Kent County, MI, reported 790 crashes involving pedestrians between 2012 and 2015, and more than half of these occurred in Grand Rapids.
[The city has now launched] a pedestrian-safety program which will be implemented over several years. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning has given a $120,000 grant for the campaign, aimed to promote awareness and reduce injuries.
“We’re on a mission to find out not just why, but also who, where and when,” said Grand Rapids Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull, “so that we can educate and inform both the pedestrians and the motorists on their rights and responsibilities, making our community safer for everyone.”… [Source: WZZM13]
It might be that the research mentioned by Chris Zull is needed but given the amount of empirical data that is available regarding pedestrian-involved crashes, it seems perhaps more likely that the money could have been used at one specific location in Grand Rapids to improve the safety engineering of a particular crosswalk that has been the location for too many bad incidents. Introducing global best practices at one location to demonstrate the lifesaving and injury-preventing benefits might well have been the best way to trigger swift improvements to help protect pedestrians right across the city and state.