The City of Grand Rapids has launched a new pedestrian safety initiative that officials hope will lead to fewer traffic accidents involving pedestrians in Grand Rapids.
“We are looking to both improve pedestrian experiences and safety around town with the ultimate goal of reducing injuries and saving lives in Grand Rapids,” Grand Rapids Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull said, adding that Kent County has the third highest percentage of accidents involving pedestrians in the state.
“Our crashes are disproportionate when you compare us to other counties. So I really think it relates to our driving culture. Over half of the accidents occur at intersections.”
In the first phase of the campaign, Grand Rapids police will be monitoring a number of intersections in the city, where officers will observe pedestrian/motorist interactions to see if there are any reoccurring themes.
“We are going to be using all of that to help inform a campaign, so that we are getting the right message to the right people to the right place for our future efforts next year.”
Zull says those efforts will be similar to the nationally recognized “Driving Change” bicycle education campaign that Grand Rapids launched last year in an effort to improve bicycle safety in the city.