I Am NEWaygo
Next week M37 between River St and Quarterline Rd will be restriped with a different lane configuration to test, per approval of MDOT (see plans). The configuration will lack a center turn lane, but maintain the on-street parking on both sides of the street. This config will give people more room to get in and out of their cars when parking on-street. The space next to the parking lanes also serves as a space for cars to pull over if emergency vehicles need to get through.
MDOT and the City would like to see how this config functions compared to the version with a center turn lane. Given the limited number of left turns that are made in that stretch of road, it is worth testing this config.
This config will likely remain in place until Spring.
You can provide feedback by:
-Calling 231-652-1657 ext 211
City Engineers have produced a report after analyzing the data gathered from the M37 Pilot Program. They found the new lane configuration to be a success and also made some suggestions for further consideration. The recommendations are found on page 8 of the report. The remainder of the report is data and other supporting documents. As of the date above, MDOT, the owner of M37, does not agree that the new lane configuration works well but would need further changes to be successful. For the stretch of M37 between River St and Quarterline Rd, MDOT would like to see the on-street parking removed that is located next to the Southbound lane unless a more acceptable design is figured out. MDOT issued a letter explaining their position. The City, MDOT, and other stakeholders will have further conversations to see what can be figured out regarding this matter.
All features of the M37 Pilot Program (Newaygo, MI) have been installed (new lane configuration with on-street parking on both sides of street, mid-block pedestrian crossing, and posts to mimic curb bump outs). We need your feedback. Please provide your feedback with one of the methods below. The goal of the changes is to enhance the vibrancy of the town by improving walkability and access to the businesses.
Provide your feedback through:
-Attending a virtual meeting on July 14 at 6:30pm.
PILOT PROGRAM PLANS: Click here for plans.
M37 Pilot Program next steps:
Now that construction on the sewer system in M37 is done, we are moving forward with the other pieces of the M37 Pilot Program relating to traffic flow and walkability in downtown Newaygo. As you know, lane re-striping was completed on 5/22/2020 so that parallel parking is now available on both sides of the street in downtown. If you any feedback on that let us know.
The next part of the program is to install vertical delineators (small plastic posts) on some of the lines at the Quarterline intersection to mimic curb bump outs. This will allow us to see how traffic and walkability is affected if the curbs were bumped out. Some posts are also to be install to highlight the mid-block pedestrian crossing. These posts are planned to be in place through approximately mid-July.
It was October of 2017 when international walkability expert Jeff Speck was brought in to the City of Newaygo to do an expert analysis and make recommendations to the city on how we could improve the walking, biking, and general pedestrian experience of living, working, and visiting our city.
Some of his recommendations in retrospect, seemed obvious - like “finding” new parking spaces around Brooks Park and Quarterline Road. Other ideas seemed rather far fetched- like a pedestrian bridge spanning the Muskegon River at Henning Park and Wood Street.
One of the most practical, and given the fullness of time the most difficult and time consuming, was the reimagining of M37 through the downtown of our city, and how to optimize the pedestrian experience while maintaining reasonable traffic flow. Speck’s original recommendations included a proposed greenspace down the center of this Federal trunk line and State Highway! This, of course, was not to be.
After many, many months and dozens of engineering discussions, negotiations with MDOT, and finally concluding the permitting process- we are ready to roll out a truly robust Pilot Program for our citizens and visitors to experience. Here are the big pieces:
- Three lane configuration: M37 will keep two traffic lanes as well as a left turn lane south of Quaterline.
- Parking on both sides of M37 in downtown: In addition to the three lane configuration, dedicated parallel parking spaces will be included on both sides of the road.
- New Pedestrian crossing: A pedestrian crossing in the middle of the downtown block between The New Ewe on one side, and the alley on the other side of the street between The River Stop Cafe and River Stop Saloon. This site was selected because expensive curb cuts already exist, and the location falls in the middle of the downtown block.
- Some minor changes in curb bumpouts. The Pilot Program will also use vertical delineators as a part of the test.
When will the Pilot happen?
Soon! Early this Spring as painting and curbing contractors are available.
How long will the Pilot last?
Through mid-July 2020. If all goes well, MDOT may leave the new configuration in place longer.
How to respond?
In order to make sure we get a clear picture of how the Pilot will work for our stakeholders, we encourage you- our stakeholders, to personally use the new features as much as possible: Use the new parking spots on both sides of the road- park in them often. This will sufficiently alert and encourage traffic on southbound M37 to proceed a little more calmly and with fresh eyes to our reconfigured downtown. Some basic questions:
What happens when the Pilot Program ends? MDOT and the city will be carefully measuring and monitoring this project each and every step of the way. What happens to traffic flow? Is parking easier? Do the changes have a net positive for pedestrians, and/or for downtown businesses? How is traffic safety affected? Is it easier to cross the road? Etc.
All of these things will be counted and studied, and then the analytics and opinion results will be shared through IAmNewaygo! and at City of Newaygo meetings. The Pilot Program engineering drawings are available here. Please post questions on the IAmNewaygo! Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamnewaygo/ or send email to us by clicking here.
2019 M37 Changes
MDOT did maintenance on the bridge over the Muskegon River from July-Nov 2019. After maintenance was complete, MDOT re-striped M37 with a different lane configuration from the Quarterline intersection to the Croton Rd intersection. See link to plans above.
