GR announces changes to Leonard Street under US-131

Vehicles travel down Leonard Street NW at Turner Avenue NW.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Changes are coming to an oftentimes confusing and frustrating section of Leonard Street NW.

The city of Grand Rapids released plans Tuesday to reconfigure Leonard Street NW under US-131.

Currently, two lanes of traffic turn left off of Scribner Avenue NW onto Leonard Street NW. Leonard has three lanes: a left turn lane onto Turner Avenue NW, a middle through lane and a third lane on the right side that ends abruptly at Turner. Often drivers get stuck in the third lane because it doesn’t lead to anywhere.

A graphic shows the new traffic pattern for a portion of Leonard Street NW. (City of Grand Rapids)
A graphic shows the new traffic pattern for a portion of Leonard Street NW. (City of Grand Rapids)

Starting the week of Feb. 20, there will be a new configuration in place: one lane from Scribner will allow for left hand turns onto Leonard. On Leonard Street NW, the left and center lanes will serve as left turn lanes onto Turner Avenue NW and the far right lane will become the through lane, taking drivers under the bridge.  The city says it’s making the changes to improve safety.

Approximately 32,000 vehicles pass through each of the affected intersections each day, according to Grand Rapids Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull.

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“This is a significant corridor for the City and these intersection improvements are critical to its safe operation and the efficient movement of traffic,” he said in a statement on the city’s website.

The city says there will be new lines, signals and signage in place to help guide driver through the new configuration.