Downtown traffic signals to be reactivated

Published on December 08, 2022

Downtown traffic signals along Ottawa Avenue

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – During summer 2020, the City of Grand Rapids Mobile GR Department placed six intersections in downtown into all-way stop “flash” mode as a pilot to test the impact on safety, walkability and traffic flow. This was done in response to reduced vehicle traffic in the downtown area at the time and the desire to prioritize pedestrians at downtown intersections. The changes were tested at the follow intersections:

  • Ottawa Ave. NW and Fountain St. NW
  • Ottawa Ave. NW and Monroe Center St. NW
  • Ottawa Ave. NW and Louis St. NW
  • Ionia Ave. NW and Fountain St. NW
  • Ionia Ave. NW and Monroe Center St. NW
  • Ionia Ave. NW and Louis St. NW

Through our observation period, the Mobile GR Department found that, as vehicle volumes returned, the all-way stop control at these intersections provided inconsistent improvement for pedestrians, and in some cases, introduced new challenges for pedestrians and vehicles at these intersections – particularly during major arena events.

Josh Naramore, Mobile GR director, said, “That, combined with mixed reviews from the public, has led us to the decision to reactivate the traffic signals at these six locations to maintain clear direction for all users while maintaining the walkability in downtown.”

Naramore said the traffic signals are anticipated to be reactivated the week of December 12. New traffic signal timing will be set at that time to reduce wait times for pedestrian crossings while still allowing vehicles to move efficiently through these downtown intersections.

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