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Posted on: October 26, 2017

Letter from the Chief: Safety in East Grand Rapids

Mark Herald

Dear Residents,

On Thursday, Oct. 19, an accident involving three vehicles took place on Lake Drive near Kenesaw Drive. Since then, we’ve heard concerns about this specific incident and the overall safety in our community.

There has been some information floating around that this incident involved pedestrians or bicyclists. This is incorrect as the accident involved three vehicles and was the result of distracted driving. It is important to note that no pedestrians or bicyclists were involved in this incident. The only factor that contributed to this accident was distracted driving.

Keeping our children, teens and adults safe is the top priority of everyone in our City. As a Public Safety Department, we regularly work with the Schools to ensure best practices are followed. We also partner closely with our Public Works Department, which is responsible for our community’s infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Over the past several months, the Public Works Department has conducted a number of tests and traffic calming measures, which include:

  • During the 2016 Lake Drive project, we performed studies to improve the traffic signal at Lake/Breton/Lakeside for motorists and vehicles. Additionally, bump outs were included in the project to narrow the roadway as a traffic calming measure and to reduce speeds.
  • The 2017 Lake Drive project from Hall to the east city limit included bump outs for traffic calming as well as the construction of a sidewalk extension from Woodshire to the east city limit for pedestrian traffic.
  • Crosswalk pavement markings and signage continue to be updated to current State of Michigan standards.

In addition to the above measures, we regularly perform traffic-engineering reviews/studies in areas where residents show concern. We utilize speed/volume studies and actual pedestrian/vehicle accident data in conjunction with State of Michigan standards when reviews are conducted.

While some facts about the incident have been misunderstood, we are pleased that it has created a dialogue about safety in our community. The City and Schools plan to convene a meeting to discuss how we can increase educational outreach efforts and improve the safety of students in East Grand Rapids.

While the City and Schools can do many things to help aid in safe commuting, safety is a collective responsibility. Continued dialogue with your children and teens about safe practices while walking, biking, riding a moped or driving to school is critical to ensure they have a safe commute.

If you’d like to add your comments to this discussion, you can email Karen Brower, city clerk, at KBrower@eastgr.org and these messages will be distributed to the City Commission, Public Safety and East Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Sincerely,

Chief Mark Herald

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