Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Work towards the creation of a hiking/biking trail alongside the railroad tracks in the Belknap Lookout Neighborhood.

The MOBL NOBL study, Michigan Street Corridor Plan and Neighbors of Belknap Lookout current strategic plan call for a trail by the tracks.

Photo of Elianna Bootzin
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Neighbors frequently use the railroad tracks as a shortcut through the Belknap Lookout neighborhood. Beginning research and negotiations to officially create a parallel paved hiking/biking trail would increase the accessibility and enjoyment of walking and biking on the north side of Grand Rapids.

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

Residents of and visitors to Grand Rapids will use the trail.

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)

Neighbors of Belknap Lookout, www.belknaplookout.org, is a 501c3 nonprofit whose activities center around public safety and neighborhood leadership development (both City of Grand Rapids Community Development-funded Program, including a strong focus on monitoring construction in the neighborhood). We have identified creation of the trail as a secondary goal in our current strategic plan, recognizing that finding allies and beginning negotiations with the railroad will be plenty to start with.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The pilot phase would hire or contract a content matter expert individual or firm. The progress that they make would lay the groundwork for a fundraising campaign and/or public-private partnership to create the actual trail. Many major funders in Grand Rapids, both individuals and foundations, have participated in the creation of other regional trails and we expect to be able to tap into that network to bring the project to completion.

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

- A network of allies, both individuals and organizations, who support the creation of the trail - The compilation of technical information needed to launch a fundraising campaign or public-private partnership to build the trail - Preliminary contact established with the railroad in order to begin negotiations.

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Photo of Adam Williams
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If we build this I will no longer have to be occasionally harassed by police for using the SAFEST and shortest route from Highland Park to Midtown.

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