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The Laker Line Study Takes Public Engagement Online

The future of Route 50 is in your hands. Fortunately, sharing your ideas for the next generation of this connector route is as easy as logging online thanks to the innovative new software MindMixer. The Laker Line Study, which is currently underway to determine the viability of enhanced rapid transit options along the existing Route 50, has seen public engagement more than double since the last phase of the project due in part to this innovative online app used to gather feedback.

Staying engaged with important conversations isn’t always easy when you’re busy. This is why the study team is engaging the public via MindMixer, which lets planners engage in a conversation with the public to gather targeted feedback.Route 50 Connector

“Going into the project, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible in how we plan and make decisions for the future, and I think we are on track to do that,” said Nick Monoyios, Long Range Planner for The Rapid. “People’s feedback is key to the project. We have used every tool in the arsenal to engage the public because, ultimately, it is their system. We need their feedback to determine what may – or, may not – work in the implementation of enhanced rapid transit service.”

The MindMixer site has gathered around 200 new ideas from participants and nearly 350 comments. More than 2,300 unique visitors have viewed the site since it was launched last November, viewing around 8,900 pages of questions and feedback on the site. A full report of public engagement is available in this report.

“MindMixer has allowed us to engage the public in a way that hasn’t been possible in the past,” said Lynée Wells, Urban Planner and Principal at Williams & Works. “People are able to pin future station locations they’d like to see on an interactive map, share photos, have virtual conversations, and vote on other people’s ideas to elevate them in prominence.”

In addition to MindMixer, the study has held two series of interactive community meetings at locations along the existing Route 50 corridor. A third phase of public meetings is planned for later this summer, at which the public is welcome to examine displays exhibiting the study’s current findings and give feedback on route alignments, station locations, lane configurations, and other details under consideration. Timing and details of the meetings are coming soon.10291735_476943119074469_6550537105618926421_n

If you haven’t had a chance to try out MindMixer, it’s not too late. This online forum will be available throughout the study.  Help steer the future of Route 50 by simply logging on, checking out the current conversation topics, providing feedback, and with the planning team, riders, stakeholders in the corridor, and others interested in the Laker Line analysis.

Have you suggested a way to improve transit between Grand Rapids and Allendale? 

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.