Locally, Petoskey’s Downtown Greenway will serve as a vital non-motorized corridor linking the Little Traverse Wheelway, Bay View Community, northeast side neighborhoods, and a senior residential facility with the retail, commercial, recreational, and cultural assets of downtown Petoskey. On a larger, regional scale, the Downtown Greenway connects to the 26-mile long Little Traverse Wheelway, and ultimately, to the 35-mile long Petoskey-to-Mackinaw Trail and the National Park Service’s North Country Trail. Beckett & Raeder, Inc. (BRI) served as the City’s consultant for master planning the greenway, negotiating purchase of the former rail corridor right-of-way from MDOT, applying for Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grants, and is now implementing sections of trail following successful grant awards. When fully complete, Petoskey’s Downtown Greenway will include pedestrian sidewalks, non-motorized trails, a downtown trolley, trailheads with public parking, a visitors center with restrooms, festival and memorial plazas, a seasonal ice rink, and lighting and landscape treatments.
The MNRTF funded North Segment was the first to be implemented and includes a 10-foot-wide concrete non-motorized trail, trailhead parking, roadway crossings, pedestrian lighting, benches, trash receptacles, interpretive and wayfinding signage, and right-of-way restoration with native plant materials. All crossings are universally accessible and include design features such as visual and textural warnings. All trail surfaces, and other project elements, conform to the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board’s Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas. Furnishings were also designed in accordance with the Northern Michigan Disability Network’s suggestions and United States Access Board’s Outdoor Accessibility Guidelines. In short, this project exceeds ADA standards with a mindset of true universal accessibility.
BRI is currently preparing an MDNR Trust Fund Grant application for the south segment of the Downtown Greenway Non-motorized Trail, which will connect downtown, suburban neighborhoods to numerous recreational facilities and the center of Downtown Petoskey.