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The Quick and Easy way to Make Grand Rapids Bike City USA

Eliminate curb bump outs, Give Fulton a true bike lane, Make some streets one way, Put in bike share stations, Bike trail along the Grand

Photo of David Stoffer
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Written by

I bike Grand Rapids nearly everyday, and oftentimes with my kids. This city has great potential to maximize efficiency with cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians.  The approach I would take would be to make Grand Rapids a more bike friendly city. 

The first change I would implement would be to eliminate the curb bumps out that proliferate the east side of the city.  The bump outs force bikers to ride into the driving lane in order to cross through intersections.  (Fuller Ave. is the most well known for this) The bump outs bring the sidewalk into the street and create a pinch point where there is only enough room for a car to pass through the intersection.  This is not only dangerous, but inefficient because it does not allow bikes and cars to share the road at the same time.

My second proposition is to give Fulton a dedicated bike lane.  Fulton is one of the main roads connecting the city east and west.  Much of Fulton already has a bike lane and it would be ideal if the bike lane could continue through downtown.  Bikers are willing to go out of their way in order to find a road that is bike friendly.

My third proposition is to make more roads downtown one way.  One way streets are ideal for bike lanes and can make the city more efficient at the same time. Biking through downtown could improve greatly with actual bike lanes.

The last two changes would include bike sharing and continuing the path along the Grand River.  I wouldn't advise implementing a bike sharing program until some more dedicated bike lanes have been carved out in the city.  

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

Not only would those who bike use this solution, but it would make it easier for drivers to know where bikers will be on the road. This solution will provide clarity to anyone who uses the roads in Grand Rapids.

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 often talk with friends about ways to fix the transportation situation in Grand Rapids. Rather than sit back and just think about what could make a difference I would love to be part of a group that makes things change. I see biking as the best way to implement that change.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

My idea would make Grand Rapids a more bike friendly city. The first step would be to make a bike infrastructure by changing certain roads. After making these adjustments to the roads we could test how many bikers are using the roads. In addition we could test if it is able to make drivers more comfortable arounds bikers.

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

This would be successful if more bikers are using the roads and feel comfortable doing so. It would also need to make drivers more comfortable around bikers on those roads.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Tom Bulten

Hi David: Thank you for posting a proposal to the City of Tomorrow Challenge. I'm one of the facilitators on the forum. Please add a photo to the proposal, if possible. In addition, I hope you'll review the City's draft Bicycle Action Plan ( and share your ideas with transportation planners. (We've been discussing the City's Bicycle Action Plan here: