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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The arrow on the Cherry Street detour sign directs motorists to turn left from South Division Avenue onto Oakes Street.
The problem is that it's against the law to turn left onto Oakes. At least, that's what the permanent sign says.
The conflicting information got Peter Kreutzfeldt a traffic ticket.
"It's getting ridiculous," said the retired Grand Rapids firefighter, who fought the ticket and won. "You can't hardly turn around in the city anymore without violating some erected established or unestablished ordinance."
The sign on South Division at Oakes is one of many confusing temporary traffic signs in downtown Grand Rapids, leading to frustration among some motorists.
Some say it's the most construction they've seen in years in Grand Rapids -- roads and sidewalks being rebuilt, buildings being renovated, a park being updated. Most say it's a good thing, except for all that confusion.
"Everywhere you try and turn, it's blocked off," said Kate Westman of Byron Center, who was on a trip Wednesday with relatives to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. "There's a detour sign and then you get to where you're supposed to be, and there's another detour sign, so you're trying to figure out which way to go when you don't particularly know downtown."
In some stretches, detours start and end where other detours end and start. On South Division, detour arrows point to opposite directions.
Kreutzfeldt said he was leaving a downtown cigar shop when he noticed the conflicting signs on South Division. City records show he was ticketed May 4 for disobeying a traffic sign.
"I seen a sign that said 'Cherry Street detour' pointing me to the left," he said. "There was a police officer in the right lane and I figured, 'Let's try it, see what happens.'"
"I no sooner made that left turn and he turned his overheads on and he was on me like a bad dream," he added.
He said he tried to explain the conflict, but the officer gave him a ticket anyway. Records show a magistrate dismissed the ticket in mid-June.
But two months later, the sign still directs motorists to make that illegal left turn.
"I could have sworn that sign would have been gone by now or they would have covered the existing sign up or whatever," he said. "Nothing."
Since then, he's watched car after car, including police cruisers, make that turn. "I watched a city bus make a left turn," he said.
City Engineer Mark DeClercq said he wasn't aware of the conflicting signs. He acknowledged that the construction can cause confusion.
He said contractors are responsible for the temporary signs and must follow state and federal guidelines.
In front of the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, a Bobcat backhoe worked Wednesday where ArtPrize elephants marched just a few years ago.
Museum spokeswoman Adrienne Brown said construction on the park out front has forced the museum, a major venue, to make backup plans that would move sculptures to the east, less visible side of the building.
"We have a a few windows along Sheldon, and we'll just kind of cram them," she said. "They'll be a little bit tighter if we have to do it that way, but we have a back-up plan if we need it."
They plan to draw their own detour signs on the sidewalks with chalk.
"Traffic's going to come this way no matter what," she said. "It's just trying to figure out how they're coming this way."
City officials say they expect some of the construction to be completed by ArtPrize, but that visitors should expect some detours and delays.
"It will have an effect if you let it have an effect," said ArtPrize spokesman Todd Herring. "It's a drag having to do detours, you know, but the good news is ArtPrize is going on, so it's a city filled with art for 19 days. So, hopefully, the art will distract you from the frustration of construction."
At Reynolds & Sons Sporting Goods store near the intersection of Fulton and Division, customers are forced to walk around construction crews to get inside. Owner Jeff Reynolds says construction of the park out front has hurt business.
"I knew it was going to be ugly," he said. "You know, it's just one of those things you try to work through and, you know, it's an improvement for downtown and hopefully it doesn't kill us."
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies worked together Tuesday evening to chase down an alleged van thief, despite slippery roads.
A charity lodge where three people were killed back in September 2013 will likely never open again.
Kalamazoo Township Police are asking for your help in finding a 63-year-old man who told people back in November he was going off to die.