Download a File:
2020 Plans - M37 Pilot Program w/o turn lane (PDF)
Engineer Report - M37 Pilot Program Analysis (PDF)
MDOT response to M37 Pilot Program results (PDF)
2020 Plans - M37 Pilot Program with turn lane (PDF)
Concept Drawings - M37 Pilot Program (PDF)
2019 Plans - M37 striping plan (north of Quarterline Rd) (PDF)
In October 2017, walkability expert Jeff Speck evaluated the City of Newaygo on how to make the community safer and more attractive for pedestrians while addressing traffic circulation and parking challenges.
Click Jeff Speck Walkability Assessment link below for a report of his findings.
See also the book by Jeff Speck "Walkable City" that formed the basis for proposed improvements.
City Council has supported the walkability concepts. See link to resolution below.
Conceptual drawings to aid walkability and increase parking for M37, Quarterline, Justice, and Wood streets have been created. See links below. Please note that these concepts continue to evolve as input is received from MDOT, City/County officials, and citizens.
The City of Newaygo has been exploring the feasibility of installing a pedestrian bridge over the Muskegon River connecting from Wood St to Henning Park.
Plans are linked here and below showing locations and a sample design.
Download a File:
Concept_Pedestrian bridge - 1/24/2020 (PDF)
Jeff Speck Walkability Assessment
City Council Resolution supporting walkability projects
Concept_Riverfront Path Extension
I Am NEWaygo
Public engagement tool to discuss City initiatives and further solicit input on needs and strengths of the community.
Public engagement meetings on various topics occur about 3-4 times per year. Stay tuned for details on future meetings.
To join the conversation on Facebook, go here:
If you prefer a more private way to share your ideas, use this email link.
Public engagement meeting - 8/11/2020
Bring a neighbor and join us in Brooks Park on August 11th at 6pm for some lively discussion and YOUR input about our ongoing Newaygo Walkability improvements, this time focused on trails and trail-related projects in and around our city.
Topics on the evening of the 11th will include:
- Riverfront Trail Enhancements along the North bank of the Muskegon River at the bottom of the hill on Water Street, and what can come next.
- The Ravine Bridge project in the gully on The Riverfront Trail enhancements.
- Newaygo Crossing Pedestrian Bridge Project
Plus- quick updates on Muskegon Bluffs Disc Golf Course, Christian Healthcare Center, the M37 Walkability Pilot Project and other high-impact, forward-looking projects. Newaygo Stakeholders: We want and need your input now and to see your smiling faces!
Please bring a comfortable (folding) chair, and we will ensure that 6' social distancing is implemented for your safety throughout the meeting. For those that are willing and able- we will conclude the meeting with a walk down and through the riverfront trail enhancement area.
See you on August 11th!
Public engagment meeting - 3/23/2020 - CANCELLED
There will no longer be an IAmNewaygo! Public Engagement meeting on Monday, March 23rd from 6pm-8pm at The Stream, One State Road (M37). This is due to safety precautions in light of the Coronavirus situation.
The meeting was planned for:
Education and discussion on the M37 Pilot Program for this Spring that will test a new lane configuration on M37 downtown between River St and Quarterline Rd. The new configuration will test allowing parallel parking on both sides of M37 while maintaining the center turn lane and a drive lane in each direction.
PILOT PROGRAM PLANS: Click here for plans.
PILOT PROGRAM INFORMATION: Click here.
Public engagment meeting - 2/20/2020
There was an IAmNewaygo! Public Engagement meeting on Thursday, February 20th at The Stream, One State Road.
The meeting covered these topics:
1. A proposed pedestrian bridge project that will span between the end of an “abandoned” section of East Wood street on the south side of the Muskegon River, and Henning Park on the north side. Click here for draft plans.
If ultimately approved by the MEDC, the "Newaygo Crossing" pedestrian bridge will be a spectacular 300’ span over the Muskegon River which will allow pedestrian and bicycle access to Henning Park. While the city has enjoyed widespread public support for this project, we are looking for more input.
Those that came were able to share their ideas, including things like public safety, increased pedestrian traffic, bicycle traffic, and parking. Thank you for your input and ideas!
2. A marketing/branding strategy for the City of Newaygo. Who are we and what do we want to portray as a community? Some ideas were shared and discussed. Click here to see a draft.
Public engagment meeting - 12/12/2019
2020 M37 Pilot Programs (to test different lane configurations).
A public meeting was held on 12/12/19 at The Stream building, 1 State Rd. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input on the proposed M37 Pilot Programs that will test different lane configurations on M37 in Spring/Summer of 2020, including parking on both sides of the street.
City Master Plan Update
Check out our 2019 Master Plan!
In 2018 and early 2019, the City along with citizens and community stake holders worked to update the City's Master Plan. The new Master Plan is complete and has been adopted by City Council at their meeting on 3/11/2019. We encourage you to download the new plan and check it out. Links to current documents can be found on this page.
In 2019-2020 we will continue to work on housing stock for the City and increase walkability. We will also begin work on updating the City's zoning ordinance. We welcome your input and need your ideas to solve challenges and improve the community.
A good source for notices is the IamNewaygo Facebook page.
We need your help to shape the future of Newaygo.
If you have ideas and wish to submit online, follow this link: Contact Us
Attend meetings to stay informed and voice your ideas.
- City Council: 2nd Monday of every month
- Planning Commission: 2nd Tuesday of every month.
- Or Click here to see other meetings and events: Calendar of events
To view existing documents please see links below:
Master Plan 2019
Download a File:
Vera Wilsie Site Development Ideas - 3/12/2019
City of Newaygo
28 State Road
Newaygo, Michigan 49337
Phone (231) 652-1657
Monday through Friday, 7:30a-4:00p
Emergency: Phone 911