In December 2016, the City Commission adopted the Nelson\Nygaard-led Grand Rapids Vital Streets Plan. The plan defines best practices and design goals in building a network of accessible, inviting and safe streets and rights-of-way that serve all people in Grand Rapids while protecting the quality of surrounding waterways and contributing to the livability and vitality of the community.
Rather than making separate plans for bicycles, transit, and vehicles, Grand Rapids’ new plan combines them all together and recognizes that different street types in varied settings serve different functions. The Vital Streets plan considers how the land – whether houses or hospitals – around the roadway is used, and designs the streets accordingly, putting Grand Rapids at the national forefront for street design.
“This is one of the best plans out there today,” said Karina Ricks. “City staff have really pushed the boundaries of the plan to innovate further than others have.”
According to Michigan Live, “The new plan came from a year-long engagement process with neighborhoods, business owners, schools, disability advocates, freight haulers and cycling coalitions along with the experts, Nelson\Nygaard. The plan will guide the city’s $22 million planned investment in city streets throughout the next 15 years after voters approved an extension of the city’s income tax.”