Grand Rapids' new Seward Avenue extension gets city closer to linking Kent, White Pine bike trails

This summer will be the first time that cyclers have a chance to spend the warm weather checking out a new, albeit short, bike trail extension on Grand Rapids' west side, part of a larger vision to eventually connect the Kent Trails, Oxford Trail and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trails. The approximately $3 million project wrapped up last fall.

The extension of Seward Avenue south of Fulton St. SW cuts across the former Adobe restaurant property, and eventually connects two blocks south of Fulton at Butterworth SW. The extension curves gracefully and incorporates a plethora of new amenities, including boulevard medians with trees, wide sidewalks, parking bulb-outs and bike lanes on both sides of the street.

The idea is for the city to eventually extend Seward Avenue south from Butterworth to Wealthy St. SW. Along the way, a proposed future trail link would connect with the new Oxford Trail that parallels Wealthy St. SW. Another link would connect the Oxford Trail to Kent Trails to the south and west, says Breese Stam, senior project engineer with the City of Grand Rapids.  

"We have also striped (bike lanes) from the end of this project at Fulton Street, north up along Seward to Leonard Street with bike lanes on both sides of Seward," says Stam. "But north from Leonard to Ann Street we have right of way, but no bike path yet."

Proposed future trail connectors from Ann St. NW to Riverside Park would allow cyclers to ride north through the park to connect with the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail just south of the Fifth Third Ball Park. That trail runs 92 miles north to Cadillac.

Next steps are dependent on the receipt of grant monies already applied for, says Stam, adding that private funders are in place. Stam declined to give details.

Click here to view a Grand Rapids bike trail map.

Source: Breese Stam, City of Grand Rapids Engineering Department
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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