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Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

Opinion: Courtesy uncommon behind the wheel

Opinion: Courtesy uncommon behind the wheel

I don’t consider myself an old fuddy duddy at all but I am fast becoming someone who thinks a lot of us have lost any and all regard for etiquette and courtesy.

As an example, I get a little perturbed when sitting at a traffic light at Alpine and Three Mile Road NW, maybe three to four cars back, the light turns green but no one is moving and there is nothing visible in the way of traffic. Just as the light turns yellow, the lead vehicle suddenly turns right and leaves all the remaining vehicles sitting there, not able to cross Alpine. How many guesses would it take for a person to realize the lead vehicle was either on the phone or texting, completely unaware of the traffic light or anyone around them. So inconsiderate.

My Town: Voters to decide street and sidewalk tax extension May 6

My Town: Voters to decide street and sidewalk tax extension May 6

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)—Voters in Grand Rapids will head to the polls Tuesday, May 6 to decide whether to continue an income tax ordinance to pay for street and sidewalk repairs.

The proposal includes renewing the Grand Rapids’  Uniform City Income Tax Ordinance,  which is 1.5 percent for business and property owners within the city and  0.75 percent for people who work in the city.  The extension would take effect July 1, 2015 and extend until June 30, 2030.  Tax revenue generated would go toward street, sidewalk and right-of-way repair.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find the polling location in your area, visit the Kent County website here.

My Town GR North: Expect driving detours during Monroe Avenue construction

My Town GR North: Expect driving detours during Monroe Avenue construction

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Potholes plaguing a section of Monroe Avenue will soon disappear.

Construction on Monroe from Ann to North Park streets is expected to begin this week.  Crews with Kamminga and Roodvoets, Inc. will remove and resurface portions of the roadway, as well as install four roundabouts at Knapp Street, Guild Street, 3 Mile Road and North Park Street. Workers will also create a new bike path on the west side of Monroe,  install a new sidewalk from Boltwood Drive to 3 Mile Road, add handicap accessible ramps, and upgrade storm sewers and street lighting.

The $3.3 million project will be broken up into three phases, which should all be finished by mid-September. During Phase I, drivers will need to take a detour onto Ann Street, taking Plainfield to 3 Mile.  Phase II and Phase II project will include driving detours onto Coit Avenue and West River Drive.

My Town: Grand Rapids among 2014 America's Most Affordable Cities

My Town: Grand Rapids among 2014 America's Most Affordable Cities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids is adding another honor to its list of titles.

The city has made it onto Forbes Magazine’s list of America’s Most Affordable Cities for 2014.  Grand Rapids ranked seventh on the list, based on population (774,160 people), the Housing Opportunity Index ( 85.1) , which measures housing affordability, and a cost-of-living index (97.6), which factors in food, utilities, gas, transportation, medical expenses and other daily costs. Cities with an index number below 100 are below the national cost-of-living average.

Buffalo, NY took the top spot.  Warren, MI ranked 10, and Detroit tied with Toledo, OH for 11th place.

My Town: Public invited to discuss future of Kent County highways

My Town: Public invited to discuss future of Kent County highways

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week to detail the work needed on U.S. 131 and I-96 in Kent County over the next 20 years.

MDOT says community members will play an important role in the project decisions, from concept to completion.  People are encouraged to bring concerns and ideas to the open house-format meeting on Thursday, March 6, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The meeting will take place at the Rockford Construction Community Center, located at 601 First St. NW in Grand Rapids.

MDOT is currently studying preservation and improvement options for U.S. 131 between 100th Street and M-57 and I-96 between Fruit Ridge Avenue and Leonard Street.

For those who cannot make Thursday’s meeting, MDOT will hold a second forum Wednesday, March 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Walker Fire station at 1470 3 Mile Road NW.  

My Town GR: Side street plowing rescheduled amid new snow

My Town GR: Side street plowing rescheduled amid new snow

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids is postponing clearing snow from the city’s side streets as crews focus on removing a fresh blanket of snow from major roadways.

The city says snow clearing in the area of I-196 to Fulton and Lafayette to Fuller will now take place Monday, March 3.  The work was previously scheduled for Feb. 27.

Side street clearing in the area of Knapp to Leonard and Plainfield to Fuller is being rescheduled for Tuesday, March 3.  The work was supposed to take place Feb. 28 before the latest round of snow hit.