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Paul Blake inside City Boundary September 12, 2020, 6:50 PM

Your neighborhood is: Arcadia
What types of uses (retail, restaurant, services) must exist within your neighborhood for it to be considered complete? We don’t have a park.
Can the sidewalk be on only one side, or must it be located on both sides of the street? One side ok
If there is a trail system, but not a sidewalk, within the neighborhood, does it count toward the requirement? No
What is the maximum distance you should walk to the transit stop or bicycle lane/path? .5 miles
Do the destinations of bike lanes and transit routes matter? Should they connect to specific destinations? N/A
Is there a maximum distance from each neighborhood that is acceptable to travel for large grocery store? 1 mile? 2 miles? What about smaller markets? N/A
How is a food store defined - based on square footage, or providing items as fresh fruits and vegetables? N/A
If you could have a community garden in a nearby park, where would you put it? If you could have fruit trees in your park what type would you like? We DON’T HAVE A PARK!

Name not shown outside City Boundary August 12, 2020, 8:01 PM

Your neighborhood is: Colony Farm
What types of uses (retail, restaurant, services) must exist within your neighborhood for it to be considered complete? Public Transportation access.
Public park space.
Pedestrian friendly public spaces (ie. parks and, or bike lanes/sidewalk access)
Clean water and healthy food access. (via community vegetable garden or other public community organizations)
Proper waste management.
Do the activities in the park matter? Is your neighborhood complete if there aren’t activities? Activities certainly matter. Having events in a safe and clean public space is a great opportunity for neighborhood development. Expanding relationships with neighbors, or offering a space for public figures to interact and host community events with the district they represent is vital to city growth and success. Parks also offer children an enjoyable place to meet others their own age outside of classrooms, encouraging healthy relationship building and social skills, and promoting healthy exercise activities for physical health purposes.
Can the sidewalk be on only one side, or must it be located on both sides of the street? As long as there is proper and safe access to reach the sidewalk on the other side of the road, sidewalks on both sides of a street are not always necessary. However, in downtown areas with heavier traffic flows, it would be prudent to offer path ways for pedestrians and bikers on both sides since businesses are more prevalent. This would allow safe access in and out of shops, restaurants, bars without pedestrians walking too close to traffic.
If there is a trail system, but not a sidewalk, within the neighborhood, does it count toward the requirement? Depending on the location of the trail. If the trail is next to a heavy traffic sector, than a full, proper sidewalk should be offered so pedestrians and automobile drivers alike can easily distinguish the road from the pedestrian walkway.
What is the maximum distance you should walk to the transit stop or bicycle lane/path? 10 minutes, or a half mile. Especially at night, any distance longer than that can be dangerous, especially if proper public lighting is not in place.
Do the destinations of bike lanes and transit routes matter? Should they connect to specific destinations? Yes, they should not be paused in a remote area or in an area that does not have proper lighting. If a bike lane or transit route ends there should be immediate access to another form of transportation or in a well-lit, public space.
Is there a maximum distance from each neighborhood that is acceptable to travel for large grocery store? 1 mile? 2 miles? What about smaller markets? There should be access to fresh produce/healthy foods well within a mile walk. The size of the market does not matter, but rather the content available. Farmer's markets, salvage grocery stores, community produce gardens, and or a large grocery store should be available to all in the city limits to ensure equal access to proper nourishment.
How is a food store defined - based on square footage, or providing items as fresh fruits and vegetables? By the items provided. The type of store located in the area should be well thought out as low-income neighborhoods, until a city can thoroughly expand other resources to promote quality of life and opportunities, may not have the financial means to purchase all their groceries from a Costco for example. A large, high priced store would not benefit a neighborhood who already lives well below the poverty line. Offering community gardens (and jobs within the gardens) as well as salvage grocery stores would be more beneficial to ensure those in the neighborhood could afford the healthy produce and products offered.
Is access to a farmers’ market the equivalent of a food store? How long do farmers’ markets need to be open to be considered as such, and how frequently? Not always since sometimes buying local can be more expensive, thus making local produce less accessible to lower income families. Though buying local is very beneficial for the local economy and should be encouraged, it is not more or less valuable than other food stores necessarily.
Allowing farmer's markets to be open on a week day as well as a day during the weekend is helpful to those who don't work the usual 9-5pm. Night markets can be especially popular for this reason because it is more accommodating for differing work schedules.
If you could have a community garden in a nearby park, where would you put it? If you could have fruit trees in your park what type would you like? I would put it in an area that could expound on the existing nature or allow additions, such as fruit trees. Infrastructure should not deplete or totally destroy existing habitats, but instead coexist with it. Working around nature and with nature can assure a healthier state for the existing pollinators for example, adding educational prospects and proper examples of working with nature instead of against it.
How does indoor growing/aquaponics figure into the evaluation of neighborhood food access? Educational programs to teach the community how to apply those concepts in their own home definitely fights again food desert conditions. A hub for community learning and resource distribution could aid those who lack access to affordable healthy foods while teaching the basics of indoor gardening. There would need to be access to education as well as resources if this would succeed as some may not have the means to start a garden of their own, even if they have the knowledge to do so.

