What’s Does a Better Bike (and Walk) Network Look Like?

On August 29, Team Orange came together for a beverage, solidarity, and to voice their desires for Traverse City’s bike and walk network. It’s an exercise many have done before. It can feel repetitive. One might even wonder, “is it useful?”

With the new 8th Street as a reminder, I’d wholeheartedly argue “yes!” Coming together, voicing desires, and clearly identifying problem spots in your community is not a one-off exercise. It’s more akin to a ritual that empowers the community and energizes the individual. It provides a consistent message to those with the power to change our community for the better. So, thank you to all those who represented and thank you in advance for the continued engagement to come!


Over two-dozen participants provided the following observations to five questions. They were also asked to mark up a bike facilities map provided by the City of Traverse City planning department.

Below, you can read the responses from August 29 and answer the same questions. All of the answers will be passed on to the City of Traverse City. If you’d like to mark up the map, we have it hanging in the Norte Wheelhouse. Stop by, say hi, and provide your comments!

Click to Embiggen

Although the advocacy happy hour was Traverse City-focused, I invite you to use this form to address concerns for any community in the Grand Traverse region. What’s needed for the bike network in Elk Rapids? Elsewhere? (To review People for Bikes better bike lanes, visit: 14-ways To Make Bike Lanes Better)

  • Review People for Bikes 14-ways to make bike lanes Better. Which are your favorite? Which are suitable for your the Grand Traverse region?


What’s Good About Traverse City’s Bike and Walk Network?

  • The push-button for light (RRFB = Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon) to cross at Front and Elmwood
  • Hawk signals on Grandview work well and would like to see these on 31 by the Commons.
  • Trails are great.

What’s Challenging Traverse City’s Bike and Walk Network?

  • Integrating connectivity. Bike network growth with BATA bus network development.
  • It’s illegal for bikes to pass a car on the right if there’s no bike lane.
  • A lack of political will to GSD.
  • Bike lanes on every street would be an ideal system.
  • More cowbell. 🙂
  • Front St. downtown bike lane in the door zone.
  • Getting through the Filling Station area (Depot Property) on the trail. Connect the trail to the 8th St. cycle track (protected bike lane) via a “Franklin Connector.”
  • Need a Go-To bike education website that can provide: 1) Safe routes to bike 2) Bike etiquette 3) Where to ride, and 4) tips for riding after dark.

What’s One Small Idea You Have to Improve the Bike and Walk Network?

  • Really need to make all of TC streets more bike-friendly with bike lanes or sharrows. Also, signage of every road coming into town showing that TC is a bike-friendly town…Share the Road signs.
  • Mid-block crossings on State St. and Hall St.
  • Ask the police to crack down on cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street.
  • Legalize the Idaho stop
  • Petition City to place a walk/bike advocate on the traffic committee.
  • More share the road signs and give 3’ signs to inform motorists of the law. It could also be painted on the pavement.
  • Add “yield to pedestrian signage” at the TART and 4-Mile, TART-Holiday, and TART 5- Mile crossings.

What’s One Grand Idea You Have to Improve the Bike and Walk Network?

  • Infrastructure investment for crossing Munson Ave. and Grandview Parkway safely and conveniently.
  • Protected bike lanes for two north-south and two east-west routes.
  • Bike lane/bike path on the north side of E. Front St. (US-31) from the Boardman
  • River to Garfield via Peninsula Dr. Connect the waterfront to NMC campus.
  • Create clear paths to the TART from the Civic Center – both west and south from the Civic Center.
  • A separate bike path at the Civic Center from Front/Munson – Fair St. intersection to exist on Garfield. Purpose, to avoid conflict w/pedestrians.
  • Make the road by the Blue Goat (Peninsula) bike only. No right turns for cars on Munson to be a win-win for automobile and bike traffic.
  • Focus on reaching the “interested but concerned” population of bicyclists who are outside the traditional image of “bicyclists”

Are You Ready For Better Bike Lanes?

This is a response to the graphic by People for Bikes: 14-ways To Make Bike Lanes Better

Delineator Posts & Turtle Bumps

  • Prefer bike lanes that use these.
  • Yes! These seem so easy to do
  • No, delineator posts get run over.
  • What if these posts were a different color?
  • Not a fan of simple bumps to separate.

Cast in place curbs and colored bike lanes

  • Great idea if the color is maintained.
  • More separated, protected bike lanes.

Floating Parking Protected bike lanes

  • Cheap. Love these!
  • Great idea for Front St.
  • Could work!

Bike Boulevards/Neighborhood Greenways

  • Put in diverters on the cross-town bike routes and give people on bikes priority

Use of Planters

  • Nice! Yes, love these in Boulder, CO. Adds green to the scene.
  • Yes Please!

Jersey Barriers and Contra-flow

  • Really like the two-way protected bike lanes


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