Posts Tagged ‘Traverse City’

2011 Michigan Trails Summit

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association is having a Michigan Trails Summit on February 9th at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.

The Summit’s theme is “Sustainability – We built it, now what do we do?”

The cost is $95 and includes a lunch. You can download the summit brochure and registration form.

Here is information on the scheduled sessions:

State of Michigan Trails

Jim Radabaugh, State Trails Coordinator – DNRE

The 2011 Trails Summit will kick off with an opening session that gives the current state of Michigan Trails. Updates will be given about the Trails Advisory Council, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, and the MRPA Trails Committee.

Marketing Your Trail

Wayne Hoffman, Wade Trim

Wayne Hofmann, Wade Trim’s Finance and Funding Coordinator will be presenting on how to take basic marketing techniques and use them to your advantage for your trail network.

Trail Towns Manual

Harry Burkholder, Land Information Access Association
Steve Schnell, Cheboygan County
Jim Muratzki, Land Information Access Association

This presentation will discuss a new “Trails Towns Manual” a document that describes and illustrates how communities can use a unique crowd-sourcing website to promote and encourage visitors to their trails. This document demonstrates how to support tourism, future business and economic development opportunities.

The Long and Short of Trail Maintenance

Jim Schneider, Trail Manager, Green County, OH

This presentation discusses the all aspects of trail maintenance for aggregate, concrete and asphalt trails. In addition, Jim will cover everything from the day-to-day items through long-term care. We will talk about tools and equipment for trail maintenance and offer some tips working smarter.

Lunch and Lightening Rounds

Best practices will be the theme of this lunch and learn session. Of course, there will be food but also plenty of opportunities to learn what others consider their best practices. This session will be fun but will provide lots of information to all.

Complete Streets Module

Nancy Krupiarz, Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance

Complete streets is an inclusive, context-sensitive design framework and infrastructure that enables safe and convenient access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities and motor vehicle drivers. What does this mean to trail advocates, planners and promoters? Find out in this presentation by Nancy Krupiarz, Executive Director, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

State Wide Water Trail Meeting

Mary Bohling, MSU Extension, Sea Grant

Water trails provide recreational opportunities for people to enjoy and there are unique considerations important when planning a new water trail. Join Mary Bohling, Michigan State University, Sea Grant Educator as she facilitates this meeting of advocates from across Michigan on developing a state wide water trail. This collaboration just recently formed to help promote Michigan as an outdoor paddle sport destination.

Jane Jacobs: Going beyond the simple needs

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The My Wheels are Turning blog has another great article about urban design in Traverse City. That article reminds us of this Jane Jacobs quote.

Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building. The simple needs of automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs of cities, and a growing number of planners and designers have come to believe that if they can only solve the problems of traffic, they will thereby have solved the major problems of cities. Cities have much more intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. How can you know what to try with traffic until you know how the city itself works, and what else it needs to do with its streets? You can’t.
— Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities

Bicycle advocates can find many examples to support Jacob’s quote. It’s relatively easy to define transportation problems in terms of motor vehicle levels of service (LOS) and average daily traffic (ADT). LOS and ADTs are easily measured and quantified for motor vehicles.

How do you measure real and perceived safety issues that create latent demand for non-motorized transportation options?

There’s also been recent discussion nationally about how congestion is measured in the U.S. This discussion was kicked off with the recent CEO for Cities report called, Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse.

A new report from CEOs for Cities unveils the real reason Americans spend so much time in traffic and offers a dramatic critique of the 25 year old industry standard created by the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report (UMR) – often used to justify billions of dollars in expenditures to build new roads and highways…

A close examination shows that the UMR has a number of major flaws that misstate and exaggerate the effects of congestion, particularly the Travel Time Index (TTI).  TTI is the ratio of average peak hour travel times to average free flow travel times… Because this methodology does not take into account travel distances, it universally rewards cities that are spread out as opposed to compact urban areas.

It’s bottom line, common sense conclusion: “What creates traffic jams isn’t more cars and fewer highways, it’s sprawl.”

And Transportation for America published this article today which concurs.

The cycle is familiar by now. A study tells us what we all know: our roads are congested. We pour billions into new roads and lanes to “reduce congestion.” Then the study comes out two years later and just as before, our roads are still congested. There’s a call for new roads, new roads open up, we drive further and further, congestion goes up. Rinse and repeat.

That hypothetical study exists in Metro Detroit. It’s SEMCOG’s Congestion Management System Plan. It fails to mention sprawl as a possible cause for congestion (and never mentions increased bicycling as a partial solution.)

It does focus plenty on the LOS’s for motorists during peak travel time.

How many bike to work in Detroit?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

Ever wonder how many people are biking or walking to work in Metro Detroit?  How do we compare with the bike friendly cities of Chicago and Portland?

Fortunately the U.S. Census publishes statistics on how people get to work. The below numbers are from 2007, which is before gasoline hit $4 a gallon and encouraged increased bike commuting.  We look forward to seeing the 2008 numbers.

Note that the Metro Detroit error margins are generally +/- 0.1%. For cities, the error margins are much larger which makes comparing these numbers somewhat precarious.

One conclusion that can be drawn is women don’t bike to work as frequently as men, but especially in some areas such as Wayne County, Southfield, and Grand Rapids.  Even in more bike friendly cities like Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Portland, women workers are much less likely to bike to work.  There is no corresponding gender difference among those walking to work in many of these regions (the City of Detroit is an exception).  In Metro Detroit, women  walk to work more often than men (1.6% vs. 1.4%).

Another conclusion: Detroit has much room for improvement compared to places like Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Portland.

City/Region Total Workers
(age 16 & over)
Walk
to work
Bike to work
Overall Male Female
Michigan 4,400,918 2.3% 0.4% 0.5% 0.2%
Metro Detroit 1,925,690 1.5% 0.2% 0.3% 0.1%
Wayne County 758,034 1.9% 0.3% 0.5% 0.0%
Oakland County 577,367 1.6% 0.2% 0.3% 0.2%
Macomb County 383,058 0.9% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Genesee County 170,312 1.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.0%
Detroit 249,970 2.7% 0.3% 0.7% 0.0%
Southfield 33,936 2.2% 0.4% 0.7% 0.0%
Troy 42,211 0.5% 0.3% 0.2% 0.3%
Ann Arbor 55,336 13.8% 2.6% 3.4% 1.8%
Lansing 52,690 2.5% 0.4% 0.5% 0.3%
Grand Rapids 90,481 3.6% 1.1% 2.0% 0.1%
Traverse City region 66,557 2.8% 0.5% 0.7% 0.4%
Flint 31,579 0.8% 0.4% 0.6% 0.2%
Chicago, IL 1,230,933 5.4% 1.1% 1.4% 0.7%
Portland, OR 280,933 4.4% 3.9% 4.9% 2.8%

One question we have is how does the Census Bureau count workers that use bus bike racks?  Are they counted as public transit commuters, as bicyclists or both?