Planning Director To Talk About Traverse Waterfront
May 14, 2019
Traverse City Planning Director Russ Soyring will be at the Traverse Area District Library May 18 to talk about Traverse City’s waterfront past, present, and future. The program is part of the library’s monthly history program series and is held in the McGuire room the third Saturday of every month at 1pm.
The transition of Traverse City’s bay waterfront has been dramatic since the area was first settled. Originally it was a site for industry, and with no rail or roads, it was the only means of transportation for incoming and outgoing traffic. “It was industrial. The water was the (only means of) movement for goods and people. There was no connection except for water,” Soyring says. As a result, the area was dirty and unappealing. “The wealthy stayed away from the waterfront.”
That began to change in the middle of the last century when the Grandview Parkway was built. “The parkway removed industrial buildings and gave a view of the bay,” Soyring says. That led to the realization that making that land into a public park would draw people to the waterfront and to Traverse City. “Not everybody can afford waterfront property. I’m glad much of it is open to the public.”
Soyring believes future issues touching on the area’s waterfront will focus not just on the bay but other waterways, including Boardman Lake and the Boardman River. He sees the upcoming completion of the Boardman Lake Trail and a plan to make the Boardman River more accessible enabling both to become more useful and attractive to the public.