Mayor for One Day: Traverse City, MI

Inspired by Brent Toderain’s Mayor For One Day Challenge, here are my top 10 things I’d do here in Traverse City, Michigan if I were mayor for a day.

A fella can dream, right?

1. Soften exclusionary zoning, remove parking minimums (add maximums), and upzone more on BATA routes.

2. Build the west side parking deck and develop as many downtown surface lots as possible into affordable housing. This new housing should be a mix of 0–120% of the county’s average median income (~ $46,000/year). And repeal Prop 3.

3. 25mph limit on Division, Garfield, Parkway, and return Front, State, 7th St., and 8th St. to two-way. Make all BATA routes free.

4. Plant 1000 trees.

5. Fix the stormwater system.

6. Give an electric bike to everyone over 15 years or older who wants one. And every 1st grader automatically gets a library card.

7. Sidewalks on every street, a network of protected bike lanes that connect to everyday places — like East Front Street — and turn Washington Street into an east-west bike boulevard.

8. Plant 1000 more trees.

9. Build FishPass and restore the lower Boardman river to its natural self.

10. Rebuild the bayside Senior Center into a multigenerational community center because age-integrated communities are better communities. Make the Civic Center skatepark bigger & awesome’er, provide curbside compost pickup, ban gas-powered leaf blowers, and pilot a green burial option at the Oak Wood cemetery.

Now let’s see yours. Share your top 10 using #MayorForOneDay.



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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.