Beechtree St. work ahead

It will be a summer of construction again in Grand Haven, as work will soon commence on a project to update South Beechtree Street.
Alex Doty
May 2, 2013

 

“The Beechtree project has been on our minds at the Department of Public Works for a very long time because we put in for funding for it 3-4 years ago,” Grand Haven Project Manager Julie Beaton said.

The city received a $500,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to offset costs associated with reconstruction of South Beechtree from Waverly Avenue south to Robbins Road. The city is responsible for the balance, estimated at $191,200.

“The $500,000 road reconstruction and sidewalk work are all the exciting parts,” Beaton said. “Anything with the roads and streets is grant eligible.”

Work outside of the scope of the grant involves installing new water, sewer and storm drain lines beneath the roadway. The city is responsible for 100 percent of the ineligible expenses related to utilities, which are currently estimated to total $800,000.

Related to the project will be the installation of a new sidewalk along Beechtree. This part of the project drew concern from some City Council members, who thought that the property owners there should be funding the sidewalk installation.

“If you build a brand new building, they put new sidewalk in at their expense," Councilman Dennis Scott said. "We’re giving them a sidewalk. I’ve never seen anyone get a free sidewalk and I’m not in favor of changing that.”

The project is scheduled to begin June 5.

The city will host a public open house later this month to discuss the planned project.

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

Comments

SignalMaintainer

I hope they put in bike lanes as well. I have been nearly hit several times by inattentive drivers along Beechtree. It is simply a matter of painting the lines as I believe the street is wide enough.

ride2tires

Reference: picture on right.
Maybe folks could ride their bike on the bike path???

SignalMaintainer

It is actually quite dangerous to ride on those. Paths like the North Bank Trail are fine as they only cross roads occasionally. The path along Beechtree crosses MANY driveways; think of it as having a stop or yield sign every 50' in the road. Cars ALWAYS pull out onto the path without checking for cyclists first. A cyclist is actually MUCH more likely to be run over by a car on one of these 'bike paths' than riding in the road.

Then you have all the obstructions on the path such as cars parked on them, pedestrians, dogs on long/no leashes, other cyclists, and debris.

They may be ok for someone just putzing along at 3mph but for those of us who commute by bike and regularly ride at speeds upwards of 15-20mph, they are incredibly dangerous death traps. There are many studies that show this.

Bike lanes are the solution as motorists have a clear line of sight of the cyclist, the cyclist does not need to worry about a car suddenly blasting out of a driveway (many with poor lines of sight) every fifty feet and running them over, and the cyclist does not need to constantly be dodging obstructions and dogs/kids.

SignalMaintainer

To elaborate... Most drivers think they prefer cyclists on the sidewalk/Multi-use path but cycling on the sidewalk is more dangerous than most people believe. Sidewalks are designed for pedestrians that travel at extremely slow speeds. As a result it is extremely dangerous for cyclists who often travel between 8 and 20 miles per hour. You may not have time to maneuver around the pedestrian that suddenly pops into a blind spot.

Accidents with motor vehicles increase massively on the sidewalk as well. Moreover, not all crossing areas have ramps, causing cyclists to make extreme changes in speed and dawdle in the roadway. Furthermore, the switch from sidewalks to crosswalks when crossing intersections is an accident waiting to happen as drivers aren’t given enough time to react and often have blind spots. Even more dangerous is the biker’s tendency to ride against traffic while on sidewalks. On a sidewalk (Such as the lakeshore trail, or the trail on Beechtree where the path is on only one side of the road), this can be deadly. A motorist waiting at a stop sign to make a right turn looks to her left for traffic. When there is none, she will proceed to turn right—directly into the path of a bicyclist approaching from the right. Bicycling against traffic (even legally on these paths that are on only one side of the road) increases accident risk by 360%. Bicycling on the sidewalk increases accident risk by 180%, and bicycling the wrong way on the sidewalk increases accident risk by 430% (Wachtel and Lewiston 1994). Between one half to two thirds of all bicycle-car crashes occur when the cyclist is riding on a sidewalk (Hunter et al. 1996; Plotkin and Kormornick 1984).

ride2tires

Alright then.... obviously you feel strongly about this and have chosen the facts to mandate your argument. Though, referencing your first comment before ALL of that, you will never make "more attentive drivers" due to a peddly bike lane. All that verbage you made me read will never make E=mc2 a disputable fact.

 

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