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Jon commented on Grand Rapids: Building the City of Tomorrow

I also moved back to Michigan within the last two years, just to give it a go and be close to aging family members. My lasting impression is how backwards pedestrian and public transportation seems compared to places I've lived and travelled. One major issue is that bikes, boards, and scooters are treated as a road nuisance or hazard here and are often treated aggressively by much larger vehicles driven by systemically angry individuals. This state has no emmisions or quality checks on vehicles and that leads to a less safe operating experience (air quality and road debris) when traveling by bike, e-bike, or e-board on any given road. There's also no generally adheared to pedestrian right of way rule, like the state of Maine has. As such the act of crossing the street during rush hour is a bit hazardous on foot. Right turn on red adds to this.

Reduce the road lanes for cars in the downtown area, build parking garages next to public commuting portals for that last mile, and offset a separate protected bike lane for scooters, bikes, and boards that isn't just a painted line or an expectation of riding alternate vehicles on the sidewalk (seriously not viable for fast moving e-bike or e-board commuting). If you need examples for how to make a pedestrian friendly city with enough bus stops and space for last mile commuters, check what NYC or Amsterdam has done with bike lanes and bus/trams.

If I didn't have to drive a car into town, I wouldn't, and it's the one thing about living in the Midwest compared to the east coast that irks me the most this summer. Downtown parking should be for visitors and handicapped.