Tim Van Dyk inside City Boundary July 19, 2020, 9:34 AM

Your neighborhood is: Vine
What types of uses (retail, restaurant, services) must exist within your neighborhood for it to be considered complete? Retail restaurant
Do the activities in the park matter? Is your neighborhood complete if there aren’t activities? Nice to have that option but not necessary
Can the sidewalk be on only one side, or must it be located on both sides of the street? Both sides better especially busier roads
If there is a trail system, but not a sidewalk, within the neighborhood, does it count toward the requirement? Yes
What is the maximum distance you should walk to the transit stop or bicycle lane/path? Quarter mile
Do the destinations of bike lanes and transit routes matter? Should they connect to specific destinations? Yes should connect most areas
Is there a maximum distance from each neighborhood that is acceptable to travel for large grocery store? 1 mile? 2 miles? What about smaller markets? 3 miles for large 1 for smaller
How is a food store defined - based on square footage, or providing items as fresh fruits and vegetables? Having choice of most types of food
Is access to a farmers’ market the equivalent of a food store? How long do farmers’ markets need to be open to be considered as such, and how frequently? Yes it is and bi-weekly ideal
If you could have a community garden in a nearby park, where would you put it? If you could have fruit trees in your park what type would you like? The open space next to crosstown ponds. Apple trees
How does indoor growing/aquaponics figure into the evaluation of neighborhood food access? Not important

