TART Improvement & Extension


City Planning


(231) 922-4778

Project Updates

June 2024

The City's contractor, Team Elmer’s, has started the Phase 1 portion of the project. Construction on the new trail section between Sunset Park and the Senior Center has been completed. Following the Cherry Festival, work on the next segment, extending the trail from Division Street to Hall Street, will commence. The final segment between Clinch Park and the approach to Murchie Bridge, is slated to begin in mid-September. 

Phase 1

The City Commission has awarded a contract with Team Elmer's in the amount of $1,242,898 for Phase I of the TART Improvement and Extension Project.

In 2022, the City initiated the TART Improvement and Extension Project, located between West End Beach and the intersection of Peninsula and Eastern Avenue. The section of non-motorized trail between West End Beach and Murchie Bridge serves as confluence of the regional trail network for both transportation and recreation, providing a junction for the TART, Leelanau Trail, and the Boardman Lake Loop Trail. Extending the trail to Eastern Avenue will serve as a critical connector to the City center for the east side of the City and Old Mission Peninsula.

Funding for Phase 1 of the project has been secured and will include the following:

  • Sunset Park to Senior Center: North side of US 31, connecting the public properties with an improved trail, new 10' multi use and 6' pedestrian facilities at Sunset Park and NMC's Hagerty Center transitioning to 12' multi use at the Senior Center
  • Clinch Park to Murchie Bridge: North side of Grandview Parkway with reconstruction of the asphalt TART Trail between Clinch Park and 200' east of the Park Street/Grandview intersection with separated 10' cycle/multiuse and 10' pedestrian facilities
  • Division to Hall Street: Trail construction along the southern portion of Grandview Parkway with new 10' multi use path between Division Street and the existing 8' sidewalk at Harbor View Centre (across from the volleyball courts) 

Tree Removal and Replacement

While the project will have a net loss of canopy until growth is experienced, a comprehenisve planting strategy is planned for the project.

  • Segment One: 7 trees to be removed, 11 trees to be planted
  • Segment Two: 4 trees to be removed, 6 trees to be planted
  • Segment Three: 14 trees to be removed (12 on NMC property, 0 on Senior Center property), 10 trees to be planted

Wayfinding Plan

A wayfinding plan is included in the project scope

Wayfinding Plan

Additional Features

  • Pavement Markings: There will be new crosswalk markings at the planned trail crossing at Barlow Street.  In addition as part of the MDOT road reconstruction project, there will be numerous crosswalks added or repainted including at Division Street, west leg of US-31/Division intersection, Oak/Parkway intersection, HAWK signal crossing near Hall Street, Hall Street, two crossings at Park Street/Parkway, two crossing at Parkway/E. Front Street intersection, Barlow/US31, Rose/US31 
  • The Trail is separated from the roadway to the extent possible or guardrail separation is used. 
  • The new trail facility replaces existing sidewalk between Sunset Park and the Senior Center; providing greater separation  
  • Separated pedestrian and bike facilities between Clinch Park and Park Street/Parkway intersection 
  • Offset trail crossing and speed (elevated) table at Barlow Street trail crossing for additional crosswalk emphasis
  • Areas where sidewalk will be removed will have trees added to provide vertical element for vehicle traffic calming along the Parkway

Signalized Crossings

  • All trail crossings with the exception of Oak Street crossing will utilize signalized pedestrian crossings. 
  • MDOT is replacing the HAWK signal near Hall Street with a more visible mast arm mounted signal.

MDOT Improvements Along the Corridor

  • An additional crosswalk with pedestrian signal on the west side of the Park Street/Parkway intersection will be added
  • Big changes to E. Front Street/Parkway intersection - two crosswalks with pedestrian signals are included in the new reconfigured E. Front Street/Parkway intersection
  • New trail crossing layout at Division/Parkway intersection that reduces pedestrian exposure to vehicle traffic
  • Widening Oak Street crosswalk to 10'
  • New sidewalk along Parkway east of Murchie Bridge to signal at E. Front Street/Parkway intersection
  • Guardrail extension west and east of Murchie Bridge
  • Travel lane width reduction intended to calm traffic

Phase 1 Funding

Total funding for the project will be provided from a $500,000 Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) Grant, $421,449 City of Traverse City, $200,000 DDA TIF 97 Funds, and $121,449 TART Trails.

