Bicycle Action Plan

Image of Spoke Folks mobile bike repair station with an employee helping out a mom and son

Bicycle Action Plan

City Commission approved Grand Rapids’ first comprehensive Bicycle Action Plan on July 23, 2019. The plan includes recommendations for:

  • Policies and programs to support bicycling year-round
  • Connected, high-quality bicycling facilities

Why We Need a Bicycle Action Plan

Recommendations for a Bicycle Action Plan appear in many City strategic plans.

  • Green Grand Rapids Plan
  • Vital Streets Plan
  • GR Forward Plan
  • Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan

Plan Components

The ideas and recommendations are not compiled into one plan with clear action steps. The City Commission asked staff to complete a more comprehensive plan, including:

  • recommendations for where bicycling facilities should be built and improved
  • programs, policies and other bicycle-specific recommendations

What’s in the Bicycle Action Plan

The Bicycle Action Plan has information on the City’s current bicycling conditions, programs, policies and culture. It also includes a vision for bicycling in Grand Rapids in the near future.

Vision for Bicycling in Grand Rapids

Riding a bicycle for transportation and recreation in Grand Rapids should be:

  • Safe – real and perceived
  • Comfortable – attractive, realistic for many
  • Integral to daily life – not a niche activity
  • For all ages, abilities, socio-economic levels and genders 

Plan Goals

  • Connectivity – make significant progress on the development of a bicycle facilities network
  • Safety – improve safety for all modes of transportation
  • Comfort – increase the comfort level for people when they’re bicycling
  • Equity – provide access to bicycling for all members of the community
  • Ridership – increase the number of people bicycling for all purposes
  • Community – foster a strong bicycle community and a culture of respect and responsibility for all people traveling in Grand Rapids
  • Health – increase access to bicycling for a healthy community


  • Projects/Programs Coordination
  • Planning/Performance Measures/Reporting
  • Bicycle Facility Design
  • Proposed Bicycling Facilities / Network
  • Bicycle Safety / Enforcement
  • Bike Parking, End of Trip Facilities
  • Bike Share
  • Information Resources
  • Bicycle-Related Programs and Activities
  • Maintenance and Operations

Vital Streets Recommendations

The Bicycle Action Plan also recommended changes to “mode emphasis” of some streets in the Vital Streets Plan. City Commission approved these changes when it approved the Bicycle Action.

Community Plans and Public Input

The Bicycle Action Plan is built on public input residents provided via surveys, focus groups and at many community events. The Plan is also built on the input from 15 years of community engagement for these community plans:


Fall 2017 – winter 2018

Community engagement activities including surveying, focus groups and input gathered at dozens of community events.

spring 2018

Staff developed a draft Bicycle Action Plan based on past community plans, a current conditions assessment, input from community engagement activities and national best practices.

June 30, 2018 through September 9, 2018

Draft Bicycle Action Plan document open for public review and comment

July 10, 2018

City Commission action to set Public Hearing to receive comments on the draft Bicycle Action Plan

July 12, 2018

Mobile GR Commission and City Planning Commission briefings (no action)

July 23, 2018

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. Goal 3 (Mobility) Alliance briefing (no action)

August 14, 2018

City Commission public hearing to receive comments on the draft Bicycle Action Plan

August 20, 2018

Initial briefing of the Vital Streets Oversight Commission (no action)

September 6, 2018

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Grand Region Non-motorized Committee briefing (no action)

September 17, 2018

Vital Streets Oversight Commission review/discussion of proposed changes to Vital Streets Plan corridor mode emphases (no action)

October 15, 2018

Vital Streets Oversight Commission review/discussion of proposed changes to Vital Streets Plan corridor mode emphases (no action)

November 19, 2018

Vital Streets Oversight Commission recommended approval of proposed changes to Vital Streets Plan corridor mode emphases in the draft Bicycle Action Plan

November 2018 - February 2019

Staff reviewing public and stakeholder input and incorporating changes to the draft Bicycle Action Plan in response to public input

City Commission Committee of the Whole briefing on revised draft Bicycle Action Plan (no action)

JULY 23, 2019 

City Commission approved the revised final Bicycle Action Plan and the recommended corridor mode emphasis changes in the Vital Streets Plan.