Sharon Oswalt inside City Boundary July 19, 2020, 9:13 AM

Your neighborhood is: Oakland/Winchell
What types of uses (retail, restaurant, services) must exist within your neighborhood for it to be considered complete? I think the retail that is necessary is already here. We have Sawalls for health foods and D&W for groceries and baked items. We have a credit union, book store and Subway and restaurants. D&W has a pharmacy, so I would say our needs are met for a small neighborhood.
Do the activities in the park matter? Is your neighborhood complete if there aren’t activities? I think park activities should be open for the neighborhood. If they want a picnic they can get together and hold one. They might need some help with a movie in the park, but I feel organizing activities like this can bring opportunity for criticism, especially today, when criticism is rampant at all times and individuals are there looking for reasons to criticize. A park should be there for families to gather and hold their own activities, and just be open. You hold a movie and someone will be there to criticize why that movie was chosen. Hold a concert and someone will be there to criticize why that group was chosen. If youths and parents want to play frisbee or chase a soccer ball, then let the park be open to all things.
Can the sidewalk be on only one side, or must it be located on both sides of the street? I am an avid walker and the sidewalks in this city suck!!!!!! It doesn't matter on what side of the street they are on, I'm not using them. The disrepair is unbelievable. I walk on the sidewalk along Oakland and I walk the sidewalk along Howard Hill. Otherwise I walk in the road, always facing traffic, because the sidewalks are terrible and always will be. You cannot make them the responsibility of homeowners in the winter to clean because no one does it. The churches and school along Winchell are the worst. As soon as good weather hits people have sprinklers turned on and there is nothing like having a sprinkler pop up as you are crossing its path and you get nailed in the spring or fall when weather is cooler and your pants are soaked. I USE THE ROADWAY, and I will continue to do so, because this city will NEVER fix these sidewalks. I.E. Sprinklers were also put in the right of way!!!!!!!!!!!
If there is a trail system, but not a sidewalk, within the neighborhood, does it count toward the requirement? I like trails and love nature walks, but because I normally walk alone, I am sticking to the roads. I want to be aware of who is ahead of me or behind me. Remember the two rapes that took place in the trail along Asylum Lake?? Trails do not have security and they are rarely in the open. Sidewalks in the city of Kalamazoo mean nothing to me one way or another. It's just another thing for this city to pawn off on residents to take care of. Trails are a great way for family and friends to get together for an outing, and we already have several trails in our neighborhood, so we are extremely fortunate.
What is the maximum distance you should walk to the transit stop or bicycle lane/path? Avid walker so I'll skip this one
Do the destinations of bike lanes and transit routes matter? Should they connect to specific destinations? I don't think they necessarily need a route, but if they have one, it would be nice if they connected like the Van-Kal trail, so you leave one county and are in another. I like the way Milham connects and a walker or bicyclist, or those on rollers of one sort or another can keep going all the way to the Portage Senior Center. It makes for an enjoyable walk.
Is there a maximum distance from each neighborhood that is acceptable to travel for large grocery store? 1 mile? 2 miles? What about smaller markets? When you are in the city, I actually feel this question is redundant. Residing in the city provides an individual with access to bus travel, taxi travel, walking or biking. If they can't get to one they can get to another, and with Covid now almost everyone delivers. It is impossible to have everything in a neighborhood, or you'll have someone asking for a mall or movie theater. Residing in the country for over 65 years, city living opens everything within reach, just by being there. It would no longer be a neighborhood if you start bringing everything to the neighborhood. It then becomes just an extension of the city.
How is a food store defined - based on square footage, or providing items as fresh fruits and vegetables? A food store means you can go there to get necessities. We have Sawalls and D&W and those are food stores.
Is access to a farmers’ market the equivalent of a food store? How long do farmers’ markets need to be open to be considered as such, and how frequently? I cannot go to a farmer's market when a snow storm is approaching during the week, because it is not open, and I have never found a farmer's market that sells Lactaid milk, and I consider milk, bread, eggs, flour and sugar, meat and fish as necessities when a storm is forecast. We have numerous farmers markets in this area that provide ample opportunities and offerings for those using them to look forward to them as a weekly adventure.
If you could have a community garden in a nearby park, where would you put it? If you could have fruit trees in your park what type would you like? This brings nothing but questions. Who is going to make certain that park is not pilfered or destroyed? I want to know in the city of Kalamazoo how anyone thinks they are going to have a community garden??? It would be nothing but a deer buffet. I have to go out every stinking night to cover my garden with frost covers to PROTECT my tomatoes and other goodies from these stinking deer. Forget one night and my tomatoes will be a foot shorter the next morning!!!!!!!! Are you going to fence the entire thing in -- top and all????????? Do you lock it at night to keep those looking to destroy something others worked to have??? Then they cut the fence. This provides nothing but problems and simply cries for illicit activity goers who want to destroy something to have fun.
How does indoor growing/aquaponics figure into the evaluation of neighborhood food access? It doesn't. You can't put this in every neighborhood. Again, who is going to secure this??? It's not like we live on Mars, YET!!!!! There are some areas starting to provide this but not in individual neighborhoods.

Name not shown inside City Boundary July 10, 2020, 7:41 AM

Your neighborhood is: Arcadia
What types of uses (retail, restaurant, services) must exist within your neighborhood for it to be considered complete? Arcadia needs fewer services in order to maintain its original concept as a planned community: tree lined streets and single family homes. Since the neighborhood abuts a major road way (W. Mich ave) with close proximity to Drake and w, Main there are already sufficient services (gas stations/convenience stores/hair salons/grocery stores/fast food etc)
Do the activities in the park matter? Is your neighborhood complete if there aren’t activities? NO ACTIVITIES! Arcadia has an abundance (actually too much, in my view, as a result of nearby over-development) of wildlife. Parks should be maintained as nature preserves for both human and wildlife enjoyment.
Can the sidewalk be on only one side, or must it be located on both sides of the street? Arcadia already has sidewalks on either side of the street.
If there is a trail system, but not a sidewalk, within the neighborhood, does it count toward the requirement? a sidewalk is not a trail system, so no.
What is the maximum distance you should walk to the transit stop or bicycle lane/path? Of course this depends on age. I would have trouble with a longer distance but younger folks might not. I'd say about 1/2 mile would work for us older folk.
Do the destinations of bike lanes and transit routes matter? Should they connect to specific destinations? I think a destination for bike lanes would result in more use of the feature, so yes. Since I see "transit routes" as meaning public transportation, aka bus, I think they already have destinations.
Is there a maximum distance from each neighborhood that is acceptable to travel for large grocery store? 1 mile? 2 miles? What about smaller markets? Smaller markets closer to actual neighborhood would be a nice feature. By smaller market I do NOT mean a convenience store. Since I have a car distance is not much of an issue but if walking I would need a shorter distance (large market); if taking a bus I do not think there is an actual way to gt there without going downtown first.
How is a food store defined - based on square footage, or providing items as fresh fruits and vegetables? FOOD STORE: Fresh meats/vegetables/produce/dairy
Is access to a farmers’ market the equivalent of a food store? How long do farmers’ markets need to be open to be considered as such, and how frequently? Yes. Idally a farmer's market would be open year 'round and in a covered spot to protect from the elements
If you could have a community garden in a nearby park, where would you put it? If you could have fruit trees in your park what type would you like? Michigan cherry/pear would be a nice addition to a park. Community garden would be wonderful but only if it was fenced in sufficiently to keep deer out! Arcadia is a deer haven! There is already too much development in the nearby areas off Stadium and Drake so a community garden in any of those parcels would be a rel boon. As for in the neighborhood itself, I would suggest putting something near the elementary school which would likely encourage students to get involved.
How does indoor growing/aquaponics figure into the evaluation of neighborhood food access? meh. I don't see it because it would require construction of a facility. there is already TOO MUCH CONTRUCTION.

