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Design meeting planned for proposed street race

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Steen, a Wyoming resident, is planning a community design meeting for his proposed event. It will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Mackinaw Room of the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It’s the starting point as far as getting the community together and giving them the opportunity to give input on the downtown street circuit,” he said.

During the meeting, the community will be able to hear from Steen about his plans, and also sit down and work in small groups to come up with different route ideas for the proposed race. It will be open to the public.

In addition to a route, issues such as parking, pedestrian access, runoff areas and other design issues surrounding a street race course will be discussed.

“It’s also an open public forum where, if people have questions, I can try to answer them the best that I can,” he said.

Steen said he hoped to have two more design meetings within the next six weeks.

The meeting comes on the heels of Grand Haven City Council giving Steen the go-ahead to begin his study, which would last five months and be wrapped up by July 6. The study is to look into items such as economic impacts, safety and impacts on the local infrastructure to see if a race in 2013 or 2014 would be possible.

During a presentation to City Council earlier this year, Steen said that the event could have an economic benefit to the community similar to the Grand Rapids Grand Prix held in the late 1990s. That two-year event attracted an audience of about 150,000 spectators and $1 million in sponsorships, and had a local economic impact of $20 million each year, Steen said.

The Grand Rapids event was discontinued when organizers were unable to secure major sponsors for a third year.

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