Safety Improvements to be Made at 75 Intersections in Kalamazoo

New safety measures will be installed at intersections throughout the city with support from a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The funding will help add audible pedestrian speakers and improve crosswalk markings at 40 signalized intersections and install backplates and span wire tethers at 44 intersections. In total, 75 intersections will see improvements.

The grant funding is provided through the Highway Safety Improvement program and covers 90% of the $416,526 total cost of both projects.

“Every project is an opportunity to implement Kalamazoo’s complete streets commitment and make changes that improve safety, accessibility, and equity in our local transportation network,” explained Anthony Ladd, Public Works Division Manager for the City of Kalamazoo. “With this grant funding we can extend some of these really significant safety and accessibility improvements beyond where we have larger-scale construction happening this year.”

Backplates improve visibility of the illuminated face of the signal by adding a controlled-contrast background and a reflective border. Signals with backplates equipped are more visible during both daytime and nighttime driving. Studies have found that installing signal backplates can reduce crashes by 15%.

Tether wires will also be installed at these intersections. Tethers connect to the bottom of the signal head to maintain proper alignment with the street and prevent movement due to wind.

At 40 intersections that currently have visual pedestrian signals only, audible pedestrian speakers will be added. Audible pedestrian signals provide the same information indicated by the visual signals and make crossing safer for all users, especially those who are blind or visually impaired. Research shows that pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired begin crossing sooner after the walk signal change when an audible signal is present, providing more time to cross the street.

“Audible signals were not as widely used when many of our pedestrian signals were originally installed,” Ladd continued, “so we are taking this opportunity to ‘retrofit’ 40 signals that are visual-only right now to improve accessibility and safety for everyone.”

Improvements will be made throughout the system, with some intersections getting both backplates and audible pedestrian speakers. The locations were chosen based on the conditions at each intersection, considering traffic volume, configuration, and use. Installation is scheduled to begin later this month and will occur throughout the summer. There will be minimal impact to traffic during installation. 

Audible Pedestrian Signal and Improved Crosswalk Locations 

South St. & South Kalamazoo Mall
North Park St. & West Michigan Ave
North Park St & West Kalamazoo Ave
West Michigan Ave & West Lovell St. / Oakland Dr.
West Michigan Ave. & Rose St.
Michigan Ave. & South Kalamazoo Mall
East Michigan Ave. & South Edwards St.
East Michigan Ave. & North Pitcher St.
Kalamazoo Ave & North Burdick St.
West Kalamazoo Ave. & North Rose St.
East Michigan Ave. & Harrison St
East Michigan Ave. & Kings Hwy.
East Michigan Ave. & Mills St.
Stadium Dr. & Rambling Rd.
West Michigan Ave. & Ring Road South
South Westnedge Ave. & Inkster Ave.
South Westnedge Ave. & Whites Rd.
South Westnedge Ave. & Denway Dr.
South Rose St. & West Vine St.
West Crosstown Pkwy. & West Stockbridge Ave.
Parkview Ave. & Greenleaf Blvd.
Parkview Ave. & Whites Rd.
Oakland Dr. & Angling Rd.
Oakland Dr. & West Kilgore Rd.
East Kilgore Rd. & Merideth St.
East Cork St. & Emerald Dr.
East Cork St. & Moreland St. / Fulford St.
West Cork St. & South Burdick St.
Miller Rd. & Pasadena St. / James St.
Portage St. & Lakeway Ave.
Portage St. & East Alcott St.
South Burdick St. & East Alcott St.
South Burdick St. & Reed Ave.
South Burdick St. & Stockbridge Ave.
East Michigan Ave. & Riverview Dr.
East Kalamazoo Ave. @ North Pitcher St.
East Kalamazoo Ave. @ North Edwards St.
West Kalamazoo Ave @ North Westnedge Ave
Other locations still being finalized

