Home > Complete Streets, Cultural Movement, Design the Details, Traffic Calming > New traffic calming penguin roost needs help

New traffic calming penguin roost needs help

After the success and popularity of Traverse City’s initial  traffic calming penguin nesting  (MW), which has since gone to the rabbits (FB), another deputized penguin has been in need of a nest. The ugly, little corner at Lake Ave. & 10th Street seems to be calling out for it, no?

Mission: to create a piece of urban curiosity to help remind drivers to slow down

Looking for help: this project is a little more complicated than simply populating a traffic island. There are a few ways you can help create a space that is penguin friendly.

  1. Send us a message if you want to be part of the work crew. There is the set up, but also plants will need some watering over the summer. A penguin or two may also need some care.
  2. Send us a message if you are able to donate any gardening material, like large planters or landscape stones. The penguin is already provided, but a pair of funky sunglasses might be a nice touch.
  3. Send us a message if you are able to make a financial contribution to the penguin project. Items that aren’t donated or loaned, will be purchased as local as possible. Conveniently, Mc Gough’s is only a half block away! Soil, planters, seed…will be purchased there. You may also make a donation to MyWHaT directly and include a note on how much you’d like to go towards this and other penguin projects. And, of course, how much you’d like to contribute to the blog.

Brief history

Citizens of Old Towne and visitors to the neighborhood have voiced repeatedly that the behavior at and near Lake Ave. and 10th St. is undesirable. Of main concern is that when people drive through this intersection they take the corners at high speeds in big sweeping turns with little or no regard to people walking here (St. view). 

It is also recognized that Lake Ave. needs a redesign to reflect new uses. Oryana and the Boardman Trail make this area a very pedestrian orientated destination, but the design doesn’t represent that reality. Lake Ave. is basically an alley functioning as a busy city street; it needs to be redesigned as a complete neighborhood street. The City recognizes the disconnect, but there are no immediate plans or money in place to make this area a priority.

Knowing this, there is a strong interest by nearby residents to clean-up, beautify, and create some calming measures themselves–enter the Traffic Calming Penguin Brigade.





And, as always, feeding the penguins behind this blog is very appreciated.



  1. Greg
    March 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Just curious, do we have confirmation regarding the fate of the original penguins? Retrieved by one of the participants vs. picked up by the city and put in the landfill?

  2. GregGraetz
    March 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

    (Quick point of clarification right after the first message I wrote in just above: I will change my posting ID to a full name so as not to be confused with a different poster on this blog who goes by the same name, Greg, so as not to be confused between the 2 separate people)

  3. March 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

    The smaller tag-alongs were retrieved and kept out of the heat. The larger inflatable deputy’s whereabouts remains a mystery–some penguins are like that.

  4. RossHammersley
    March 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Maybe it’s just the heat getting to me, but a Penguin with shades in the summer time just cries out for a lounging/beach chair of some kind. That’s in keeping with the traffic *calming* vibe, no? I’ll keep an eye out and donate one if I can find a worthy throne of relaxation for our tuxedoed friend

  5. Max
    March 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

    It ate my comment because I wasn’t logged in 😦 I’m disappointed the heart graffiti was painted over around the corner there.

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