The City of Grand Haven, with its miles of lakeshore, has been a popular tourist destination for decades. The waterfront has become known as the “Jewel of the Community” and local officials expressed a strong desire that downtown improvements strengthen the connection of the core business district to the waterfront from a philosophical, emotional, visual and physical sense.
F&V worked with the city and diverse user groups to create a downtown master plan for streets and public parking areas based on the principles of Complete Streets, which are designed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to places to work, live and play.
Improvements included traffic calming bumping out curbs creating narrower crossing zones, tree planting, raised planters, decorative concrete alleyways and crosswalks, lighting and enclosed trash enclosures with green roofs. The rear parking areas also involved the burying of overhead electrical lines and much of the project was implemented under the design/build approach.
The guide for the city was deemed a great master plan and serves as “the blueprint” for all future development, giving the downtown more of an identity, a sense of place and a bigger presence.