Polite speeding signs will soon change in E. GR

Kent County

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — East Grand Rapids drivers have been pleasantly surprised by the polite feedback from newly installed radar speed signs, but the city says this touch of roadside etiquette is only temporary.  

Following the results of a traffic study, the city put radar speed feedback signs at the intersection of Lake Drive and Woodcliff Drive and on Wealthy Street between Cambridge Boulevard and Lovett Avenue.  

Although the signs are meant to inform drivers of their speed, the custom messaging and colors have motorists doing a double-take.  

Drivers adhering to the speed limited are rewarded with a “thank you” message, while cars traveling more than 25 mph trigger the “slow down” warning.  

“I’m turning right there normally, so I’m slowing down at the time. I’m pretty much thanked daily when I drive by that,” said East Grand Rapids resident Brian Aardema. 

So far, the signs have received a warm welcome from the neighborhood. 

“I’m enjoying the fact that it gives me positive feedback reminding me to slow down,” said Linda Clarkin.

Despite this positive response, polite messaging on the signs will soon be a thing of the past. 

East Grand Rapids Interim City Manager Doug LaFave told News 8 there are some mixed messaging at play as these signs have yet to reprogrammed from the default setting.  

LaFave said the plan is to clear the custom messaging, so only the speed of oncoming traffic is shown.  

The more simplified messaging will align with Michigan’s standards for traffic control devices

To LaFave, the point of these signs isn’t to be polite, but “to have a uniformed approach, giving predictability to how people react to the devices.” 

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