Traffic Signal Backplate & Tether Locations

East Kilgore Rd. & Meredith Street
Cork St. & Emerald Dr.
East Cork St. & Moreland / Fulford
Cork St. & South Burdick St.
Miller Rd. & Pasadena St.
South Burdick St. & Vine St.
Walnut St. & South Burdick St.
Lovell St & South Burdick St.
Oakland Dr. & West Kilgore Rd.
Oakland Dr. & Parkview Ave.
Oakland Dr. & Howard St.
South Drake Rd. and Parkview Ave.
South Drake Rd. & West Michigan Ave.
Drake Rd & North RXR
Drake Rd & South RXR
North Drake Rd. & Croyden Ave.
North Drake Rd & Beech Ave.
Mills St. & Vine St.
Mills St. & East Crosstown Parkway
East Vine St. & East Crosstown Parkway
South Burdick & Crosstown Parkway
Howard St. & West Crosstown Parkway
Howard St. & Valley Rd.
Michigan Ave. & Greenwood Ave.
Michigan Ave. & Dobbin Dr.
South Drake Rd. & Century Ave.
Mills St. & Lake St.
West Crosstown Pkwy & West Stockbridge Ave.
Michigan Ave. & Eldridge Dr.
Michigan Ave. & Emajean St.
South Rose St. & West Lovell St.
South Rose St. & West South St.
East Water St. & North Pitcher St.
East Water St. & North Edwards St.
West Water St. & North Rose St.
South St. & South Kalamazoo Mall
North Rose St. & West North St.
East Paterson St. & Riverview Dr.
North Pitcher St. & East Paterson St.
Paterson St. & North Burdick St.
West Paterson St. & North Rose St.
West Paterson St. & Douglas Ave
Portage St. & East South St.
Oakland Dr. & Angling Rd.

Scrap Tire Collection to Expand in Partnership with Kalamazoo Conservation District

After a successful pilot program in 2021, the City of Kalamazoo is partnering with the Kalamazoo Conservation District (KCD) to expand scrap tire collection for residents of the city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County. Through this partnership there will be four opportunities to recycle scrap tires, with each open to city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County residents. This year pre-registration is required for all events and there is a limit of 10 tires per household. 

  • Thursday June 16, 2022: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the City of Kalamazoo parking lot located at 332 Stockbridge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Comstock Township Transfer Station located at 6604 East Main St., Comstock, MI 49048
  • Thursday July 21, 2022: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Richland Township Office located at 7401 N. 32nd St., Richland, MI 49083
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Swan Park located at 50 East VW Ave., Vicksburg, MI 49097

Tires that are collected will be recycled and used in roads, driveways, trails, and a variety of other products.

“The response that we had during the pilot last year made it clear there is a need for this program,” explained Debra Miller, Code Administration Manager for the City of Kalamazoo. “Through this partnership with KCD we can offer more collections for city residents and also expand the program to include the rest of Kalamazoo County.”

Each of the four collection events are open to all residents of Kalamazoo County. Each household may drop off up to 10 passenger tires (10 tires is also the limit set by the Michigan Department of Transportation for transporting tires). Only passenger tires removed from the rims will be accepted. Proof of Kalamazoo County residence will be required, and the program is open to residents only (no businesses, please).

To help ensure an orderly collection and make sure the program is open to more households, registration is required in advance. Residents can complete a brief online form to register for a particular collection event and let organizers know how many tires they will bring: Sign-Up for Free Kalamazoo County Scrap Tire Recycling.

“The Tire Blitz pilot last year was almost too successful,” continued Miller, “so this year we’re asking that residents just let us know what day they are coming and how many tires they plan to bring so that we can prepare.”

Tires are not accepted through the City’s bulk trash program and are often dumped in the city or left at the street. These tires are unsightly and can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In 2021, 3,693 tires were collected over the three days of the Tire Blitz pilot program.

Funding for the Scrap Tire Collection Events is provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Scrap Tire Grant, the Kalamazoo Conservation District, and the Foundation for Excellence. Partners include the City of Kalamazoo, Richland Township, Comstock Township and Schoolcraft Township.

Event information is also available from the Kalamazoo Conservation District on their website here.

Westbound Parkview Avenue to Close between Oakland and Greenleaf Starting May 16

Starting Monday, May 16, Parkview Avenue will be closed to westbound traffic from Oakland Drive to Greenleaf Boulevard as work progresses to replace water main and rebuild the street. This change will extend the westbound closure from where it currently ends near Knox Street. Parkview Avenue will continue to be open to eastbound traffic.

Westbound drivers should follow the signed detour north on Oakland Drive, west on Howard Street and Stadium Drive, and south on Drake to Parkview. The westbound lane closure will be in effect for the remainder of the project, which is expected to be completed in October. 

The nearly $3 million investment underway will upgrade the undersized water main and install new water service lines and fire hydrants. When the street is rebuilt, the width of vehicle lanes will be reduced to 10 feet wide to calm traffic. The additional space on the roadway will allow the width of the bike lanes to be expanded. New sidewalk will be installed on the north side of Parkview from Broadway to Barnard, and a crossing with a pedestrian island will be added at Barnard to connect the Oakwood and Oakland Drive/Winchell neighborhoods.

Project information including improvement and detour maps and a recording from an informational meeting held virtually on February 24, 2022, are available at

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

 (269) 337-8000
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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