Outreach & Engagement

March Engagement Sessions

Recording of Virtual Session on March 15th

Presentation Slides with Design Concepts


February Engagement Sessions

Recording of Virtual Session on February 15th 

Presentation Slides with Design Concepts

Project Background

At their November 21, 2022 meeting, the City Commission approved awarding a contract to Progressive AE for the complete project with the execution of a consultant agreement for design services not to exceed $448,391 at this time and the execution of a memorandum of understanding between the City, TART, and the DDA, with the intent of awarding the construction services portion of the consultant agreement in the amount of $325,031, assuming construction occurs in 2024. 

The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) Improvement and Extension is located between West End Beach and the intersection of Peninsula and Eastern Avenue.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is reconstructing Grandview Parkway from Garfield Avenue to Division Street in 2024 providing an ideal opportunity to address non-motorized transportation improvements along the corridor.  The City, Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and TART Trails engaged the services of Progressive AE to identify opportunities and create a conceptual plan for the existing trail along the waterfront from the West End Beach parking lot, extending past the Murchie Bridge to continue along the corridor and down Peninsula Drive to the intersection with Garfield Avenue.

The section of non-motorized trail between West End Beach and the Murchie Bridge serves as confluence of the regional trail network for both transportation and recreation, providing a junction for the TART, Leelanau Trail, and the Boardman Lake Loop Trail. Furthermore, the heavily used waterfront parks in this location create an exceptionally high level of trail use. Trail counts conducted along this stretch by TART Trails in 2018 and 2019 showed over two million trail visits annually. The pandemic impacted trail counts in the subsequent years with the cancellation and/or modification of the National Cherry Festival and Traverse City Film Festival events, and more people working remotely. As these events come back online, combined with a rise in interest for outdoor activities since the onset of the pandemic and improved access to the trail as part of the Grandview Parkway reconstruction, the increasing trend in trail use is expected to continue.

January 2023

Project Update Presentation

October 2023

$500,000 Public Space Place-Based Infrastructure RAP Grant Awarded

August 2023

At their August 21, 2023 meeting, the City Commission will consider approving final designs for the project.

Final Design Presentation

June 2023

At their June 19, 2023 meeting, the City Commission approved providing a letter of support for TART Trails to submit a grant application seeking $500,000 in funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporations RAP 2.0 Program for extension of the TART Bayfront Trail east from the Murchie Bridge through the Senior Center. The City Commission also authorized the allocation of $421,449 from the fund balance of the General Fund, contingent upon successfully being awarded the above-mentioned grant.

After a variety of input sessions in connection with the TART Improvement & Extension Project, the City received 60% of the designs. Final design are anticipated in August 2023, including final cost estimates.

Project Features

The capacity limitations of the current non-motorized facility results in periods of congestion and user conflicts. To address this, the concept plan proposes expanding the trail width to 16 feet, with 10 feet dedicated to bi-directional bicycle use, and six feet dedicated to pedestrian use. The added width will address the capacity limitations and marking the pavement to separate pedestrians and bicyclists will address user conflicts by creating space for the modes which operate at different speeds.

East of Senior Center Beach it is anticipated that the trail would narrow down to approximately 12 feet due to an expected decrease in trail use compared to the Open Space along with a constrained right-of-way in this area. The extension of the trail would require easements from the private property owners between Bayshore Resort and the intersection with Peninsula Drive and Grandview Parkway. The Consultant will be expected to work with DDA/City/TART staff and residents to determine the appropriate facility (ies) along Peninsula Drive and north to the intersection of PeninsulaDrive/M37 and Eastern Avenue. The scope of work for this project ends at the intersection of M-37 and Eastern Avenue. This extension, however, will eventually connect to NMC, Traverse City Central High School, Eastern Elementary, the Civic Center, and other points of interest in and around the base of the peninsula.

This project directly aligns with many of the City Commission’s strategic priorities, goals, and objectives including access and mobility, climate action, and connecting people with each other and nature. An argument can also be made that accessible non-motorized transportation options can help address housing and economic development. Moreover, this project represents an opportunity to further strengthen and improve overall mobility and access for our most vulnerable population along the Grandview Parkway / East Front Street corridor to enhance the work done with MDOT’s planned 2024 reconstruction.



The City Manager’s Annual Budget for FY 2022/23 included a $150,000 appropriation for the design engineering services, with an additional $150,000 commitment from TART and the DDA each, for a project budget total of $450,000.

Phase I: Total funding for the project is proposed as follows

Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) Grant: $500,000
City of Traverse City: $421,449
DA TIF 97 Funds: $200,000
TART Trails: $121,449

Funding has not been identified for construction of the entire project at this time. However, the trail has enjoyed a long history of financial support from state agencies and has the potential to garner significant federal, state, and private funding support.