Grand Rapids launching pedestrian-safety campaign

A bird's eye view of the Blue Bridge crossing the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. (File photo)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — The largest city in western Michigan is promoting pedestrian safety.

Grand Rapids officials released details Monday about a multiyear effort to save lives and reduce injuries.

The initial phase features high-visibility enforcement zones at up to 21 intersections. Officers will not issue tickets but will observe pedestrians and drivers and give instruction if necessary.

“There’s also distracted pedestrians, too, so we need to make sure both sides are playing their role properly,” Grand Rapids Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull said. “Make sure you’re making eye contact when crossing, and then looking for them as a driver.”

The effort is being funded by a $120,000 grant from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Grand Rapids-area residents also will be surveyed about their awareness and perception of pedestrian-safety laws.

The city says Kent County reported 790 crashes involving pedestrians between 2012 and 2015. More than half were in Grand Rapids.

–24 Hour News 8 contributed to this report.