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City officials endeavor to create a more bicycle friendly city

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The City of Grand Rapids is hoping to become a more bicycle friendly city, as public officials continue to roll out their proposed Bicycle Action Plan with a public hearing set for August.

Kristen Bennett is Grand Rapids’  transportation planning and programs supervisor. She says, city officials are hoping to learn more about how bicyclists navigate the city and what they can do to make riding safer.

“We’re looking at beyond what people are doing with commuting, so do people feel comfortable or confident that they could utilize a bicycle for all types of trips, whether it’s running an errand, going to school, also can you enjoy it recreationally as well?”

The city’s bicycle action plan includes installing bike lanes downtown, providing bike safety classes in Spanish, and proposing a bike sharing program in the near future.

Joshua Duggan is a board member of the greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, he says that he is grateful for the proposal and what it will do for the city.

“It’s gonna help get people out of their cars, off the roads, so they’re not competing with other vehicle users.

Eliminating those barriers is going to help Grand Rapids become a better city,” Duggan says, “its gonna help get people out of their cars, off the roads, so they are not competing with other motor vehicle users, but if we can increase the number of options that we have it’s going to make our city better.”

Meanwhile, Bennett says, the next step is to hear from riders themselves.

“We want people to be able to review and react to the plan,” Bennett says, “and the other major component is do they feel that we heard what they were seeking, are we missing anything from what their need is?”

The public hearing is set for August 14th.

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