Eastern Ave (Ardmore to Oakdale)
The City of Grand Rapids received Surface Transportation Program-Urban (STPU) funding for several road MDOT 3R projects including the rotomill and resurfacing of Eastern Avenue. The goal of the project was improve pavement conditions and implement a vital street design to upgrade ADA ramps and add bike lanes.
Since curbs remain in their current locations in rotomill and overlay project, adding bike lanes and green
infrastructure is often difficult. With Eastern being a Bicycle Commuter route, adding bike lanes warranted the removal of parking on one side of the road.
SD completed a parking study to determine parking utilization. Eastern had an average parking utilization of 10% and a maximum of 15%. This indicated that parking was under-utilized and bike lanes could be added to improve the community’s mobilization and accommodate the city’s eco-friendly lifestyle. The City elected to remove the east side parking. Upon the city’s request, accessibility improvements were made.
Sidewalk ramps including the railroad crossings were upgraded to ADA standards. A midblock crossing and bus bulbs were added to improve safety and accessibility. Community engagement was a crucial component in the development of this project. SD participated in multiple design team meetings, provided an exceptional marketing exhibit and made sure that the project aligned with the city’s standards and overall infrastructure goals.
Various green infrastructure elements were considered. Infiltration basins, rain gardens, bio-swales were
considered. Since curbs are remaining, implementation of these elements was financially prohibitive without full street reconstruction. However, additional trees have been included in the plans to work toward achieving the City wide Tree Canopy goal of 40%. Spalding DeDecker facilitated in the city’s goal to improve pedestrian access and support non-motorized travel safety.