Starting tomorrow Fulton Street at Mt. Vernon will be closed for about five months as the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University partner to study the effects of closing roadway. Officials say it’s a low cost study to help inform future campus planning and transportation decisions.
“With classes ending, it lined up quite well for us to begin this experiment this weekend. The closures will start happening tomorrow and this will be a full closure from Mt. Vernon to the south.”
Christopher Zull is the Traffic Safety Manager for the City of Grand Rapids. He says Grand Valley State University and the City are partnering in a study that looks at the effects and possible benefits of closing the south side of Mt. Vernon at Fulton.
“So we’re looking at mobility options for multiple modes all throughout this area and understanding campus planning and maybe that road doesn’t need to exist.”
Some of the potential benefits could include opportunities to improve the pedestrian and bicycling experience in that area.
“With the Silver Line pending, there’s going to be a lot more pedestrian activity, crossing the street there at Fulton and Mt. Vernon, so we’re looking at benefits to both the campus planning an operations on Fulton.”
Zull says the fact they’re using barricades and not permanent construction which allows them to make informed decisions for the area and when the study is finished in May, they should have a good idea of what to do next.
“Was the closure successful, did people re-route and found access opportunities were good and served their needs, or was there a concern? Did we find that we didn’t have, at certain times, we had capacity constraints or other issues that need to be dealt with.”
Zull says they are looking for input from residents. They’re working on a survey. You can call the Traffic safety department at 456-3066 to provide feedback.