Dreams can come true!

A better-connected community starts with dreams. What do we wish to see? Experience? Create? Turning those dreams into reality comes down to grit — engaging and representing. How much are we willing to work for our goals?

Norte is working every day to help northern Michigan realize dreams of an active-for-life community that encourages healthy movement by design. For example:

We’ve met with neighbors at city halls, in parks, and along busy roadways. Currently, we’re at the table for two major street projects in Traverse City: East Front Street Reimagined and the Reconstruction of Grandview Parkway. These projects are once-in-a-generation opportunities for improved access, safety, and placemaking.

After a considerable public engagement process, East Front Street plans shifted from a proposed 2022 construction to a later date. This pause will allow time to secure funding and improve the plan for all users.

The parkway project is imminent. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to reconstruct Grandview Parkway from Division Street to Garfield Avenue in 2023. MDOT will present details to City Commissioners on Monday, December 13, at 7 pm. You can review limited information on the project website. Look for more information in the City agenda when it comes out on Friday.

To MDOT’s and the City’s credit, they’re engaging with each other. They also continue to meet with stakeholders on ways to reflect the values of the community better. As a result, there have been positive changes to crosswalks, adjacent paths and trails, and traffic calming in the way of narrower lanes. And the new proposed crosswalk at Grandview and Front Street is long overdue.

Monday night’s presentation to the City Commission is the next best chance to influence those details. So we encourage everyone to take part in the meeting and weigh in on what you’d like to see.

Some items to consider:

  • Enhanced crosswalks on both sides of intersections
  • Protective bollards along sidewalks next to traffic
  • Actual plans in place for spots where people and automobiles share space

And support your local representatives on the commission. Elected officials can elevate your voice and represent your interests. If it comes to it, they can ask for a delay of the project until it’s something we can all be proud of. Email them support before and after the meeting:


At the top of this email is an image of a crosswalk in British Columbia. It’s a model of how a city can prioritize people on foot, bikes, and other human-powered devices. It’s inviting. Too often, our hopes remain a dream, but we can have these designs in northern Michigan when we engage and represent.

Norte can help you realize your dreams for your community. What’s on your mind for 2022? How can we help? Reach out, let’s take a lap at the Civic Center, and make a plan. Email our Advcoacy Director, Gary, at and learn more at Norte Advocacy.

And, consider an investment in Norte’s advocacy efforts with a one-time gift or as a sustaining donor. Norte is putting in the work for northern Michigan communities, and we can’t do it without you.




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