussion section, I don't think many people will bike in the snow, cold or rain and pointed out that I had actually injured myself (broke my pelvic bone). Biking for most is when the weather is nice.
There are probably a few that do bike in poor weather, but I don't think most ever will. It is not safe or comfortable.
Secondly, we are a valley. The roads can be steep and challenging for non-cyclists.

I read the proposal for biking and agree with you. I felt that some parts were out of touch with our community. I'm not sure who wrote it, but I could easily come to the same conclusion,
those that wrote it were not from or in touch with our community.

With that said, I love to cycle, but only on trails. Have you ever tried to ride down 28th, Breton or 44th. How about Alpine? If you want a bikable community, main thoughalfares would need to be safe for those on bikes.

Photo of Kristi Ayers

Thanks for the reply! I really had no idea this was public...
I have not tried to bike anywhere in the city, honestly. I own a beach cruiser bike that I used when I did live in a bikable community in Ohio, which is not going to get me up the hills in Grand Rapids (I lived in Midtown until recently moving to Cheshire). A new bike, especially with all the bells & whistles has a hefty price tag, which is not going work for everyone's budget. In my opinion, it's not a worthy investment for my personal transportation budget because as a citizen of GR I really can only bike for a small time frame of the year (accounting for rain days, etc.).

Photo of Laura Muresan

I just want to mention that I ride year-round. When there's not snow, I use a bike I got for $40 from a thrift store about 10 years ago; in the winter, I use a winter-beater bike, one I got free from a neighbor. There may be other reasons people don't bike, and it may be more pleasant on a good bike, but it can also be done on a piece of junk. I think it's all about wanting to do it enough to actually do it. There are people who physically cannot ride a bike and I understand that, but a lot of the time people just go for whatever is easier. When riding a bike is made easier, more people will do it. There's a pretty big biking culture in Minneapolis, and the climate there is colder than here. I am just a 40-something non-millennial that likes to save money, not harm the environment, and get exercise combined with doing something practical, like getting where I need to go.

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