We are delighted to learn that the Petoskey Downtown Greenway South Segment (DGS) has been selected by the Michigan Recreation & Park Association (mParks) to receive a Park Design Award.
This South Segment of the Petoskey Downtown Greenway (DGS) is a 1,560’ long, nonmotorized accessible paved trail that links downtown Petoskey’s Pennsylvania Park to the historic Emmet Old Town neighborhood. The trail also represents the second phase in the city’s efforts to complete a 1.1 mile, regional nonmotorized accessible trail that utilizes a historic rail corridor. This segment of trail repurposes four blocks of railway corridor beginning at the center of the downtown district.
The purpose of the trail is to promote accessible non-motorized circulation for users of all abilities from outlying areas of Petoskey to the city’s downtown district, providing an efficient path of travel to and from downtown, while providing a unique, park-like setting that presents users with an appealing alternative to traditional streetside sidewalk travel. The trail also helps to fulfill an important regional role in the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan by linking some of the facilities using the trail.
The before and after photos pretty much say it all...this segment of the Greenway will be well-loved and well-used for many years to come.
With the completion of the project, the corridor has been transformed from an unused and occasionally-maintained but well-traveled space to an arrangement of unique, pedestrian-friendly parklike spaces. The same menu of furnishings including benches, trash receptacles, bike racks and pedestrian lights used on the previous phase of the trail were used on the DGS, confirming it as a segment of the Downtown Greenway. Completion of the trail also represents completion of a link between Downtown Petoskey and regional trails including the Little Traverse Bay Wheelway. Since the plan was submitted to (Michigan Department of Natural Resources) MDNR for grant approval, a second farmer’s market has developed on the south end of the DGS, which makes two farmer’s markets on this segment of trail: one at the north end in the heart of downtown, and one in the historic Old Town Emmet neighborhood.
But perhaps the best measure of a successful park space is the level popularity and reaction from users. From a functional standpoint, even though DGS was recently completed this fall, it was a challenge even during construction to keep pedestrians from using the still-developing trail because of the route’s popularity. Contractors, City staff and BRI received regular compliments on the trail from users as it was being completed and the now-completed path sees regular use even now that tourism season in Northern Michigan is behind us.