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Building cities from the crowd up

Great Towns | April 5, 2014 | By James Bruckbauer

Fundrise allows average people to invest in property development even if they lack the credibility and capital of a wealthy developer. For northern Michigan, it’s a tool that offers a fascinating new process for rebuilding our area’s village centers and r...

Money for Division Street Study Announced Today

Great Towns, Local Motion | December 19, 2013 | By james

Some major fixes to our local roads are on the way thanks to a state general fund surplus found earlier this year. The projects includes $500,000 for a Division Street study, $1 million to replace the aging Front Street bridge in downtown Traverse City, a...

Traffic solutions require leadership, not a bridge

Great Towns | September 9, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Traffic problems take on new urgency during Traverse City’s busy season as too much congestion hampers business growth, wastes fuel, and hurts this area’s quality of life. But local leaders need to fix our existing transportation network first before purs...

To spur job growth, towns Up North bet on trains

All Aboard, Great Towns | August 8, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Earlier this week the Traverse City Record-Eagle published a story about this region’s growing interest in freight rail and its potential to revitalize small town economies. And even though we’re just outside the Toronto to St. Louis trade area, this regi...

Voters Want Movement on Division Street

Great Towns | November 15, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

The outcome of the recent local election signaled hope for many Traverse City families that improvements are possible along a dangerous thoroughfare that cuts through town....

Marohn: Big-box investments have long-term costs

Great Towns | October 17, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

A speaker at a recent Mackinac Island convention spoke to city leaders from across the state about the long-term costs of big infrastructure investments like big-box stores. Chuck Marohn said they usually create impressive short-term financial gains for c...

Traverse City Rents Swell With Housing Demand

Great Towns | September 20, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Young people and young families want to live where they can bike downtown, walk to schools and parks, and shop at a nearby grocery store. But high rent prices are forcing them to the outlying areas where they have no choice but to drive to meet their basi...

The Vision Continues

Great Towns | September 20, 2012 | By Jim Lively

Four years ago, more than 12,000 citizens shared their vision for future growth and investment in our region. The Grand Vision was discussed in terms of decades, but there has already been tremendous community action to make some of those plans a reality....

Support grows for improved Cass Road crossing

Great Towns | August 8, 2012 | By Glenn Puit

Work is under way to remove the Boardman River dam at Cass Road, and the days of the existing one-lane crossing are numbered. Groups are voicing support for a new, wider bridge. ...

Note to Greilickville: Focus on People, Not Just Cars

Great Towns | June 22, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Efforts to make the area along M-22 north of Traverse City a coastal town center have focused on moving cars, not moving people....

Honor: A Small Town Can Survive

Great Towns | June 13, 2012 | By Glenn Puit

Milan Wall has spent much of his professional life in small towns across the United States, and he knows small towns can survive and, in many cases, even thrive in today’s cutthroat American economy. ...

Creating Jobs and a Sense of Place

Great Towns | May 29, 2012 | By Glenn Puit

A national expert in land use believes northern Michigan can greatly enhance its economy by designing walkable, urban communities that offer an experience unlike anywhere else in the world....

It’s Time for Traverse City to Grow Up

Great Towns | April 13, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Do you want to young families and entrepreneurs living in town and growing with the city? Do you want to see more asphalt along Eighth Street? Do you want safer crossings at East Front and Barlow? Traverse City officials want feedback on the future of fiv...

State’s Top Transportation Official To Grand Vision Network: Keep It Up

Great Towns | March 20, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Kirk Steudle had high praise for the Grand Vision and the regional collaboration the Vision brings when it comes to helping address Northern Michigan’s most pressing transportation challenges....

Mobility Planning Gets Better

Great Towns | January 20, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

A recent merger between TC-TALUS and another transportation planning agency, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG) Regional Planning Division, will create an opportunity for regional transportation planning that can include more comprehen...

Five Reasons to be Optimistic About Growth: A Look Ahead

Great Towns | January 5, 2012 | By James Bruckbauer

Sure, this region has a long way to go. But developers, public officials, non-profits, and volunteers are starting to work together to grow in ways that align with citizens' values....

New Parking Strategy Could Mean Dollars for Neighborhoods

Great Towns | December 15, 2011 | By James Bruckbauer

What if neighborhoods allowed anyone to park on their streets, charged a fee, then used the money to make improvements in their communities? The money could be used for sidewalk repair, installing streetlights, or making changes to roadways to encourage s...

Progress Village Advocates for Poor in Northern Michigan

Great Towns | December 12, 2011 | By Glenn Puit

Maureen Robinson learned first-hand that there is a way out of poverty after getting involved in the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative (PRI)....

Higher Standards: Why I Will Not Shop Meijer

Great Towns | March 20, 2007 | By Jim Lively

I want to like Meijer. They are a Michigan-based company. They even sell fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers. But they flat-out refuse to respect Acme Township’s right to manage growth and maintain small-town character....

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