A Better Traverse City Parkway: An Opportunity

Ty Schmidt
2 min readMar 28, 2022

This is the fourth story of the “Better Traverse City Parkway” series. Read #1 (Imagination, Attention and Action Required), #2 (What Now?), and #3 (What’s Important to You?).

Last week, the Traverse City City Commission shared that the 1947 agreement between Traverse City and the Michigan Department of Transportation is still legal.

Traverse City now has an equal seat at the table for this important redesign of the Parkway.

So what now?

An Opportunity

Parkway: south of Murchie Bridge

This is about priorities and values.

Should we prioritize the quality of life of those who live in Traverse City over cars passing through?

Do we value the health and wellbeing of Traverse City residents or moving cars as fast as possible east to west?

And who gets to say what’s next for our community?

Citizen Survey Results

Here’s what 147 citizens said (57% of which were Traverse City residents) who took this survey.


  • 83% value quiet at our bayfront parks
  • 84% values traffic calming — a design for 25–30mph
  • 84% believe it’s important to add more pedestrian crossings
  • 90% believe large trees along the Parkway are important
  • 89% would you support a delay in design and construction for further community input

You can see all of the survey results HERE.

Access, Climate, and Connection

Traverse City recently adopted several 2022 Strategic Priorities, including:

ACCESS AND MOBILITY: The City sees a need to continue to improve access and mobility for all users.

CLIMATE: To view all of our goals and actions through the lens of climate impacts.

CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH EACH OTHER AND NATURE: Provide safe and accessible public spaces where people may recreate, socialize, or enjoy being alone in nature.

The strategic priorities are excellent and forward-thinking. Unfortunately, the current wider/faster MDOT design✎ EditSign contradicts them.

I’m with my friend, neighbor, and mentor Bob Otwell, who wrote:

Let’s work together, find out what our citizens want from this important street in our city, and get some outside help with design alternatives. It is a $19 million project, using public money, let’s get it right. Our grandchildren will thank us in the future.

Citizens For A Better Parkway

To date, 140+ people have joined Citizens For A Better Parkway.

You can get involved HERE.



Ty Schmidt

Manitoba made now proud Michigander living in Traverse City. Dad, husband, community organizer and founder of Carter's Compost, Norte, and Good Works Lab.