BL I-196 Comments

Comment Received 12/9/2022

Eric, I’m writing to petition you and anyone involved to help create and find funding for a means of non-motorized crossing for the Zeeland Business Loop (Chicago Drive).  As a resident of Zeeland township who lives south of the business loop but works north of it, and often commutes via bike it is a treacherous affair to cross the road. Furthermore, we have a large number of homes/communities, including a mobile home park, which have a fair number of children, and feed to Lincoln Elementary and City Side middle school, which are easily within walking distance but are inaccessible for pedestrians and cyclists to do the way in which the business loop is constructed (and a lack of safe crossings). This is in addition to the frequent cyclists that utilize the Upper Mac Recreation Area, many of who cycle down 88th, again having to do an unregulated grade level crossing of the business loop. So I’m writing to ask you to please help come up with some means of safe passage for the residents of the area. Thank you for your time.

Comment Received 1/14/2023

Dear MACC, My family and I have lived in the Zeeland area for a few years now, and we love to bike to get around. But we feel cut off from some of our community because of the dangers of crossing Chicago Drive (Business 196). As a resident of the Zeeland area, I demand we do something to bridge the divide Chicago Drive creates in our community and come up with a means for pedestrians and cyclists to cross Chicago Drive safely. Please help us to make our community better by solving this problem and giving us a safe crossing. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter,

Comment Received 1/19/2023

I am excited to hear that crossings may be possibly happening over/under I-196. In my opinion tunnels under the highway would be ideal for bikers and families. There was an ice cream shop that just opened north of our office and I think it would be awesome for them to have some connection to Zeeland. As a business owner in the area I would be excited to see a tunnel put in under Chicago drive near our office! As a runner and biker I think the connection to the Greenway trail is very helpful as well.

Comment Received 1/24/2023

Hi Eric and Alec and the MACC community: I’m writing in regards to the separation that Chicago Drive (BUS196) has through the Zeeland Community, especially in regards to commuting via bike, walking and running.  I would love to see our community become more accessible with a safe crossing option over Chicago Drive, not only for students commuting to school but for the senior communities and families as well. Thank you for all your hard work in making this a better place to live and raise our families!

Comment Received 1/27/2023

Dear MACC, We are relatively new to Zeeland and we have loved moving into this community.  We love who we are, and who we are becoming.  However, because of the rapid growth Zeeland has experienced, one huge setback is the freedom of movement within our community without having to use a car.  As a member of Zeeland, living just on the other side of Chicago Drive, it is impossible for our family of five to ride bikes, run, or walk into town. As a citizen of the Zeeland community, I am writing to express my frustration and demand that we find a better way to come up with some means of making it safe to cross Chicago Drive (BUS196) which is accessible for all walkers, runners, and cyclists.  Please help make our community better, safer, and help solve this problem within Zeeland.

Comment Received 2/3/2023

I am a City of Zeeland Resident who frequently crosses Chicago drive at multiple points both by myself and with my children on our bicycles. It would be good for the state to put in multiple safe crossings along the portion they are studying. I do know that in the city of Zeeland non-motorized plan they had come up with multiple crossing ideas to connect the city. I think it would be prudent to reach out to Tim Maday, the Community Development Director, for information regarding their plan. Currently, there are no safe ways to cross this road with a family or single person. With a number of parks on the south side of Chicago Dr that are promoted for family access it would be nice to see safe access at 88th, Maple (there is no current crossing), 96th, 101st, 104th and paw paw. 112th and 120th as well for pedestrian access. The intersections that currently are the easiest to cross are Paw Paw and Maple Ave. All of the other intersections I avoid with my family. I would be more than happy to reach out to more people if you think it would help.

Comment Received 2/13/2023

Dear MACC, I love our community, who we are and who we are becoming but because of the growth we have experienced as a community we have lost freedom of movement within our community without having to use a car. This limits the experience, freedom, and movement of our children and families as well as dividing our community. As a citizen of the Zeeland community, I demand we find a better way and come up with some means of making it safe to cross Chicago Drive (BUS196) which is accessible for all walkers, runners, and cyclists. Please help make our community better and help solve this problem within our community.

Comment Received 2/28/2023

“My wife and I live on Gordon St., between 88th and 84th. We walk into Zeeland almost every day, crossing BL196 at 88th. This is a very fraught experience with how the bike/pedestrian path is configured and the traffic flow created by the Michigan turn at 88th. We will be attending the BL-Crossing meeting at the library, giving input and participating in the discussion. The process for crossing the business loop from south to north, at 88th, is as follows. The bike path on 88th is on the east side of the road. There is then a pedestrian crossing across 88th, heading west, to pick up a little bit of “bike path” that turns to the north, crossing the business loop. This “pedestrian crossing” (there is a pedestrian sign and cross marks” across 88th is very busy with very poor visibility, especially for eastbound traffic that is turning south on 88th. This traffic is coming fast from the right turn lane and pedestrians are hard to see at the “intersection” and drivers are not watching for them. In spite of the bike path, there is no actual path over the median. Pedestrians must walk through the current conditions. Once on the median, aiming for the bike path/sidewalk going north into Zeeland, on what is now Fairview, traffic is coming from 2 directions. There is the westbound business loop traffic, which is moving fast, and southbound traffic on Fairview – neither are looking for pedestrian traffic. The traffic on Fairview is all turning right because of the Michigan turn, going west. They are all looking east for a break in oncoming traffic and not looking south for pedestrians trying to cross going north. We have had many close calls in this exact situation – not to mention obscene gestures. The way to avoid this south-bound traffic is to walk down the grassy/muddy/snowy median to the business loop on the east side of Fairview. Now the bike path/sidewalk in on the west side of Fairview and there is no pedestrian crossing across Fairview. To get back to the sidewalk pedestrians must cross Fairview through 2 way traffic, none of which is watching for pedestrians. The return trip is just as dangerous except in reverse. We are not alone in our experience. There is a pretty good flow of pedestrian and bike traffic trying to cross. These are folks of all ages, from school children to seniors. We plan to participate in the discussion at the Wednesday evening meeting.”

Comment Received 2/28/2023

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this subject. My feeling is you need two crossings. One near 104th Ave and one near Maple St. Both need to be either above or below the road. Putting just one crossing in will only serve part of the population. You have neighborhoods at each end that need easy access from the south side to town. A pedestrian/bicycle surface crossing with a button activated light at 88th St would also be good. Something that should be looked at is a safe way for bicycles to get from Zeeland to the Upper Macatawa park. Currently there is not a safe way to get there for cyclists who are not confident in traffic