Petitioners seek to alter bike path route

Janice Sluka came armed to Monday's Township Board meeting with a 47-signature petition requesting a bike path on 168th Avenue.
Marie Havenga
Jul 11, 2012

But that doesn't mean the township will strike up the kickstand and spring to action.

Plans are already in place to construct a $50,000 bike path crossing over the Jerusalem Bayou Bridge on West Spring Lake Road. That figure is significantly less than the original $300,000 estimate for the 8-foot-wide path.

Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said the bridge crossing — which would connect to bike paths on either side of the bayou — could be completed late this year or early next year when the Ottawa County Road Commission plans to redeck the bridge.

Sluka, who has lived a stone's throw from the Jerusalem Bayou Bridge for 43 years, said she's never seen an accident on the bridge. She said 168th Avenue is a much more dangerous stretch.

“I thought there had to be a better way,” said Sluka, 16218 Highland Drive. “The alternative is to put the bike path over on 168th Avenue. That would be giving people a safe way to travel and close the (bike path) gap.”

Sluka said her idea of a 1.5-mile path from the north end of West Spring Lake Road to Taft Avenue received overwhelming support from neighbors. She said she contacted an engineer who estimated bike path construction at $190,000 per mile.

“I really was surprised at the response,” Sluka said. “My first contention was we should be doing this because it's cheaper. A couple of those people told me they have made requests for some help because of the danger there is for the traffic on 168th. They don't even like crossing the street to go to their mailboxes.

"There was not one door I rapped on that didn't say yes (to signing the petition),” she added.

Sluka said she envisions her proposed path someday stretching south to Smith's Bridge.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.





Why waste our tax dollars on something most bikecyclist won't use anyway? How many millions was spent on the path going down Lakeshore dr but the majority of the bikers still ride in the road 2 and 3 abreast. I would rather spend our taxes on forcing the riders to use the pathes that are already in place or get ticketed for holding up traffic.


This is a perfect example of why there are some that don't use the "bike paths". I won't belabor the point that they are not really "bike paths"!
The design is inadequate! Why build something but leave unsafe gaps?
If the desiagn was adequate more people would use them.
They are sidewalks.
Where these bikes paths have been built used to be very rural with few residential homes.
Now, subdivisions have been built that have turned most of western Ottawa County into one big subdivision. Unless you are in a car, how do you get anywhere? "youdontwantmyinput" certainly doesn't wnat you riding a bike, "holding up traffic"!
I am not aware of other areas, but Grand Haven Township, gives absolutely no rights to those on bikes, on the "bilke paths". You must yeild right of way to all other users, including those crossing over on drive ways. Look at the ordinance on-lin, not one mention of the words "bike path", only multiple use trail.
We need sidewalks in these heavily built up areas. That is what was built and sold as "bike paths".
That is where the anger should be directed, not at those just trying to get down the road.

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