Ever since I moved to Grand Rapids, I was thoroughly confused by the flashing red traffic lights that are placed throughout the downtown area.

I would always stop for way too long and I would get a ton of people blasting their horns at me.

Thankfully, I finally adjusted.

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During summer of 2020, the City of Grand Rapids Mobile GR Department put six traffic stops into the "flash" mode 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."

As soon as I adjusted, we all have to get used to the traffic lights officially working.


However, throughout their observation period, the Mobile GR Department realized that as traffic starts to get back to normal after COVID slowdown, the "flash" mode is not helping much.

"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, the Mobile GR director has officially announced that the traffic singles are going to be brought back.


According to the official press release,

"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."

The changes will be made at the following 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

Are you excited for the traffic lights to come back?

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