Heads Up: TC’s Corridor Study

A couple of weeks ago, Traverse City kicked off a public phase of what has been dubbed the corridor study. The project objective is to come away with revitalization plans for 5 of the City’s most infamous streets. Garfield Ave., Eighth St., Fourteenth St., E. Front and W. Front are included in the study being conducted by Houseal Lavigne Associates, a firm that specializes in “Community Planning, Urban Design, and Economic Development.

Yes, we’ve seen these processes before and many have not come to fruition. For example, the City invested tens-of-thousands of dollars and countless citizen volunteer hours into a model for easing the negatives on Division St. (CS:CC) and Grandview Parkway (MW) in 2010 and 2011. Both those plans are sitting on a shelf somewhere and the mere mention of the “R” word makes the commissioners and staff quiver in their saddles (click here for an overview of the R word).

Yet, this corridor project, funded by a federal livability grant, has potential and is a worthy cause. An 8th St. revitalization would be a game-changer and Garfield Ave. is, relatively speaking, an easy one. Despite my nature, I remain optimistic.

The first meeting held on January 11 had a healthy, mostly positive showing of citizens who understand the issue is greater than moving traffic. Most of the comments expressed were about redesigning the corridors into better places, and in turn, places that better serve the needs of residents and visitors alike. It is early in the process, so we might as well dream big.

Public input is a major part of the process and you can do so online by making your asset map.

Have you made your planner map yet?  What do you trust will happen?

Click through to start your own map



Contributions greatly appreciated.



  1. Greg
    January 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    More of our Tax dollars being wasted. Repave the streets and quit wasting our tax dollars. A few people will come up with over the top ideas then need more tax dollars to pay for it. Where does all this grant money come from?

  2. January 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Houseal Lavigne is a fine firm and they do good work. That being said, why is a study necessary at all? Pay them $100 to issue a formal recommendation for a form-based code. It’s what they’ll do in the end (it’s what all decent urban planning firms are delivering in the end). They just have to be paid to “study” TC because they’re from Chicago… given how closed-door the process of commissioning HL seemed to be (or did I just miss an RFP), why not just go full bore with that closed door and skip to the part where you simply change the zoning.

    In a less cynical spirit, I do hope this means form-based coding is in TC’s near future. http://www.formbasedcodes.org/

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