Bicyclists get more GR parking; bike park build starts in July

Grand Rapids

Conceptual renderings provided by A.G.A. Nation show the downtown Grand Rapids bike and skate park slated for 555 Monroe Ave. NW.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bicyclists in downtown Grand Rapids will soon have more amenities to enjoy.

The Downtown Development Authority last week approved plans to use leftover money in this fiscal budget to add paint markings to the Monroe Avenue and Leonard Street area to make traveling the roadway more intuitive for bicyclists. The paint work will take place this month, wrapping up by June 30.

The money will also go toward buying 100 racks for the downtown area that will provide about 125 parking spaces for bicycles.

The new racks are in addition to the bike racks the DDA approved purchasing last month. Miller said the second batch will be stored and installed over the next year by a designated city employee.

Work is also expected to start next month on the city’s first downtown skate and bike park, located on a portion of the lot used for Movies on Monroe.

A conceptual rendering provided by A.G.A. Nation shows the downtown Grand Rapids bike and skate park slated for 555 Monroe Ave. NW.

The city commission on Tuesday signed off on the $300,000 agreement with A.G.A. Nation to design and install the bike park, which will take up roughly a quarter of the three-acre site at 555 Monroe Ave. NW. The DDA had OK’d additional funding for the project last week.

The plans call for ramps, rails, platforms, quarter pipes and other features that will last at least three years.

A conceptual rendering provided by A.G.A. Nation shows the downtown Grand Rapids bike and skate park slated for 555 Monroe Ave. NW.

As part of the agreement, A.G.A. Nation must maintain and inspect the equipment twice a year.

Kim Van Driel with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. told the DDA last week that with construction delays caused by COVID-19, work will start in July and wrap up in September.

DGRI initially planned to hold a multi-sport competition as part of the grand opening, but the pandemic changed plans. City officials now intend to hold a smaller ribbon cutting ceremony and push back the larger celebration likely until next spring “for everyone’s safety and to follow guidelines,” according to Van Driel.

The park will be free and open to skateboarders, BMX riders, scooters and skaters. While programs at the park would be year-round weather-permitting, normal park operation hours would apply.

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