Matt Lechel inside City Boundary April 16, 2020, 1:17 PM

I like everything listed on this one. One question I'm interested in is why we didn't do this stuff 10 years ago? Why do we need public input to create basic safe infrastructure for people not in cars? Why don't people driving have to fill out exhaustive surveys about minute details surrounding how to get basic access to their city?

Matt Lechel inside City Boundary April 16, 2020, 1:15 PM

Crosswalks should be beefed up through Vine, especially in business district. Narrow travel lanes to slow cars down and reduce amount of lanes. This includes south of the vine biz district where it goes from 2 car travel lanes to 4 drivers really gun it. There should be a protected bike lane network on either westnedge or park or maybe both. Sidewalk networks should be plowed year round from Vine into biz district and downtown (start w/ 1-2 roads if all of them aren't possible at first).

Matt Lechel inside City Boundary April 16, 2020, 1:10 PM

If we're going to have a protected bike lane network, we'll need a north-south connection. Having a protected bike lane on either westnedge or park makes a lot of sense, given that they have the most space. In terms of this question: 'What is needed to make sure that users of all abilities are comfortable on a cycle track?' One thing I would lift up is how much damage the Kalamazoo Police Department caused by going on the news repeatedly and saying they would be 'cracking down on illegal bike riding'. As we introduce new bike infrastructure in the community, folks will likely be wary of a punitive, threatening police force 'cracking down' on them for making a mistake.

Matt Lechel inside City Boundary April 16, 2020, 1:03 PM

Not really sure what I'm looking at here or what you'd like feedback on. Currently Stadium Drive is 100% dominated by cars. There are no sidewalks and it is very inaccessible for bike riders. There is currently a trail from WMU's campus into downtown, mostly following stadium, but set back from the road. That connection has some potential but is completely neglected and not invested in by city or WMU leadership. With even some basic attention and priority that current trail could become a functional connection to downtown. What will be different this time around? If it would take very little effort to fix the current trail from campus to downtown but no one has given it any attention, will this new investment suddenly make it a priority? Who's in charge of the current trail from campus to downtown? In my opinion what's needed is some of the folks planning these street redesigns to get on a bike with some students and families and try to ride from campus to downtown. See what its like. See how people in real life struggle to get across intersections because of no infrastructure. Put some effort into fixing the current connection. Try a few things. Practice. Get good at building infrastructure that actually works and is connected to a network. Spending a bunch of money is not going to fix the underlying issues that have made this so dysfunctional for so long.

Matt Lechel inside City Boundary April 16, 2020, 12:56 PM

At least two of the east-west streets through downtown need protected bike lane networks. I think Michigan and Kalamazoo offer the most space, but lovell or south could make sense as well. What if South Street got a protected bike lane network and the section of south street in front of city hall was completely non-motorized? Ya'll already do this on Friday's in the summer (nice work) and car traffic is just fine. Why not make it permanent? The area in front of city hall could be a place for people, instead of empty cars and the pedestrain space would extend nicely from the doors of city hall into Bronson Park, year round. Car drivers would still have Lovell, Kzoo Ave and Michigan Ave for direct east-west connections and even if they traveled on south they'd only need to re-route one block. In term of bus, I think dedicated travel lanes for bus makes sense and i support it. Seems like Kzoo Ave and Michigan Ave have them most space for that.