Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brandon Morrison and, probably, Joshua Croft, Placed Webster & Muskegon into Let's Save Michigan's Highway for Habitats Contest. VOTE!

Webster and Muskegon Avenues, Muskegon
Brandon Morrison
Our project involves the downtown city streets of Webster Ave and Muskegon Ave. in Muskegon, Michigan. These two streets bisect our downtown and currently create a huge barrier between our urban neighborhoods and our downtown business and museum district. Much of Webster Ave. also runs through our historic district. In the late 50s these streets were widened from quiet residential streets to Business US Highway 31.
They were turned into opposing four lane one way streets allowing people to cut across town quickly. In recent years we have made much progress with the opening of Shoreline Drive to reroute much of the traffic, and Muskegon and Webster have been turned back into two way streets, however, they are still extremely wide and traffic moves at a very fast pace making it very dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists wanting to access our downtown.
We have been working with city officials for a while now on our proposal to complete the "turnback" using a Complete Streets philosophy. Our plan includes narrowing of the road recreating our lost terraces which will allow us to create some street softening with trees. On street parking with bike lanes, mid-block crosswalks, and corner bumpouts would also be added.
One of the main features would be the addition of four traffic circles that would define the seperation between the commercial section of the streets and the residential, and would also discourage truck traffic through our neighborhoods. These changes would greatly increase the walkability of our downtown, showcase our beautiful Historic District, and make a great connector for cyclists with downtown and the shoreline. We were very excited to find out about your contest, and know that others feel the same way that we do about reclaiming our streets. We have much more detailed information available about our project if anyone is interested.

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