GRPD: Safety plan for Tuesday march, avoid Grandville Ave SW, downtown

Published on April 30, 2018

PNG image of police officer direction traffic

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Police Department is making preparations for a march scheduled for Tuesday, May 1 that is expected to draw 4,000 to 6,000 participants. The event – organized by Movimiento Cosecha – is expected to impact travel along the Grandville Avenue SW corridor and downtown.

According to Movimiento Cosecha advertisements promoting the march, the event is to begin at noon at Roosevelt Park (Grandville Avenue SW near Clyde Park Avenue) and end at Grand Rapids City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW. GRPD has made several attempts to get the route information from the organizers.

The department will update the community on anticipated routes if the information becomes available. Officials are encouraging the public to monitor the GRPD Facebook and Twitter pages for updates during the march.  

GRPD has designated more than 50 officers to staff this event to guarantee the safety of the motoring public and march participants. The staffing presence is needed due to the unknown details of the event and the anticipated number of participants. GRPD has notified The Rapid and Grand Rapids Fire Department and has requested EMS personnel be on standby in case of a medical emergency. The event is expected to cause traffic backups and delays, particularly along the Grandville corridor. 

GRPD is allowing the march, upholding participants’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech.  However, the department’s priority is to ensure the well-being of all those present as well as preserve order and public safety. 

“Our goal is for Movimiento Cosecha to be able to communicate its message and exercise it First Amendment right in a peaceful manner,” Police Chief David Rahinsky said. “Our police department is prepared to be adaptive as the march progresses toward City Hall. However, the motoring public is encouraged to use an alternative route away from the Grandville corridor in order to avoid delays.”