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Lansing rolling out 25 speed limit radar signs to curb speeding vehicles

 LPD Chief Ellery Sosebee speaks in front of a radar speed sign below a 25 mile per hour speed limit sign. A car passes by and the radar detects them driving at 7 miles per hour.
Arjun Thakkar
LPD Chief Ellery Sosebee speaks alongside Mayor Andy Schor in front of one of the radar speed signs in the Groesbeck neighborhood.

Drivers in Lansing should expect to see new speed radar signs set up along several city roads. The city is installing 25 of the indicators as part of an initiative to discourage speeding.

The signs will be located next to existing speed limit signs to show how fast drivers are going. They're being placed all over the city from busy thoroughfares like Saginaw and MLK to quieter residential streets.

On Wednesday morning, Mayor Andy Schor and police officials spoke in front of one of the signs on Chester Street in the Groesbeck neighborhood. The indicators are part of Lansing's "Operation Slow Down" to promote safer driving in the city.

Schor spoke with some of the neighbors who said they were grateful to see the sign come up to deter speeding near their homes. He said the speed indicators will address concerns from residents about safety on streets.

"This is our next step in making sure that, that we are keeping people safe, that we are slowing down cars ... that we're listening to the community," he said.

Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said fatal vehicle crashes have continued to trend upward in the city. He said the radar indicators will remind drivers that speeding vehicles can be dangerous on the road.

"Make sure that you realize that to slow down, you're going to get where you're going to get just a few seconds or minutes later, but it could be life-altering and life-changing if something were to happen," Sosebee said.

The current plan is to install five radar signs in each of the city’s four wards with plans to add five others as needed. The signs are also portable and can be relocated to other streets.

The signs will collect data on the number and speed of vehicles passing through. That data will help determine where more officers should be stationed to crack down on reckless driving.

Schor added the city could use the data to support more extensive traffic calming infrastructure, such as speed humps, if vehicle traffic and average speed limits remain too high on a monitored street.

"We know that people are concerned for their kids, and they're concerned about their neighborhoods," he said. "We want to listen to our neighbors and take data and use both of them."

The city has a formal petition process to request traffic calming on local streets.

The radar signs were purchased using $100,000 allocated from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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